Ernest Arenas Group

Professor

Ernest Arenas

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 876 63
Organizational unit: Ernest Arenas group
E-mail: Ernest.Arenas@ki.se

Ernest Arenas Lab’s site

Research Areas

Midbrain dopaminergic neuron development

  • Characterizing the molecular cascades that regulate midbrain stem cell behavior as well as dopaminergic neurogenesis, differentiation and subtype specification.
  • The functions of Wnts, their receptors and their signaling pathways, with focus on new components of the Wnt/PCP signaling.
  • The function of nuclear receptors and their ligands in midbrain dopaminergic neuron development.
  • The identification of novel factors by single cell transcriptomic, proteomic and lipidomic approaches.
  • Control of midbrain dopaminergic neurogenesis by basic-helix-loop-helix transcription factors.

Stem cells and direct reprogramming for Parkinson’s disease (PD) cell replacement therapy and drug discovery

  • Improving protocols for the efficient differentiation of human stem cells (NES, ES, and iPS cells) into substantia nigra A9 dopaminergic neurons for cell replacement therapy and drug discovery.
  • Develop 2D and 3D in vitro models of midbrain tissue for PD drug discovery using human NES/ES/iPS cells with PD mutations and isogenic controls.
  • Examine the role of Wnt signaling in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Improve protocols for the direct in vitro reprogramming of somatic cells into substantia nigra A9 dopaminergic neurons.
  • Develop a novel cell replacement therapy for PD based on the direct in vivo reprogramming of striatal astrocytes in situ, into functional A9 dopaminergic neurons.

Recent Publications

Induction of functional dopamine neurons from human astrocytes in vitro and mouse astrocytes in a Parkinson's disease model.
Rivetti di Val Cervo P, Romanov R, Spigolon G, Masini D, Martín-Montañez E, Toledo E, et al
Nat. Biotechnol. 2017 May;35(5):444-452

Molecular Diversity of Midbrain Development in Mouse, Human, and Stem Cells.
La Manno G, Gyllborg D, Codeluppi S, Nishimura K, Salto C, Zeisel A, et al
Cell 2016 Oct;167(2):566-580.e19
Supporting data and visualization

A PBX1 transcriptional network controls dopaminergic neuron development and is impaired in Parkinson's disease.
Villaescusa J, Li B, Toledo E, Rivetti di Val Cervo P, Yang S, Stott S, et al
EMBO J. 2016 Sep;35(18):1963-78

Oligodendrocyte heterogeneity in the mouse juvenile and adult central nervous system.
Marques S, Zeisel A, Codeluppi S, van Bruggen D, Mendanha Falcão A, Xiao L, et al
Science 2016 Jun;352(6291):1326-1329

Dopamine Receptor Antagonists Enhance Proliferation and Neurogenesis of Midbrain Lmx1a-expressing Progenitors.
Hedlund E, Belnoue L, Theofilopoulos S, Salto C, Bye C, Parish C, et al
Sci Rep 2016 Jun;6():26448

Dickkopf 3 Promotes the Differentiation of a Rostrolateral Midbrain Dopaminergic Neuronal Subset In Vivo and from Pluripotent Stem Cells In Vitro in the Mouse.
Fukusumi Y, Meier F, Götz S, Matheus F, Irmler M, Beckervordersandforth R, et al
J. Neurosci. 2015 Sep;35(39):13385-401

Liver X receptors and cholesterol metabolism: role in ventral midbrain development and neurodegeneration.
Theofilopoulos S, Arenas E
F1000Prime Rep 2015 ;7():37

How to make a midbrain dopaminergic neuron.
Arenas E, Denham M, Villaescusa J
Development 2015 Jun;142(11):1918-36

Cholestenoic acids regulate motor neuron survival via liver X receptors.
Theofilopoulos S, Griffiths W, Crick P, Yang S, Meljon A, Ogundare M, et al
J. Clin. Invest. 2014 Nov;124(11):4829-42

Wnt signaling in midbrain dopaminergic neuron development and regenerative medicine for Parkinson's disease.
Arenas E
J Mol Cell Biol 2014 Feb;6(1):42-53

Cxcl12/Cxcr4 signaling controls the migration and process orientation of A9-A10 dopaminergic neurons.
Yang S, Edman L, Sánchez-Alcañiz J, Fritz N, Bonilla S, Hecht J, et al
Development 2013 Nov;140(22):4554-64

Wnt5a cooperates with canonical Wnts to generate midbrain dopaminergic neurons in vivo and in stem cells.
Andersson E, Saltó C, Villaescusa J, Cajanek L, Yang S, Bryjova L, et al
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2013 Feb;110(7):E602-10

Brain endogenous liver X receptor ligands selectively promote midbrain neurogenesis.
Theofilopoulos S, Wang Y, Kitambi S, Sacchetti P, Sousa K, Bodin K, et al
Nat. Chem. Biol. 2013 Feb;9(2):126-33

Complete list of publications at PubMed

Research group

Ernest Arenas - Professor

Daniel Gyllborg - PhD Student

Kaneyasu Nishimura - Senior researcher

Alena Salasova - PhD Student

Carmen Salto - Senior researcher

Enrique Toledo - Postdoc

Dawei Zhang - Postdoc

Post-doctoral Positions

Please, send your inquiries by e-mail to ernest.arenas@ki.se and include the following information:

  • CV with publications and research experience
  • A brief outline of research interests