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Home >> Neurobiology Research Centre (NRC) >> Electrophysiology Laboratory Officer Charge Dr Bs Shankaranarayana

Electrophysiology Laboratory (Officer In-charge : Dr. B.S. Shankaranarayana Rao)

The electrophysiology laboratory is engaged in studying the synaptic plasticity mechanisms in various animal models of neurological and psychiatric disorders. The synaptic plasticity mechanisms are being studied in live brain slices of the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex, including long-term activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength and information processing in the hippocampus, cortex and amygdala in animal models of stress, anxiety, depression, hypobaric hypoxia and epilepsy. Several strategies to restore cognitive deficits and abnormal synaptic plasticity in the above mentioned disease conditions by rewiring and remodelling of neural circuits including pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches have been developed. In addition, we have used microelectrode array technology for in vitro recording of electrophysiological activity of neurons over a long period of time. The effect of BDNF on electrophysiological activity of olfactory bulb neuronal population has been studied. Electrophysiological studies have revealed that the neurons in the mitral cell layer in olfactory bulb developed synchronized firing with piriform cortex after 120 days of olfactory tract transection.

Completed research activities include: Researchers in the lab have studied the role of amygdala in the modulation of hippocampal and prefrontal cortical functions in stress: Implications for the treatment of affective disorders, role of escitalopram and reboxetine antidepressants on hippocampal neurogenesis and structural plasticity in endogenous animal model of depression, cellular and molecular basis of epilepsy-induced cognitive deficits, role of enriched environment and antidepressant treatment on depression induced cognitive deficits, regulatory role of amygdala on hippocampal and frontal cortical functions in stress, enriched environment exposure restores impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity in chronically restrained rats and protective effect of Celastrus paniculatus Willd oil on chronic stress-induced cognitive impairment in adult male Wistar rats.

Ongoing research activities: Currently, researchers are studying the cellular and molecular basis of endogenous depression induced cognitive deficits, antiepileptic activity of Medicinal plants in Animal models of Epilepsy, effect of Celestrus paniculatus on cognitive deficits in chronically stressed rats: A behavioral, neurochemical, structural and electrophysiological approach, cellular, molecular and electrophysiological basis of depression-induced cognitive deficits, role of enriched environment and antidepressants on chronic stress-induced depression and cognitive deficits, amygdala in stress-induced cortical plasticity, enriched environment and antiepileptic drugs on epilepsy-induced cognitive deficits, depression-induced cognitive deficits: Effect of modulation of glutamatergic transmission and brain stimulation reward.

The laboratory has completed 5 major funded projects and currently has 8 ongoing funded projects and 4 non funded projects. More than 20 researchers including PhD scholars, SRA, SRF, PDF, JRF, MPhil and project assistants are currently using the lab facility. Students/ Researchers from other Institutes: include faculty, Postdocs, PhDs from NBRC, IISc, NCBS, ICT Mumbai. The researchers have received awards and travel grants for the research carried out in the laboratory.

Workshops & Symposia conducted by the lab:

Workshop on Emerging Trends in Neurophysiology: From Cell to Systems. November 26-27, 2013.

Depression-induced decline in hippocampal Long-term potentiation (LTP) was restored by concomitant exposure to 1h of enriched environment (EE) – escitalopram treatment. Depressed animals showed no long-term potentiation after high frequency stimulation (HFS). While normal rats exhibited 45% potentiation in EPSP responses for more than 60 min. Depressed rats subjected to 1h of EE and concomitant 1h EE – escitalopram treatment exhibited 41% and 59% LTP, respectively. The top panel shows representative EPSPs before and after HFS. Data expressed as Mean ± SEM. NC = Normal control, DEP = depressed, SA = Saline administered, DEP + 1h EE = Depressed rats subjected to 1h of EE for 14 days, DEP + 1h EE + ES = Depressed rats exposed to 1h EE and treated with 2.5mg/kg escitalopram.

