Student Researchers' Society Topics

Student Researchers' Society Topics

Co-supervisor: Dr. PÉTERVÁRI, Erika

We know that several pathologies affecting the central nervous system, (depression, anorexia nervosa, anxiety disorders etc.), are more common in certain periods of life. The possible role of neuromodulators expressed in the central nervous in these conditions is known for a long time, and they are studied well. It his however less known whether the age-related changes in the neuropeptide expression would contribute to the characteristic cumulation of these conditions in some age groups. 

Antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) may exert their antiproliferative effect directly on cancer cells mediated by the tumoral GHRH receptors (GHRHR) identified by us, which are associated with an increase in cAMP level and calcium influx leading to apoptosis. However, the signal transduction pathways involved in their antiproliferative effect have not yet been elucidated. Therefore, we would like to compare the gene expression profile of LNCaP human prostate cancer cells applied as a model after treatment with various GHRH analogs to that of untreated controls using cDNA microarray followed by quantitative RT-PCR validation. In addition, monoclonal antibodies have been developed against the specific sequence of tumoral GHRHR for the detection of their expression in various tumor samples. GHRH analogs, which are in progress, may offer a new approach to the therapy of androgen-independent prostate cancer and other hormone-sensitive malignancies.

Co-supervisor: Dr. FÜLÖP, Balázs Dániel

The aim of this topic is to study the relations between anatomy and its borderline sciences, with a specific attention to high-tech. As further goals we would like to discover new, innovative ideas in education and in science.

Co-supervisor: Dr. RIVNYÁK, Ádám

PACAP (pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide) is a neuropeptide that plays a complex protective role in neurodegenerative diseases. The neuroprotective effects of PACAP have been described in Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and Alzheimer's disease models in vitro and in vivo models. Our aim is to show the differences in protein expression of brain areas from PACAP knockout and wild type mice, underlying these effects. In the experiment we use a mass spectrometric imaging technique, the MALDI Imaging, which can do direct proteomic analysis from histological slides surface. To verifying the results of IMS (Imaging Mass Spectrometry) we use LC-MS and immunfluorescent staining.


Co-supervisor: Dr. SÁNDOR, Balázs

The aim of our study is the examination of the effects of endogenous pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptid (PACAP) on tooth development with comparative structural and immunohistochemical examination of  PACAP-deficient and wild-type mice. The examinations are carried out in 7-day-old and 1-year-old mice. In the second part of the study our aim is to examine the role of PACAP in various pathological conditions of the pulp (pulpitis, gangrene), by measuring PACAP38-like immunoreactivity (PACAP38-LI) in human pulp samples.

Co-supervisor: Dr. OPPER, Balázs

PACAP (pituitary adenylate-cyclase activating polipeptide) is a neuropeptide with well-known protective effects. Its protective effect has been shown in several peripheral organs. The aim of our research is to examine the effects of PACAP on intestinal cells. During our experiments we examine the effect of PACAP in different in vitro models.

Co-supervisor: Prof. Dr. REGLŐDI, Dóra

Toxic effects during pregnancy  may have serious consequences on the development of the organism. One of these effects may be substance abuse of the pregnant woman. In the present research project we would like to make a detailed evaluation of the effects of THC and other drugs  on early life development.

Co-supervisor: Dr. CSUTAK, Adrienn

The aim of our experiments is to study the effect of retinoprotective agents in different animal models (rat, mice) of retinal injuries (ischemia-reperfusion, chronic ischemia).  . Electrophysiological measurements (electroretinography, visual evoked potentials) are performed to detect the effect of different protective agents, we also complete our exmperiments with histological and biochemical examinations.  The student researchers have opportunity to learn the operation and the anesthesia of the animals,  to carry out electrophysiological measurements, and take part in the data analysis and assessment.

