Treatments of neurological disorders/trauma and psychiatric diseases largely rely on the modulation of synaptic transmission by drugs acting on diverse receptors and transporters. The research projects developed in the group of neuropharmacology concern the regulation of these key molecular targets. Our recent studies are focussed on the regulation of glial glutamate targets in vitro and in models of nervous tissue lesions (neuropathic pain, spinal trauma and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). In particular, we study the influence of neuroinflammation that develops in several nervous diseases on the glutamate handling by astrocytes. Indeed, astrocytes and microglial cells express glutamate transporters and metabotropic glutamate receptors which indirectly influence the excitatory transmission between neurons. We also investigate the regulation of G-protein coupled receptors. In particular, we examine the diversity of intracellular signalling cascades activated by distinct receptor agonists and study the possibility to differentially manipulate the associated signalling pathways. Presently, our interest is focussed on cannabinoid and glutamate receptors as well as receptors for selected neuropeptides.
The current projects are:
- Regulation of glutamate transporters in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
- Regulation of immune reponses following nerve lesions and its relevance for the transition from acute to chronic pain.
- Regulation of G-protein coupled receptors signalling by inflammatory mediators.
- Emmanuel HERMANS, PhD, Head of Unit
- Jean-Marie MALOTEAUX, MD, PhD
- Patricia LAVAND'HOMME, MD, PhD
- Bernard LE POLAIN DE WAROUX, MD, PhD
- Riem EL TAHRY, MD, PhD
- Ines BELO DO NASCIMENTO OSORIO DE CASTRO, PhD Student
- Gustavo LOPEZ-CORDOBA, PhD Student
- Pauline BECKERS, PhD Student
- Mattia FERRAILO, PhD Student
Technical and administrative staff
- Romelia DE JESUS CARVAJAL USUGA, Technician
- Nathalie DESMET, Technician
- Cathy FRIAND, Administratvie Assistant
- Dr Ann Massie, Ilse Smolders, VUB;
- Dr Bernard Rogister, ULg;
- Dr Bernard Lakaye, ULg;
- Dr Pierre Leprince à l'ULg;
- Dr Julien Hanson, ULg
- Dr. Eman Ahmed, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt;
- Dr. Gary Brook, Dr. RWTH, Aachen University, Germany
- Patrycja Kleczkowska, Department of Pharmacodynamics, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
- Dr R.A.John Challiss, Leicester, United of Kingdom;
- Dr Elena N. Kozlova, Stockholm, Sweden;
- Dr. Vincent Lelievre, University of Strasbourg, France;
- Dr Guylène Page, Poitiers, France;
- Dr Marcus Rattray, Bradford, United of Kingdom;
- Dr. Giuliano Taccola, International School for Advanced Studies, Trieste/Udine, Italy.