Laboratori de Neurofisiologia

ORCID Research Profile


Position: Associate professor

Research team


Esther Gratacos Batlle

Postdoctoral researcher

aida.castellanos (at) ub.edu


Montserrat Pau Ramon

Administrative and technical staff

montsepau (at) ub.edu

Contact details


Dr. David Soto

Department of Biomedicine

School of Medicine, Casanova 143

08036 Barcelona (Spain)

+34 934024519

davidsoto (at) ub.edu


Research Interests


The main interest of the group is focused on glutamatergic signaling. Specifically, our research is based on the study of ionotropic glutamate receptors and the functional interaction between AMPARs and auxiliary subunits and other interacting proteins, which determine this glutamate receptor function at the synapse. On that basis, by means of molecular, cellular and electrophysiological techniques the laboratory is characterizing these functional changes (on gating and trafficking properties) and trying to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in such modulatory effects in heterologous systems and neuronal cultures. We are also investigating whether synaptic plasticity is altered in knockout animals for these interacting proteins with AMPARs. Furthermore, the group is also focused on functional studies on NMDARs with newly synthesized blocking compounds and positive allosteric modulators in the framework of neurodevelopmental conditions.

Current Research Lines


  • Glutamatergic signaling: functional interaction between AMPARs and auxiliary subunits and other interacting proteins.
  • NMDAR pharmacology and function in mutations related with neurological conditions.

Technologies / methods


  • Electrophysiological techniques: voltage-clamp, perforated-patch, extracellular recordings in slices, noise analysis.
  • Imaging techniques: intracellular calcium imaging with fluorescent dyes.
  • Cell lines and primary cell culture of hippocampal/cortical neurons.
  • Slices electrophysiological recordings.
  • Transient and stable expression of ion channels and other proteins in cell lines.
  • Immunocytochemistry.
  • General techniques of molecular biology and biochemistry: western blot, immunoprecipitation, palmitoylation assays.

Highlighted publications


· Soto D, Olivella M, Grau C, Armstrong J, Alcon C, Gasull X, Gómez de Salazar M, Gratacòs-Batlle E, Ramos Vicente D, Fernández-Dueñas V, Ciruela F, Bayés À, Sindreu C, López-Sala A, García-Cazorla À, Altafaj X (2017) Rett-like Severe Encephalopathy Caused by a De Novo GRIN2B Mutation is Attenuated by D-Serine Dietary Supplement. Biological Psychiatry. S0006-3223(17); 31671-2.


· Gratacòs-Batlle E, Yefimenko N, Cascos-García H, Soto D (2015) AMPAR interacting protein CPT1C enhances surface expression of GluA1-containing receptors. Front Cell Neurosci. 2015 Feb 2;8:469.


· Fadó R, Soto D, Miñano-Molina AJ, Pozo M, Carrasco P, Yefimenko N, Rodríguez-Álvarez J, Casals N (2015) Novel Regulation of the Synthesis of α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid (AMPA) Receptor Subunit GluA1 by Carnitine Palmitoyltransferase 1C (CPT1C) in the Hippocampus. J Biol Chem. 2015 Oct 16;290(42):25548-60.


· Quintana P, Soto D, Poirot O, Zonouzi M, Kellenberger S, Muller D, Chrast R, Cull-Candy SG. (2015) Acid-sensing ion channel 1a drives AMPA receptor plasticity following ischaemia and acidosis in hippocampal CA1 neurons. J Physiol. 2015 Oct 1;593(19):4373-86.


· Soto D, Coombs ID, Gratacòs-Batlle E, Farrant M, Cull-Candy SG. (2014) Molecular mechanisms contributing to TARP regulation of channel conductance and polyamine block of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors.  J Neurosci. 34 (35):11673-83.