Neurotoxicology laboratory(Officer In-charge Dr. Srinivas Bharath)
Many neurological and psychiatric conditions could be caused by exposure to environmental toxins. However, basic research in neurotoxicology that complements clinical toxicology is limited in NIMHANS. The Neurotoxicology laboratory, established in May 2012, aims to create specialized facilities including generation and characterization of toxic models of neurological and psychiatric diseases. This includes MPP+/MPTP and rotenone models (Parkinson’s disease), manganese model (Manganism), 3-nitropropionic acid model (Huntington’s disease) and Acrylamide model (Peripheral neuropathy). These models would be used to assess the mechanistic and therapeutic aspects of neurotoxicological conditions. On a therapeutic note, the laboratory aims to screen for natural products [herbal extracts (Bacopa monnieri etc.), natural compounds (curcumin, gallic acid, resveratrol etc.)] with potential neuroprotective benefits. The objectives include using biochemical, proteomic and epigenetic approaches to understand the mechanistic basis underlying different neuropathological conditions associated with neurotoxicology. Funded research projects are as follows:
(i) Analysis of the neuroprotective properties of natural compounds and their derivatives/pro-drugs in experimental models of Parkinson’s disease with potential therapeutic applications (DBT)
(ii) Nanoassisted C60-pyrimidine derivatives: their synthesis, characterization, neuroprotective and antiviral activities (DBT)
(iii) Analysis of the epigenetic regulation of red/ox mechanisms in neurotoxic models of Parkinson’s disease: Role of chromatin modifications (DST).
(iv) A comparison of Biochemical and proteomic alterations in brain mitochondria of prepubertal and adult mice exposed to 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NPA) (DST: completed)
The laboratory has two postdoctoral fellows and two PhD students.
Workshops & Symposia conducted by the lab :
(i) 2nd Annual hands-on workshop in Neurochemistry and Electron Microscopy (July 15-20, 2013)
(ii) Pre-Conference Workshop “OROBOROS O2k Workshop on High-Resolution respirometry and O2K-Fluorometry – IOC83” conducted by Prof. Gnaiger Erich, OROBOROS INSTRUMENTS, Innsbruck, Austria (Dec 18, 2013)
(iii) 3rd Annual Conference of the Society for Mitochondrial Research and medicine (SMRM) (Dec 19-20, 2013)