Research groups
Laboratory of Behavioural and Stress Research
Dóra Zelena (professor) E-mail:
Tel.: +36 (72) 536-000 (ext: 31746)
Research interest

The group conducts multidisciplinary research with high translational value. Our experimental subjects are laboratory mice and rats, but we also collaborate with human research groups. In addition to detailed behavioural phenotyping, we use endocrinological methods to monitor the hormonal consequences of stressors. We investigate stress-induced changes in the autonomic nervous system using in vivo biotelemetry. Immunohistochemistry, PCR, opto- and pharmacogenetic methods and epigenetic approaches will be used to elucidate brain mechanisms. Drug treatment options based on the identified neuronal connections and mechanisms will be investigated using behavioural pharmacology methods. Along these lines, we are working on three main research topics: 1. Post-traumatic stress disorder as a metabolic disease; 2. The role of the specific cells of the median-raphe nucleus in the behaviour, using Cre mice strains, opto- and pharmacogenetic techniques; 3. Characterisation of a 3xTg-AD mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, identifying novel drug targets.

Clinical relevance

Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome

Fiber Photometry
Fear conditioning boxes
Morris water maze
Elevated plus maze
Open field
Boksz for single pellett reaching task
Startcase testbox for fine motoric
Glas containers for fosced swim tests in rats and mice
Stratle equipment (Coulbourne)
Stereotaxic frame
Dental drill
Surgical instruments
Anesthetic machine
Extraction booth
Molecular biological techniques (PCR, immunoihistochemistry, Western blot, RNAscope)
Open field test
Elevated plus maze test
Light-dark box test
Novelty suppressed feeding test induced by a new environment
Social interaction test
Tail suspension test
Forced swim test
Splash test
Scrose preference test
Tail suspension test
Staircase test for fine motoric
A morsel grip test
Y-maze test
Subject discrimination
Social discrimination test
Morris water maze test
Conditioned fear test
Representative publications
Median raphe controls acquisition of negative experience in the mouse Szőnyi, A., Zichó, K., Barth, A.M., Gönczi, R.T., Schlingloff, D., Török, B., Sipos, E., Major, A., Bardóczi, Z., Sos, K.E., Gulyás, A.I., Varga, V., Zelena, D., Freund, T.F., Nyiri, G.
Science ()
Somatostatin Neurons of the Bed Nucleus of Stria Terminalis Enhance Associative Fear Memory Consolidation in Mice Bruzsik, B., Biro, L., Zelena, D., Sipos, E., Szebik, H., Sarosdi, K.R., Horvath, O., Farkas, I., Csillag, V., Finszter, C.K., Mikics, E., Toth, M.
J Neurosci ()
The role of endogenous cannabinoids in the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis regulation: in vivo and in vitro studies in CB1 receptor knockout mice Barna, I., Zelena, D., Arszovszki, A.C., Ledent, C.
Life Science ()
Control of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in the neonatal period: adrenocorticotropin and corticosterone stress responses dissociate in vasopressin-deficient brattleboro rats Zelena, D., Domokos, A., Barna, I., Mergl, Z., Haller, J., Makara, G.B.
Endocrinology ()
Nesfatin-1 exerts long-term effect on food intake and body temperature. Könczöl, K., Pintér, O., Ferenczi, S., Varga, J., Kovács, K., Palkovits, M., Zelena, D., Tóth, Z.E.
International Journal of Obesity ()

NKFIH OTKA K141934: A prefrontális kéreg energiahomeosztázisának hozzájárulása a poszttraumás stresszzavar kialakulásához; időtartam:  2019.12.01-2023.11.30

NKFIH OTKA K138763: A stresszkontroll és a depresszió kapcsolata a medián raphe szempontjából, a nemek közötti különbségek az agytörzsi kortikotropin-felszabadító hormon szerepében; időtartam: 2021.12.01-2025.11.30

NAP 3.0; időtartam: 2023.01.31-2026.12.31: Az amigdaláris vazopresszin szerepe autizmusban