Department of Anatomy

Research group of neurodegeneration and biomarkers


1. Examination of the effects of PACAP in animal models of Parkinson’s disease (Ph.D. student: Dr. Adél Jüngling)

We have conducted numerous experiments on animal models of neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease) since the beginning of our research group, and we have shown that PACAP has neuroprotective effects both in vivo and in vitro. Currently, as a part of the Hungarian Brain Research Program, we continue our studies about the protective effects of PACAP in Parkinson’s disease. We have also proven that enriched environment acts as a protective factor in case of several types of neural injuries and pathological conditions. The aim of our present study is to examine its protective role in Parkinson’s disease.

The most important related articles:

Jungling A, Reglodi D, Karadi ZN, Horvath G, Farkas J, Gaszner B, Tamas A.Effects of Postnatal Enriched Environment in a Model of Parkinson's Disease in Adult Rats. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Feb 14;18(2). pii: E406. doi: 10.3390/ijms18020406.

Maasz G, Zrinyi Z, Reglodi D, Petrovics D, Rivnyak A, Kiss T, Jungling A, Tamas A, Pirger Z. Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) has a neuroprotective function in dopamine-based neurodegeneration in rat and snail parkinsonian models. Dis Model Mech. 2017 Feb 1;10(2):127-139. doi: 10.1242/dmm.027185.

Reglodi D, Renaud J, Tamas A, Tizabi Y, Socías SB, Del-Bel E, Raisman-Vozari R. Novel tactics for neuroprotection in Parkinson's disease: Role of antibiotics, polyphenols and neuropeptides. Prog Neurobiol. 2017 Aug;155:120-148. doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2015.10.004.

Tamas A, Reglodi D, Farkas O, Kovesdi E, Pal J, Povlishock JT, Schwarcz A, Czeiter E, Szanto Z, Doczi T, Buki A, Bukovics P. Effect of PACAP in central and peripheral nerve injuries. Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(7):8430-48. doi: 10.3390/ijms13078430.

2. Examination of the effects of endogenous PACAP in PACAP deficient (KO) mice

We have proven earlier that PACAP deficient mice have higher vulnerability in case of several pathological conditions; furthermore we have found numerous morphological, proteomic and biochemical differences during the comparison of wild type and PACAP deficient mice. We continue our studies focusing on the differences between these animals in order to describe the role of endogenous PACAP in physiological and pathological conditions, such as in tooth development (Ph.D. student: Dr. Balázs Sándor), in the inner ear (Ph.D. student: Dr. Balázs Dániel Fülöp) and in a 6-OHDA induced mouse model of Parkinson’s disease (Ph.D. student: Dr. Adél Jüngling).

The most important related articles:

Sandor B, Fintor K, Reglodi D, Fulop DB, Helyes Z, Szanto I, Nagy P, Hashimoto H, Tamas A. Structural and Morphometric Comparison of Lower Incisors in PACAP-Deficient and Wild-Type Mice. J Mol Neurosci. 2016 Jun;59(2):300-8. doi: 10.1007/s12031-016-0765-0.

Sandor B, Fintor K, Felszeghy S, Juhasz T, Reglodi D, Mark L, Kiss P, Jungling A, Fulop BD, Nagy AD, Hashimoto H, Zakany R, Nagy A, Tamas A. Structural and morphometric comparison of the molar teeth in pre-eruptive developmental stage of PACAP-deficient and wild-type mice.

J Mol Neurosci. 2014 Nov;54(3):331-41. doi: 10.1007/s12031-014-0392-6.

Nemeth A, Szabadfi K, Fulop B, Reglodi D, Kiss P, Farkas J, Szalontai B, Gabriel R, Hashimoto H, Tamas A. Examination of calcium-binding protein expression in the inner ear of wild-type, heterozygous and homozygous pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP)-knockout mice in kanamycin-induced ototoxicity. Neurotox Res. 2014 Jan;25(1):57-67. doi: 10.1007/s12640-013-9428-x.

Tamas A, Szabadfi K, Nemeth A, Fulop B, Kiss P, Atlasz T, Gabriel R, Hashimoto H, Baba A, Shintani N, Helyes Z, Reglodi D. Comparative examination of inner ear in wild type and pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP)-deficient mice. Neurotox Res. 2012 May;21(4):435-44. doi: 10.1007/s12640-011-9298-z.

3. The role of PACAP and other bioactive factors during lactation

PACAP is present in the human milk and we found that PACAP38-LI is 5-20 times higher in the milk than in the respective plasma samples. The exact function of the peptide in lactation is still unknown, so we focus on examining its role additionally with other bioactive factors (citokines, chemokines, growth factors and hormones). We suggest that these factors may be required for the development of the newborn, the immune system and for the protection against allergic conditions as immunomodulators during the postnatal period. We also use molecular biological methods on human normal and breast cancer cell lines to reveal the effect of PACAP on mammary glandular cells. (Ph.D.student: Dr. Réka Anna Vass)

The most important related articles:

Csanaky K, Banki E, Szabadfi K, Reglodi D, Tarcai I, Czegledi L, Helyes Z, Ertl T, Gyarmati J, Szanto Z, Zapf I, Sipos E, Shioda S, Tamas A. Changes in PACAP immunoreactivity in human milk and presence of PAC1 receptor in mammary gland during lactation. J Mol Neurosci. 2012 Nov;48(3):631-7.

Andrea Tamas , Reka A Vass , Zsuzsanna Helyes , Katalin Csanaky , Zalan Szanto , Jozsef Nemeth , Dora Reglodi

Examination of PACAP During Lactation In: Dora Reglodi, Andrea Tamas (szerk.) Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase Activating Polypeptide — PACAP. 840 p.  Cham (Svájc): Springer International Publishing, 2016. pp. 833-840. (Current Topics in Neurotoxicity; 11.) 

4. PACAP, as a potential biomarker in different clinical conditions

A few years ago we started our experiments to measure the PACAP levels of healthy and pathological human biological samples from volunteers. In those disorders where we find significant alterations in the level of PACAP, the peptide may be used as an important potential biomarker in the clinical practice, for enhancing early diagnosis, and determining the exact therapy and prognosis. We work in collaboration with many Clinics of the University on this project, especially focusing on samples from neurological, haematological, neurovascular, endocrinological, oncological, cardiologiological, inflammatory, gynaecological and polytraumatic diseases. (Ph.D. student: Dr. Dóra Szabó, Dr. András Császár, Dr. Renáta Csalódi).

The most important related articles:

Sarszegi Z, Szabo D, Gaszner B, Konyi A, Reglodi D, Nemeth J, Lelesz B, Polgar B, Jungling A, Tamas A. Examination of pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) as a potential biomarker in heart failure patients. J Mol Neurosci. 2018 Jan 20. doi: 10.1007/s12031-017-1025-7.

Tamas A, Javorhazy A, Reglodi D, Sarlos DP, Banyai D, Semjen D, Nemeth J, Lelesz B, Fulop DB, Szanto Z. Examination of PACAP-Like Immunoreactivity in Urogenital Tumor Samples.

J Mol Neurosci. 2016 Jun;59(2):177-83. doi: 10.1007/s12031-015-0652-0.

Szanto Z, Sarszegi Z, Reglodi D, Nemeth J, Szabadfi K, Kiss P, Varga A, Banki E, Csanaky K, Gaszner B, Pinter O, Szalai Z, Tamas A. PACAP immunoreactivity in human malignant tumor samples and cardiac diseases. J Mol Neurosci. 2012 Nov;48(3):667-73.