Laboratori de Neurofisiologia

ORCID Research Profile


Position: Associate professor

(Professor titular d’Universitat)

Research team


Arcadio Gual Sala

Full Professor

agual (at) ub.edu


Nuria Comes Beltran

Assistant Professor

nuriacomes (at) ub.edu


Jonathan Peter Giblin

Senior postdoc (Ramón y Cajal research fellow)

jgiblin (at) ub.edu


Yaroslau Compta Hirnyj

Assistant Professor

ycompta (at) ub.edu


Aida Castellanos Esparraguera

Early stage researcher

aida.castellanos (at) ub.edu


Alba Andres Bilbe

Early stage researcher

albaandres (at) ub.edu


Montserrat Pau Ramon

Administrative and technical staff

montsepau (at) ub.edu


Contact details


Dr. Xavier Gasull

Department of Biomedicine

School of Medicine, Casanova 143

08036 Barcelona (Spain)

+34 934024519

xgasull (at) ub.edu


Research Interests


Within the field of neurophysiology, the group is interested in establishing the role of different ion channels implicated in shaping the excitability of sensory neurons of the dorsal root and trigeminal ganglia, and determining which alterations occur during injury, inflammatory and neuropathic pain states. We are especially interested on ocular pain after inflammation, injury or dry eye disease. On the other hand, in trabecular cells that regulate aqueous humor flow in the eye and intraocular pressure, we are exploring the role of neural mechanisms regulating intraocular pressure and ion K+ and Cl– channels that regulate contraction, shape and cell volume and how this is related to the physiopathology of glaucoma.

Furthermore, an additional line is that of studying disorders of the basal ganglia as Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, with focus on chemical correlates of neurodegeneration as alpha-synuclein, amyloid- and tau in both biofluids (as blood and cerebrospinal fluid) and brain tissue.

Current Research Lines


  • Physiology and physiopathology of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Study of ion channels involved in neuronal excitability in the sensory nervous system.
  • Physiology of aqueous humour drainage and physiopathology of glaucoma. Ocular pathology in aging. Physiology of the cells of the ocular trabecular meshwork. Physiopathology of dry eye.
  • Trafficking and regulation of K+ and Cl channels in cellular physiology. Interaction with membrane proteins and lipids.
  • Biochemical correlates of neurodegeneration in biofluids and brain tissue in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders of the basal ganglia.

Technologies / methods


  • Electrophysiological techniques: current/voltage-clamp; patch clamp, intracellular and extracellular recording; recordings in slices.
  • Imaging techniques: intracellular calcium imaging with fluorescent dyes; cell volume, nitric oxide.
  • Primary cell culture of sensory neurons. Cell lines.
  • Transient and stable expression of ion channels in cell lines.
  • Immunocytochemistry.
  • Molecular biology and biochemistry techniques: western blot, immunoprecipitation, biotinylation, protein expression in yeast.
  • Behavioral animal models of pain and itch (thermal, mechanical and chemical sensitivity).
  • Intraocular pressure determination. Animal models of ocular pathology: dry eye, ocular surface injury, allergic keratoconjunctivitis.

Highlighted publications


· Kovács I, Luna C, Quirce S, Mizerska K, Callejo G, Riestra A, Fernández-Sánchez L, Meseguer VM, Cuenca N, Merayo-Lloves J, Acosta MC, Gasull X, Belmonte C, Gallar J.  (2016) Abnormal activity of corneal cold thermoreceptors underlies the unpleasant sensations in dry eye disease. Pain. 157(2):399-417.


· Callejo G, Castellanos A, Castany M, Gual A, Luna C, Acosta MC, Gallar J, Giblin JP, Gasull X. (2015) Acid-sensing ion channels detect moderate acidifications to induce ocular pain.  Pain. 156(3):483-95.


· Delaunay A*, Gasull X*, Salinas M, Noël J, Friend V, Lingueglia E, Deval E. (2012) Human ASIC3 channel dynamically adapts its activity to sense the extracellular pH in both acidic and alkaline directions.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 109(32):13124-9.


· Soto D, Comes N, Ferrer E, Morales M, Escalada A, Palés J, Solsona C, Gual A, Gasull X. (2004)  Modulation of aqueous humor outflow by ionic mechanisms involved in trabecular meshwork cell volume regulation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 45(10):3650-61.


· Compta Y, Parkkinen L, O’Sullivan SS, Vandrovcova J, Holton JL, Collins C, Lashley T, Kallis C, Williams DR, de Silva R, Lees AJ, Revesz T. (2011) Lewy- and Alzheimer-type pathologies in Parkinson’s disease dementia: which is more important? Brain. 134(Pt 5):1493-505.