PACAP Research Team

PACAP Research Team  (MTA-PTE PACAP Research Team)


Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) is an antiapototic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant neuropeptide with potent neuroprotective and general cytoprotective effects. Our research has been focusing on the different physiological and pathological effects of PACAP for 20 years. We are investigating the effects of PACAP in different in vitro and in vivo models of injuries. We are also conducting human studies, where we study changes of PACAP/PACAP receptor expression in pathological conditions.

Lack of endogenous PACAP, in KO mice, leads to increased vulnerability to various stressors. Associated with this increased oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammation, KO mice show early aging signs. According to our preliminary observations, brains of aging mice show early neuronal degeneration. We have described accelerated pre-senile systemic amyloidosis in PACAP deficient mice, indicating the importance of PACAP in anti-aging processes.

Main research areas

  • PACAP and aging
  • PACAP KO mice – phenotype and physiology
  • Role of PACAP in reproduction (spermatogenesis, trophoblast physiology, presence of PACAP in follicular fluid, testis development, ovarian structure, placental presence and effects, early embryonic development).
  • Role of PACAP in bone and cartilage development and regeneration
  • PACAP in tooth development
  • Ocular effects of PACAP: models of retina diseases, retinoprotective effects, retinal aging, effects of PACAP analogs and related peptides, applicatin of PACAP in form of eye drops, corneal effects. Presence and changes of PACAP expression in the human eye. PACAP signaling in the eye.
  • Neuroprotective effects of  PACAP neuroprotektív in Parkinson’s disease  
  • Changes of PACAP expression in clinical samples, potential role as biomarker
  • Changes of PACAP and receptor expression in human cancers
  • Changes in transcriptomics and proteomics after PAAP treatments
  • Protective role of PACAP in kidney disease models
  • Cellular protective mechanism, in normal and pathological cell lines, exposed to different injuries
  • Role of PACAP in hearing
  • Role of PACAP in addictions
  • Role of PACAP in diabetes related conditions (nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy)
  • Presence of PACAP in human and animal milk
  • Signaling pathways of PACAP in tumor cell lines (breast cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, retinoblastoma)
  • Vascular effects of PACAP

Participating researchers

Leader of the research team: Reglődi Dóra

Assistant director: Tamás Andrea

Senior researchers:

Tamás Andrea, Atlasz Tamás, Kiss Péter, Lubics Andrea, Horváth Gabriella, Opper Balázs, Fábián Eszter

PhD students:

Jüngling Adél, Fülöp Balázs, Rivnyák Ádám, Szabó Edina, Váczy Alexandra, Vass Réka

External PhD students: Schäfer Eszter, Illés Anita, Sridharan Manavalan, Szabó Dóra

Student researchers:

Kővári Petra, Vicena Viktória, Sparks Jason, Gyurok Gergő, Herman Adél, Farkas Kinga, Bábindeli Cintia

Most important collaborations, international and national collaborations:

International collaborations


 Dept. of Anatomy,  Showa University, Tokyo, Japan

 Prof. Seiji Shioda, Tomoya Nakamachi, Hirokazu Ohtaki

PACAP expression in cornea, effects of PACAP in the cornea, retina, PAC1 expression  


 Laboratory of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, Japan

 H. Hashimoto, A. Baba, N. Shintani

 PACAP KO mice


Inst. of Cytology, Histology and Histopathology, Trier, Germany

Attila Bárdosi, Sebastian Bardosi

 PACAP KO mice – histolgoical analysis, amyloidosis, expression of PACAP and PAC1 receptor in human tumors


 Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington DC, USA

 Yousef Tizabi

 PACAP’s neuroprotective effects in neuroblastoma cells against different injuries


 INSERM U413, University of Rouen, Rouen, France

 David Vaudry

 PACAP fragments and analogs in neuroprotection


University of Washington, Seattle, USA

 WA Banks, Therese Salameh

 PACAP – passage across blood retina barrier


 Department of Human Anatomy and Psychobiology, School of Medicine, Campus Espinardo,University of Murcia, Spain

 Maria-Trinidad Herrero

 PACAP in models of Parkinson’s disease, aging and retinal aging in Degu


Department of Microbiology and Hygiene, Charité – University Medicine Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany

Markus Heimesaat

 PACAP  - in intestinal inflammatory models, encephalitis models. Antimocrobal effects of PACAP, intestinal flora in PACAP KO mice


 Dept. of Anatomy & Histology, National University of Health Sciences,St.Petersburg, Florida, USA

 Sridharan Manavalan

 Retinoprotektive agents, PACAP and PAC1 receptor KO mice, protective effects in neuroblastoma cell lines


 Biomedical Institute of Jinan University, Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

 Rongjie Yu

 PACAP-TAT peptide – retinoprotective effects


Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Marburg, Germany

Ildikó Dunay

PACAP  - effects in toxoplasma encephalitis model


Neuropsychopharmacology and Toxicology Program, College of Pharmacy

Kangwon National University, South-Korea

Hyoung-Chun Kim

PACAP  - effects in addiction and epilepsy


Instituto de Química y Fisicoquímica Biológicas (UBA-CONICET), Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Marta Antonelli

Prenatal stress models


Reynolds Oklahoma Center on Aging, Department of Geriatric Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma, USA

Ungvári Zoltán, Csiszár Anna

PACAP in aging


Zentrum für Pathologie Kempten-Allgäu Germany

László Füzesi

PACAP expression in human tumors


Institute of Pathology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

Remi Longuespee

Examination of PACAP KO samples with mass spectrometry


Karolinska Inst., Sweden

Csaba Adori

quantification of the dendritic arborization and the number of DA cell bodies  in models of Parkinson’s disease