Publications( 2013-2014)

  1. Dolan BM, Duron S, Campbell D, Vollrath B, Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Ko HY, Lin GG, Govindarajan A, Choi SY, and Tonegawa T (2013) Rescue of Fragile X Syndrome Phenotypes in Fmr1 KO Mice by the Small Molecule PAK Inhibitor FRAX486. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (USA) 110(14): 5671-5676.
  2. Current Physiological Techniques : From Basic to Applied Aspects (2013) Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India.
  3. Shankaranarayana Rao BS and Raju TR (2013) The ever changing brain: A tool to treat psychiatric and neurological disorders. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 6-23.
  4. Kutty BM, Shankaranarayana Rao BS and Raju TR (2013) Neurophysiological basis of plasticity. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 24-28.
  5. Shankaranarayana Rao BS (2013) Histological techniques to stain neurons and fiber tracts. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 73-79.
  6. Shankaranarayana Rao BS (2013) The Golgi impregnation techniques. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 80-86.
  7. Mahati K, Veena J, Bhagya V, Christofer T, Raju TR and Shankaranarayana Rao BS (2013) Stereological methods to quantify cell densities and volumes in discrete brain regions. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 87-95.
  8. Veena J, Raju TR and Shankaranarayana Rao BS (2013) Neurogenesis : Proliferation, survival and differentiation of new cells in the adult brain. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 100-108.
  9. Christofer T, Ramkumar K, Deepti N, Raju TR and Shankaranarayana Rao BS (2013) Stereotaxy : A tool to manipulate brain functions. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 109-120.
  10. Deepti N, Ramkumar K, Srikumar BN, Titus ADJ, Bhagya V, Raju TR and Shankaranarayana Rao BS (2013) Chromatographic methods of quantification of neurotransmitters in the brain. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 123-130.
  11. Mahati K, Bhagya V, Raju TR and Shankaranarayana Rao BS (2013) Spectrophotometric assay of acetylcholinesterase activity in the brain. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 131-134.
  12. Bhagya V, Christofer T, Mahati K, Shilpa BM, Tripathi SJ, Vrinda M, Vijayakumar K, Arun S, Hegde P, Raju TR, Kutty BM and Shankararanarayana Rao BS (2013) Assessment of learning and memory in rodents. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 135-143.
  13. Tripathi SJ, Raju TR and Shankaranarayana Rao BS (2013) Assessment of higher cognitive functions in rodents. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 144-148.
  14. Bhagya V, Suwarna C, Mahati K, Christofer T, Shilpa BM, Vrinda M, Raju TR and Shankaranarayana Rao BS (2013) Assessment of anxiety and depressive-like behaviors. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 149-156.
  15. Christofer t, Bhagya v, Mahati k, Raju TR and Shankaranarayana Rao BS (2013) Recording of extra cellular field potentials from the hippocampal slices. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 175-180.
  16. Vrinda M, Arun S, Kutty BM and Shankaranarayana Rao BS (2013) Electroencephalographic characterization of epilepsy in rodents. In: Current Physiological Techniques: From Basic to Applied Aspects. Shankaranarayana Rao BS, Sathyaprabha TN, Laxmi TR, Kutty BM and Raju TR (eds.), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 181-186.
  17. Shankaranarayana Rao BS (2013) New neurons in the old brains : Implications for treating neurological and psychiatric disorders. In: Proceedings of the 59th National conference of Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists of India on “Decades of Research in Physiology and Pharmacology: Reminders to remember and focus. National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. pp 27-46.
  18. Titus DJ, Shankaranarayana Rao BS and Srikumar BN (2014) Evaluation of learning and memory in rodents. In : Experimental animals ethical guidelines and bioefficacy studies for biotechnological applications. Jibu Thomas, RT, Narendhirakannan and MSA Muthukumar Nadar (eds.) Iris Publishers, Coimbatore, India. pp 72-90.
  19. Shankaranarayana Rao BS (2014) The plastic brain : A tool to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders. Proceedings of DST - INSPIRE Internship Science Camp. School of Biotechnology, Vignan’s University, Vadlamudi, Guntur, Andra Pradesh, India. 3-7 June 2014. pp. 9-14.