Co-supervisor: Dr. JÜNGLING, Adél

PACAP (pituitary adenylate-cyclase activating polypeptide) is a multifunctional neuropeptide, highly abundant in the central and peripheral nervous system. Numerous experiments have shown that PACAP has neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects both in in vivo and in vitro studies of neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s and Althezimer’s diseases. The aim of our current experiment is to compare the tissues and organs of wild type and knockout mice of different ages, especially focusing on older groups of animals (such as 18-months-old animals). For this several histologycal staining techniques, immunohistochemical and molecular biological methods are used. Additionally behavioral tests are also performed on these animals.

We are living in a "24 hour society" with flights across time zones, with shift-work, or with overnight programs being part of normal life for many people. These types of regular perturbations of our daily routine are increasingly linked to diseases of modern life such as diabetes, obesity, cancer and depression. Every cell of our body uses a molecular clock to coordinate different types of daily activities accurately, just like we use our wristwatch in our everyday life. By understanding these basic cellular mechanisms we may gain insights into how cellular oscillations contribute to health and disease.

Co-supervisor: Dr. JÜNGLING, Adél

Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a multifunctional neuropeptide, highly abundant in the central and peripheral nervous system. Numerous experiments have shown that PACAP has neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects both in in vivo and in in vitro studies. We have previously demonstrated that exogenous PACAP ameliorates the behavioral impairments and enhances dopaminergic cell survival after unilateral 6-hydoxydomanine(6-OHDA)-induced lesion of substantia nigra, a rat model of Parkinson’s disease. We have also proven earlier that PACAP deficient mice have higher vulnerability in a number of pathological conditions. The aim of the present study is to examine the effect of endogenous PACAP in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease.

Co-supervisor: Dr. ATLASZ, Tamás

Retinopathy of prematurity is a disease of the eye affecting preterm babies and leading to blindness in serious cases. Prematurity and supplemental oxygen use are among the most common causes of this disease but it is also thought that hyperglycaemia and insulin-treatment also take part in the development of ROP. Our experiment deals with the effects of the risk factors on the pathophyisiologic background in the animal model of ROP. Furthermore we investigate the potential retinoprotective impact of PACAP.   

Co-supervisor: Prof. Dr. REGLŐDI, Dóra

Few years ago we started our experiments to measure the PACAP level in human biological samples from healthy volunteers with radioimmunoassay examination. The aim of our study is  to examine the relation between PACAP level of different human tissue samples and different disorders (tumors, heart disorders, neurological and metabolic diseases).  We work in collaboration with many Clinics of the University on this project, therefore, the students can participate in basic research and also in clinical practice. 

Co-supervisor: Dr. VÁCZY, Alexandra

Our research deals with the retinoprotective effects of different neuropeptides. We investigate the ischemic retinopathy in rats after bilateral common carotid occlusion (BCCAO). After the operation we apply intravitreal neuropeptide (PACAP fragments, glucagons, secretin) injections to check their retinoprotective effects. Intravitreal injection of these peptides are not possible in clinical practice therefore the application of PACAP eye-drop is also included in our research.
Other field of our project is a commonly occuring acute problem in ophthalmology, the retinal detachment. To model this condition we inject hyaluronic acid intravitreally afterwards we treat the eyes with either PACAP injection or eye-drop. After the treatments histological processes are used to define the morphological changes.

Co-supervisor: Dr. HORVÁTH, Gábor

Nowadays enriched environment is a frequently investigated topic. Based on a review released in 2009: in the future, environmental enrichment could be an emphasized-strategy as a widely used therapeutic intervention or could work as a combination together with other neuroprotective strategies. Based on the previously mentioned points further examination of environmental enrichment is necessary. It is already confirmed that enriched environment increases the synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis, increases the number of dendritic spines and stimulates the expression of neurotrophic factors. It also positively affects the cognitive functions. For this experiment we made a dynamically changing playground for the animals. Several studies prove that enriched environment could help in lesions not only newborn and childhood ages, but adulthood as well. In toxic, hypoxic and traumatic models the positive effects of the environmental enrichment already described. We will use different animal models to follow up how long does environmental enrichment last for as a reserve capacity of central nervous system in case of lesions and how can it modify the effects of well-known neuroprotective agents.

