CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BASIS OF SENSORY DISORDERS

Principal Investigators

Alejandro Barrallo-Gimeno

Associate Professor

Hair cell damage mechanisms in the zebrafish lateral line

Jordi Llorens

Full professor

Mechanisms and physiological impact of hair cell loss in the mammalian vestibular system

Ana Mendez

Associate Professor

Mechanisms underlying the light response in photoreceptor cells of the retina, light adaptation and inherited blindness.

Research team

 

Alberto Maroto

Assistant Professor

 

Carla Soler

Assistant Professor

Research Interest

 

This programme focuses on investigating genetic and acquired causes of sensory disorders to identify potential targets for treatment as well as for preservation of sensory functions during ageing. Animal models and first-line methodologies, such as super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, RNA-seq and proteomics, are used to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to sensory loss.

Technologies & Methods

 

  • Generation of vestibular deficient rodents
  • Assessment of vestibular dysfunction in rodents
  • Morphological analysis of vestibular sensory epithelia
  • Immunostaining
  • Light and advanced confocal microscopy
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Transmission electron microscopy
  • Life imaging of zebrafish organs
  • Gene expression analyses by qRT-PCR and RNAseq
  • Rodent models of retinal function by transient transgenesis in rods by in vivo DNA electroporation
  •  Protein biochemistry
  • Protein-protein interactions
  • Retinal morphological studies by light and electron microscopy
  • Retinal proteomics and phosphoproteomics
  • Isoelectrofocusing gels
  • Visual function analysis by electroretinography (ERG)

Featured Projects

 

    • Recerca centrada en el pacient: estudi de les necessitats del pacient, fenotipació clínica i patogènesi molecular en la Neurofibromatosi Tipus 2. Fundació La Marató de TV3. 20207-30-31. Jordi Llorens

 

    • Respuesta molecular del sistema vestibular a la ototoxicidad crónica; identificación de mecanismo y desarrollo de modelos de análisis in vivo. Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades. RTI2018-096452-B-I00. Jordi Llorens i Alejandro Barrallo-Gimeno

Featured Publications

 

    • Greguske, E. A., Llorens, J., & Pyott, S. J. (2021). Assessment of cochlear toxicity in response to chronic 3,3′-iminodipropionitrile in mice reveals early and reversible functional loss that precedes overt histopathology. Archives of Toxicology, 95(3), 1003–1021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204-020-02962-5

 

    • Plana-Bonamaisó, A., López-Begines, S., Andilla, J., Fidalgo, M. J., Loza-Alvarez, P., Estanyol, J. M., Villa, P. de la, & Méndez, A. (2020). GCAP neuronal calcium sensor proteins mediate photoreceptor cell death in the rd3 mouse model of LCA12 congenital blindness by involving endoplasmic reticulum stress. Cell Death & Disease, 11(1), 62. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-020-2255-0

 

    • Plana-Bonamaisó, A., López-Begines, S., Fernández-Justel, D., Junza, A., Soler-Tapia, A., Andilla, J., Loza-Alvarez, P., Rosa, J. L., Miralles, E., Casals, I., Yanes, O., de la Villa, P., Buey, R. M., & Méndez, A. (2020). Post-translational regulation of retinal IMPDH1 in vivo to adjust GTP synthesis to illumination conditions. eLife, 9, e56418. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.56418

 

    • Greguske, E. A., Carreres-Pons, M., Cutillas, B., Boadas-Vaello, P., & Llorens, J. (2019). Calyx junction dismantlement and synaptic uncoupling precede hair cell extrusion in the vestibular sensory epithelium during sub-chronic 3,3-iminodipropionitrile ototoxicity in the mouse. Archives of Toxicology, 93(2), 417–434. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204-018-2339-0

 

    • Pérez-Rius, C., Folgueira, M., Elorza-Vidal, X., Alia, A., Hoegg-Beiler, M. B., Eeza, M., Díaz, M. L., Nunes, V., Barrallo-Gimeno, A., & Estévez, R. (2019). Comparison of zebrafish and mice knockouts for Megalencephalic Leukoencephalopathy proteins indicates that GlialCAM/MLC1 forms a functional unit. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 14(1), 268. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13023-019-1248-5

 

    • Cassel, R., Bordiga, P., Carcaud, J., Simon, F., Beraneck, M., Le Gall, A., Benoit, A., Bouet, V., Philoxene, B., Besnard, S., Watabe, I., Pericat, D., Hautefort, C., Assie, A., Tonetto, A., Dyhrfjeld-Johnsen, J., Llorens, J., Tighilet, B., & Chabbert, C. (2019). Morphological and functional correlates of vestibular synaptic deafferentation and repair in a mouse model of acute-onset vertigo. Disease Models & Mechanisms, 12(7), dmm039115. https://doi.org/10.1242/dmm.039115

 

    • Martins-Lopes, V., Bellmunt, A., Greguske, E. A., Maroto, A. F., Boadas-Vaello, P., & Llorens, J. (2019). Quantitative Assessment of Anti-Gravity Reflexes to Evaluate Vestibular Dysfunction in Rats. Journal of The Association for Research in Otolaryngology, 20(6), 553–563. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10162-019-00730-6

 

    • Pérez-Rius, C., Castellanos, A., Gaitán-Peñas, H., Navarro, A., Artuch, R., Barrallo-Gimeno, A., & Estévez, R. (2019). Role of zebrafish ClC-K/barttin channels in apical kidney chloride reabsorption. Journal of Physiology, 597(15), 3969–3983. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP278069

 

    • López-Begines, S., Plana-Bonamaisó, A., & Méndez, A. (2018). Molecular determinants of Guanylate Cyclase Activating Protein subcellular distribution in photoreceptor cells of the retina. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 2903. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-20893-1

 

    • Llorens, J., Callejo, A., Greguske, E. A., Maroto, A. F., Cutillas, B., & Martins-Lopes, V. (2018). Physiological assesment of vestibular function and toxicity in humans and animals. Neurotoxicology, 66, 204–212. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuro.2018.02.003