Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a neuropeptide with widespread occurrence and a diverse array of functions. The primary focus of our research team is the investigation of the cytoprotective effects of the peptide. Regarding neuroprotection, we are investigating its effects in model of Parkinson’s disease, Huntington chorea, traumatic brain injury, stroke, cerebral hypoperfusion and retina degenerations (toxic, diabetic, premature, ischemic retinopathies) as well as toxic inner ear and peripheral neuropathic models. In vivo modesl are completed with in vitro investigations in order to gain insight into the protective molecular mechanisms, mainly anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic and antioxidants effects in focus. In additions, we investigate sevral perinatal factors on the development of the nervous system, such as perinatal asphyxia, excitotoxic and hypoxic injuries and maternal stress. We conduct numerous studies on the consequences of the lack of PACAP in KO animals and antagonist treatments. As part of the stress axis, the role of PACAP is investigated as one of the 3 hits in the 3-hit theory of depression and other behavioural maladaptations. Human studies are conducted in collaboration with several clinical fields. We measure the serum levels of PACAP and levels in other biological fluids in order to study the potential biomarker value of PACAP.
Several of our models have clinical relevance and translational values. Animal models serve as models of certain clinical conditions in humans, while our clinical studies have direct clinical relevance: we investigate the serum levels of PACAP and levels in other biological fluids in order to study the potential biomarker value of PACAP.