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Research Group
Development, Plasticity and Regeneration of Thalamocortical Circuits
Unit Unit Developmental Neurobiology »

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Principal Investigator Ph.D. Investigator Graduate students / Research Assistant Technician Administration
Research Fields
Our research focuses to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the guidance of the main axonal tracts of the CNS in mammals. In particular, we are interested in elucidating how one of the most complex axon guidance systems in the mammalian forebrain, the thalamocortical projection, develops. Thalamocortical axons translate sensory information to the cerebral cortex in a topographical manner. Furthermore, recent studies have suggested that an abnormal development of this projection might be involved in some neurological diseases such as autism or epilepsy.

We are interested in the study of two basic mechanisms required for normal development of the thalamocortical projection: (1) neuronal specification of thalamic neurons, the process by which different types of dorsal thalamic cells (visual, auditory…) are generated, and (2) topographical axon guidance and targeting to the cortex, which allows the integration of these thalamocortical projections into the cortical circuit. To study these mechanisms, we combine experimental embryology, imaging techniques and standard histology, cellular and molecular biology methods, using the mice as experimental model.

Representative Publications

Antón-Bolaños N , Espinosa A, López-Bendito G " Developmental interactions between thalamus and cortex: a true love reciprocal story. " Curr Opin Neurobiol . 52 , 33 - 41 ( 2018 )

Moreno-Juan V , Filipchuk A, Antón-Bolaños N, Mezzera C, Gezelius H, Andrés B, Rodríguez-Malmierca L, Susín R, Schaad O, Iwasato T, Schüle R, Rutlin M, Nelson S, Ducret S, Valdeolmillos M, Rijli FM, López-Bendito G " Prenatal thalamic waves regulate cortical area size prior to sensory processing. " Nat Commun . 8 , 14172 - ( 2017 )

Gezelius H , Moreno-Juan V, Mezzera C, Thakurela S, Rodríguez-Malmierca LM, Pistolic J, Benes V, Tiwari VK, López-Bendito G " Genetic Labeling of Nuclei-Specific Thalamocortical Neurons Reveals Putative Sensory-Modality Specific Genes. " Cereb Cortex . 27 , 5054 - 5069 ( 2017 )

Leyva-Díaz E , Del Toro D, Menal MJ, Cambray S, Susín R, Tessier-Lavigne M, Klein R, Egea J, López-Bendito G " Is a Robo1-interacting protein that determines Netrin-1 attraction in developing axons. " Curr. Biol . 18 , - ( 2014 )

Mire E , Mezzera C, Leyva-Díaz E, V Paternain A, Squarzoni P, Bluy L, Castillo-Paterna M, López MJ, Peregrín S, Tessier-Lavigne M, Garel S, Galcerán J, Lerma J, López-Bendito G " Spontaneous activity regulates Robo1 transcription to mediate a switch in thalamocortical axon growth " Nature Neurosci . 8 , 1134 - 1143 ( 2012 )
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Universidad Miguel Hernández

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