Retina Research Group

Retina Research Group

in vivo research (rodent model: mice and rats)


Our research focus is on retinal degeneration disorders in rodents (eg ischemia, glucoma, retinopathy), models of human ocular diseases. We examine effects and biochemical signaling pathways of the neuroprotective pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) in different pathological conditions. We also test administration methods (eyedrops, intrevireal injection) of this protein to ameliorate the disorder caused degenerations in the eye. We investigate several other retinoprotective drugs and strategies. We also investigate the structure of human retina during development and also during tumorgenesis, like effects on retinoblastoma cell lines. In addition to the retinal studies, we also investigate effects of PACAP on corneal regeneration as well as tear secretion.

Current topics of the research group

  • Effects of PACAP fragments, related peptides and analogs on the retina
  • Role of PACAP in endotoxin caused retinal inflammmation
  • Role of PACAP in glaucoma model
  • Role of PACAP in Parkinson-disease caused retinal disorders
  • Role of PACAP in Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and ROP+hyperglycemia model
  • Role of PACAP in ischemic (BCCAO) retinopathy model
  • Role of PACAP in diabetic retinopathy
  • Role of PACAP in ageing retina
  • Effects of PARP inhibitors on retinal injuries
  • Protective effects of enriched environment in retinal degeneration
  • Effects of smoke exposure on retinal injuries
  • Structure of human retina during development

Laboratory equipment and methods

ERG, OCT, light- and stereo microscope, hypoxic chamber, citokin array, apoptosis detection kit, western blot, immunhistochemistry, histology, proteomics analysis, transcriptomics

Research Group Members

  • Tamás Atlasz Ph.D, associate professor
  • Dóra. Reglődi M.D., Ph.D, full professor
  • Edina Szabó, assistant professor
  • Alexandra Váczy, assistant professor
  • Tímea Kvárik M.D., resident doctor
  • Barbara Mammel M.D., resident doctor
  • Dóra Werling MD, Ph.D, resident doctor
  • Ester Fabian, assistant professor
  • Adam Rivnyak, assistant professor

TDK students

  • Petra Kővári
  • Kinga Farkas
  • Eszter Liziczai
  • Flóra Mayer
  • Evelin Patkó
  • Dorottya Molitor
  • Eszter Flóra Horányi

