Autonomic Nervous System: Structural Adaptations during Post-Natal Development

Project aim

This line of research enquiry aims at understanding and monitoring the effects of ageing on the structure of the autonomic nervous system of a plethora of animal species including South American unique wild rodents such as capybaras - the biggest rodent in the world.

The main structural parameters investigated within this research theme are: total number of neurons (using biomarkers for neurogenesis such as Ki-67 and Brd-U), volume of neurons, neuron branching, total number of synapses (synaptogenesis) and total number of vessels (angiogenesis). These measurements are of paramount importance for understanding ‘the ageing autonomic nervous system’ and for clinical research, since autonomic ganglia play an important role in grave neuropathies including Horner’s syndrome, stroke, epilepsy, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Project supervisor