Co-supervisor: Dr. CSUTAK, Adrienn

Functional measurements are performed to measure the mechanoniciceptive treshold of the rats using dinamic plantar aesthesiometry and Randall-Selitto test, and to determine the severity of cold allodynia. Examination of the histological alterations of peripheral nerves and the spinal cord caused by diabetes using immunohistochemistry. Electronmicroscopy and molecular biological examinations are also performed.

Co-supervisor: Dr. KERESZTES, Dóra

During traumatic injuries on site amputation may become necessary. There is no valid guide line availabla in this topic. The aim of the current research project is to comapre  the effectivity of the available amutation tools

Co-supervisor: Dr. ATLASZ, Tamás

Uveitis is the fifth among eye diseases leading to blindness. The disease is associated with severe internal inflammation of the eye, often with permanent damage in the tissues (cornea, retina, choroidea). The bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) is often responsible for the development of this disease which cause the infection in the eye directly or indirectly. Steroids are currently use as therapeutic treatment in the disease, however often they can cause severe side effects such as persistent increases in intraocular pressure and cataracts. Our group investigates the protective role of the PAC1 receptor using different neuroprotective pharmacons in a mammalian model of bacterial uveitis as a potential new target in the treatment of the disease.


Genotyping, detection of mRNA expression of hormone-receptor splice-variants with semiquantitative RT-PCR method, neuropeptide mRNA-expression assays with quantitative real-time PCR method (RT-qPCR). The aim of this topic is to give an overview about and get students involved in the PCR-based research methods we use in the Anatomy Department. We provide methodological skills for interested students who may use the acquired skills in other research topics later (e.g. in clinically oriented research topics processing patient biopsies).  

Co-supervisor: Dr. LÁSZLÓ, Eszter

PACAP (pituitary adenylate-cyclase activating polipeptide) is a neuropeptide with well-known neuroprotective and cytoprotective effects. Its protective effect has been shown in several peripheral organs. Based on studies and the results of our team it is known, that PACAP is protective in different kidney injury models. Among others, kidney transplantation and other surgical interventions can be accompanied by ischaemia-reperfusion induced kidney injury. The aim of our research is to investigate the role of endogenous and exogenous PACAP in the kidney during ischaemia-reperfusion.

Our adaptation ability to stressful events changes with age. By labeling activation markers the neuronal activation can be visualized in histological samples. The aim of the project is to map how the age-related alterations change the functions of various brain areas.  

The neurpeptide urocortin1is a member of the corticotropin releasing factor peptide family. Its main expression site is the Edinger-Westphal nucleus. We have shown the activation of these cells in several stress models. The aim of the project is to test the effect of stress models to understand the function of the nucleus, and to map its the connections. 

The pre- and perinatal periods are the crucial points of ontogeny during which the developing fetus and later the newborn may be exposed to several harmful stimuli. Our research group investigate the consequences of, maybe the two most commonly occur harmful impacts, smoking and stress during pregnancy on the early neurobehavioral development of rat pups. The examination follow the appearance or disappearance of physical signs and neurological reflexes of the newborn pups during the first three weeks of life. Nowdays we can get a closer look inside the molecular background of smoking and stress-effect, therefore histological processes are also included in the investigation.

Co-supervisor: Dr. POLGÁR, Beáta

PACAP is present in the human milk and we found that PACAP38-LI is 5-20 times higher in the milk than in the respective plasma samples. The exact function of the peptide is not known at the moment. It may be required for the development of the newborn; important as an immunomodulator during postnatal period; important factor in the growth of the mammary gland itself or play regulatory role at hypothalamo/pituitary levels. To prove the function of PACAP in the milk, we use normal and human breast cancer cell lines to investigate the antiapoptotic effect of PACAP against oxidative stress. Moreover, we examine the effect of PACAP on lactogenic hormone induced terminally differentiated HC11 mouse mammary cells. We also continue our research with the examination of PACAP level in different milk samples.  