Selected publications on these topics

  1. Werling D, Banks WA, Salameh TS, Kvarik T, Kovacs LA, Vaczy A, Szabo E, Mayer F, Varga R, Tamas A, Toth G, Biro Zs, Atlasz T*, Reglodi D*. Passage through the ocular barriers and beneficial effects in retinal ischemia of topical application of PACAP1-38 in rodents. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;18(2). pii: E406. (IF:3,226) (equal contribution)
  2. Atlasz T, Vaczy A, Werling D, Kiss P, Tamas A, Kovacs K, Fabian E, Kvarik T, Mammel B, Danyadi B, Lokos E, Reglodi D. Neuroprotective effects of PACAP in the retina. In: Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase Activating Polypeptide – PACAP, edited by Dora Reglodi and Andrea Tamas. Springer Nature, New York. pp. 501-527.
  3. Kvarik T, Mammel B, Reglodi D, Kovacs K, Werling D, Bede B, Vaczy A, Fabian E, Toth G, Kiss P, Tamas A, Ertl T, Gyarmati J, Atlasz T. PACAP is protective in a rat model of retinopathy of prematurity. J Mol Neurosci 2016; 60: 179-185 (IF: 2,229)
  4. Nakamachi T, Ohtaki H, Seki T, Yofu S, Kagami N, Hashimoto H, Shintani N, Baba A, Mark L, Lanekoff I, Kiss P, Farkas J, Reglodi D, Shioda S. PACAP suppresses dry eye signs by stimulating tear secretion. Nature Communications 2016; 7:12034 (IF: 12,124).
  5. Werling D, Reglodi D, Banks WA, Salameh TS, Kovacs K, Kvarik T, Vaczy A, Kovacs L, Mayer F, Danyadi B, Lokos E, Tamas A, Toth G, Biro Zs, Tamas A, Atlasz T. Ocular delivery of PACAP1-27 protects the retina from ischemic damage in rodents. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016; 57:6683-6691
  6. Szabadfi K, Estrada C, Fernandez-Villalba E, Tarragon E, Setalo Gy, Izura V, Reglodi D, Tamas A, Gabriel R, Herrero MT. Retinal aging in the diurnal Chilean rodent (Octodon degus): histological, ultrastructural and neurochemical alterations of the vertical information processing pathway. Front Cell Neurosci 2015; 9:126 (IF: 4,609)
  7. Danyadi B, Szabadfi K, Reglodi D, Mihalik A, Danyadi T, Kovacs Zs, Batai I, Tamas A, Kiss P, Toth G, Gabriel R. PACAP application improves functional outcome of chronic retinal ischemic injury in rats – evidence from electroretinographic measurements. J Mol Neurosci 2014; 54: 293-299 (IF: 2,343).
  8. Szabadfi K, Szabo A, Kiss P, Reglodi D, Setalo Gy, Tamas A, Toth G, Gabriel R. PACAP promotes neuron survival in early experimental diabetic retinopathy. Neurochem Int 2014; 64: 84-91 (IF 3,092)
  9. Vaczy A, Reglodi D, Somoskeoy T, Kovacs K, Lokos E, Szabo E, Tamas A, Atlasz T. The protective role of PAC1-receptor agonist maxadilan in BCCAO-induced retinal degeneration. J Mol Neurosci 2016; 60: 186-194. (IF: 2,229)
  10. Werling D, Reglodi D, Kiss P, Toth G, Szabadfi K, Tamas A, Biro Zs, Atlasz T. Investigation of PACAP fragments and related peptides in chronic retinal hypoperfusion J Ophthalmology 2014:563812. (IF: 1,425).
  11. Fabian E, Reglodi D, Mester L, Szabo A, Szabadfi K, Tamas A, Toth G, Kovacs K. Effects of PACAP on intracellular signaling pathways in human retinal pigment epithelial cells exposed to oxidative stress. J Mol Neurosci 2012; 48: 493-500 (IF: 2.891)
  12. Szabadfi K, Atlasz T, Kiss P, Danyadi B, Tamas A, Helyes Zs, Hashimoto H, Shintani N, Baba A, Toth G, Gabriel R, Reglodi D. Mice deficient in pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) are more susceptible to retinal ischemic injury in vivo. Neurotox Res 2012; 21: 41-48. (IF: 2.865)
  13. Mester L, Kovacs K, Racz B, Solti I, Atlasz T, Szabadfi K, Tamas A, Reglodi D. Pitutary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide is protective against oxidative stress in human retinal pigment epithelial cells. J Mol Neurosci 2011; 43: 35-43. (IF. 2.504)
  14. Szabo A, Danyadi B, Bognar E, Szabadfi K, Fabian E, Kiss P, Mester L, Manavalan S, Atlasz T, Gabriel R, Toth G, Tamas A, Reglodi D*, Kovacs K. Effect of PACAP on MAP kinases, Akt and cytokine expressions in rat retinal hypoperfusion. Neurosci Lett 2012; 523: 91-98. (IF: 2.026)
  15. Mester L, Szabo A, Atlasz T, Szabadfi K, Reglodi D, Kiss P, Racz B, Tamas A, Gallyas F, Sumegi B, Hocsak E, Gabriel R, Kovacs K. Protection against chronic hypoperfusion-induced retinal neurodegeneration by PARP inhibition via activation of PI3-kinase Akt pathway and suppression of JNK and p38 MAP kinases. Neurotox Res 2009; 18: 68-76. 
  16. Atlasz T, Szabadfi K, Kiss P, Babai N, Kőszegi Z, Tamás A, Reglődi D, Gábriel R. PACAP-mediated neuroprotection of neurochemically identified cell types in MSG-induced retinal regeneration. J Mol Neurosci 2008; 36: 97-104. (IF: 2.061)
  17. Gaál V, Márk L, Kiss P, Kustos I, Tamás A, Kocsis B, Lubics A, Németh V, Németh A, Lujber L, Pytel J, Tóth G, Reglődi D. Investigation of the effects of PACAP on the composition of tear and endolymph proteins. J Mol Neurosci 2008; 36: 321-329. (IF: 2.061)
  18. Atlasz T, Babai N, Kiss P, Reglődi D, Tamás A, Szabadfi K, Tóth G, Hegyi O, Lubics A, Gábriel R. Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide is protective in bilateral carotid occlusion-induced retinal lesion in rats. Gen Comp Endocrinol 2007; 153: 108-114. (IF: 2,562)
  19. Atlasz T, Babai N, Reglődi D, Kiss P, Tamás A, Bari F, Domoki F, Gábriel R. Diazoxide is protective in the rat retina against ischemic injury induced by bilateral carotid occlusion and glutamate-induced degeneration. Neurotox Res 2007; 12: 105-111. (IF: 5.234)
  20. Rácz B, Gallyas F Jr, Kiss P, Tamás A, Lubics A, Lengvári I, Rőth E, Tóth G, Hegyi O, Verzár Zs, Fabricsek Cs, Reglődi D. Effects of pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) on the PKA-Bad-14-3-3 signaling pathway in glutamate-induced retinal injury in neonatal rats. Neurotox Res 2007; 12: 95-104.(IF: 5.234)
  21. Rácz B, Gallyas F Jr., Kiss P, Tóth G, Hegyi O, Gasz B, Borsiczky B, Ferencz A, Rőth E, Tamás A, Lengvári I, Lubics A, Reglődi D. The neuroprotective effects of PACAP in monosodium glutamate-induced retinal lesion involves inhibition of proapoptotic signaling pathways. Regul Pept 2006; 137: 20-26. (IF: 2,442)