Research Team / Research Group Name (if any)
Cannabinoids and neurogenesis
Brief description of the Research Team / Research Group / Department
The Cannabinoid and Neurogenesis" group is part of the Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I (Complutense University) and member of the CIBERNED consortium for research on neurodegenerative diseases. Our group is devoted to the study of neural cell fate regulation by cannabinoid signaling. We investigate the pathophysiological functions of the endocannabinoid system, as well as the consequences of plant-derived cannabinoid exposure in the different research lines detailed below. Our experimental approaches includes the use of a variety of experimental models ranging from in vitro studies using neural and stem cell cultures, signal transduction research, genetic (conditional loss and gain of function) and pharmacological regulation of in vivo mouse models (reporters and conditional/constitutive deficient mice). Translational implications of our research findings are explored in close collaboration with our clinicians collaborators involved in refractory epilepsy and Huntington"s disease. The "Cannabinoid and neurogenesis" group in the last 15 years has contributed to define the neurodevelopmental role of cannabinoid signaling with seminal publications that highlighted the requirement of an appropriate endocannabinoid tone in neural progenitor proliferation, neuronal differentiation and long-range axon projection."
Research lines / projects proposed
The following research lines are active in the group. The latest publication related to each one is included as example.<br />- Cannabinoid signaling in neural stem cells and progenitor identity.<br />(Díaz-Alonso et al. CB1 Cannabinoid Receptor-Dependent Activation of mTORC1/Pax6 Signaling Drives Tbr2 Expression and Basal Progenitor Expansion in the Developing Mouse Cortex. Cereb Cortex. 25:2395-408 (2014).<br />- Neurodevelopmental alterations induced by prenatal cannabinoid exposure.<br />(de Salas-Quiroga et al., Prenatal exposure to cannabinoids evokes long-lasting functional alterations by targeting CB1 receptors on developing cortical neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112:13693-8 (2015)<br />- Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in malformations of cortical development and refractory epilepsy. <br />(Díaz-Alonso et al., Loss of cannabinoid CB1 receptors induces cortical migration malformations and increases seizure susceptibility. Cerebral Cortex doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw309 (2016).<br />- The endocannabinoid system in adult neurogenesis.<br />(Campos et al., The anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol on chronically stressed mice depends on hippocampal neurogenesis: involvement of the endocannabinoid system. Int J Neuropsychopharmacology 9:1-13 (2013).<br />- Neuroprotection based in cannabinoid-derived drugs.<br />(Blázquez et al., The CB1 cannabinoid receptor signals striatal neuroprotection via a PI3K/Akt/mTORC1/BDNF pathway. Cell Death and Differentiation 22:1618-29 (2015).<br />Diaz-Alonso et al., VCE-003.2, a novel cannabigerol derivative, enhances neuronal progenitor cell survival and alleviates symptomatology in murine models of Huntington"s disease. Scientific Reports 19 ;6:29789 (2016).