Co-supervisor: Dr. FÜLÖP, Balázs Dániel

Recently, we examined the role of the endogenous PACAP in the inner ear. We measured the expression of Ca2+-binding proteins in the hair cells of the inner ear in normal conditions and after kanamycin-induced ototoxocity. The elevated Ca2+-binding protein expression in PACAP-deficient mice suggests the important role of endogenous PACAP in the inner ear function. Our newest experiments involve functional tests (BERA) and we would like to complete our research with the examination of the role of the exogenous PACAP in this model. Moreover, we are planning to continue with our morphological research, detecting the expressional changes of the c-fos protein in different parts of the auditory pathway.

Co-supervisor: Dr. FÜLÖP, Balázs Dániel

This is our recently started project regarding the role of PACAP in a hind limb ischaemic model in mice. In this experiment we ligate the femoral artery of wild type and PACAP knockout mice and then we detect the blood flow of the plantar region using a camera which detects the blood perfusion based on Doppler effect. We take samples from the ischaemic muscle tissue and show the capillary density with immunofluorescens staining in the ischaemic muscles to elucidate the differences between the post ischaemic angiogenesis of the wild type and PACAP deficient mice. We also plan to evaluate the protein profile of the iscaemic muscle tissues with different array kits. 

Co-supervisor: Dr. LENGYEL, Zsuzsanna

In 2007, World Health Organization (WHO) considered shift work as „probably carcinogenic”. Among others, UVB irradiation and lead exposure are listed in this category of environmental factors. A study from 2009 proposes shift work influencing the health and lifestyle of 20% of the world’s population. In shift workers, the 24 hour biological clock (circadian clock) is unable to harmonize cellular functions to the constantly changing environmental cycles. Since 90% of our genes are activated in a regular daily rhythm – e.g. the genes for cell cycle control - the disruption of timing mechanisms makes our cells more vulnerable to cancer formation. It has been shown recently that the molecular clock in numerous tumor types is not working properly at the tissue level. Therefore, identification of mechanisms responsible for synchronizing cellular clocks at the tissue level may shed light on new approaches in the prevention or in the therapy of different malignant tumors.

Co-supervisor: Dr. ATLASZ, Tamás

The number of people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) has increased over the years due to obesity. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the most common microvascular complication of diabetes mellitus, which remains a leading cause of blindness. Nowadays, anti-VEGEF therapy is a prominent clinical treatment strategy in DR, which only effective in the late stages of the disease and several patients not respond optimally for this. Exercise is considered an integral component of cost-effective therapy for diabetes. However, the safety and benefits of exercise for patients with diabetic retinopathy have not been established due to complication of vitreo retinal hemorrhages, which may be exacerbated by the non optimal physical activity. Our research team has been studying various retinal degeneration models for nearly 10 years, where we have successfully proved the anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) treatment. The neuroprotective effect of PACAP in DR is also supported in type 1 diabetes where it increased the survival rate of the retinal neurons. The aim of this study on the one hand is to investigate the role of exogenous PACAP eyedrops therapy in diabetic retinopathy animal model in type 2 diabetes. We examine the role of PACAP and its receptors (especially the PAC1) in the appropriate context. On the other hand, we would like to optimize a physical activity protocol that could be use as an integrated therapy next to PACAP treatment to delay or reduce the T2D-induced DR symptoms.

Co-supervisor: Dr. GASZNER, Tamás

Co-inciding genetic background, epigenetic effects and acquired chronic stress factors precipitate the symptoms of depression. The PACAP deficient mouse exerts depression like phenotype. Exposing them to maternal deprivation causing epigenetic changing, followed by chronic stress exposure in adulthood may provoke the occurrence of depression. To validate our model we perform behavioral tests, hormone measurements, determine the changes in brain neurotransmitter- and neuromodulator systems, and measure neuronal activation as well. 

Co-supervisor: Dr. UJVÁRI, Balázs