At the cellular level, brain plasticity relies on modifications in synaptic connectivity and excitability that are driven by molecular changes in presynapse, postsynapse, glia and extracellular matrix. Synapses are particularly prone to dynamic alterations and thus are believed to play a major role in plasticity. We study structural and functional synaptic modifications regulated by extracellular matrix proteolytic modifiers. In particular, we investigate the role of the extracellular matrix proteins and cell adhesion molecules in synapse formation and stabilization and their influence on postsynaptic receptor composition. We employ imaging based techniques to assess the reorganization of activity patterns accompanied by local volumetric changes at the synapses. Another line of research aims to understand the cooperative involvement of serotonin signaling pathways and extracellular matrix in synaptic plasticity underlying the pathogenesis of stress-related disorders.
Please see also: http://en.nencki.gov.pl/laboratory-of-cell-biophysics
5 Selected Publications
Stawarski M., Rutkowska-Wlodarczyk I., Zeug A., Bijata M., Madej H., Kaczmarek L., Wlodarczyk J. Genetically encoded biosensor for imaging MMP-9 activity. Biomaterials, 35: 1402-1410, 2014.
Szepesi Z., Hosy E., Ruszczycki B., Bijata M., Pyskaty M., Bikbaev A., Heine M., Choquet D., Kaczmarek L., Wlodarczyk J. Synaptically released matrix metalloproteinase activity in control of structural plasticity and the cell surface distribution of GluA1-AMPA receptors. PLoS ONE, 9: e98274, 2014.
Szepesi Z., Bijata M., Ruszczycki B., Kaczmarek L., Wlodarczyk J. Matrix metalloproteinases regulate the formation of dendritic spine head protrusions during chemically induced long-term potentiation. PLoS One, 8 (5): e63314. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063314, 2013.
Ruszczycki B., Szepesi Z., Wilczynski GM., Bijata M., Kalita K., Kaczmarek L., Wlodarczyk J. Sampling issues in quantitative analysis of dendritic spines morphology. BMC Bioinformatics., 13 : 213, 2012.
Dziembowska M., Wlodarczyk J. MMP-9: a novel function in synaptic plasticity. Int. J. Biochem. Cell Biol., 44 (5) : 709-13, 2012.
Awards, Fellowships and Honours