Hökfelt Laboratory

Professor, senior

Tomas Hökfelt

Phone: 08-524 870 70
Organizational unit: Department of Neuroscience (Neuro), C4
E-mail: Tomas.Hokfelt@ki.se

Research focus

Chemical Neurotransmission Research
Our research is focused on chemical messengers in the nervous and endocrine systems, mainly based on histochemical techniques: immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridiza­tion. We also use molecular biological approaches including RT-PCR and have created some transgenic animals.

We are interested in the concept that a neuron produces and re­leases more than one transmitter substance. In particular, our work has focused on the role of neuropeptides in the central and peripheral nervous system, including substance P, cholecystokinin (CCK), galanin and neuropeptide Y (NPY), four peptides that have been discovered by scientists at Karolinska Institutet. These peptides often have a modulating role, exerting their effects via 7-transmembrane, G-protein-coupled receptors. The peptide systems are involved in numerous functions, for example control of food intake, as well as in various diseases such as obesity, anorexia nervosa, pain and depression.

We are now particularly interested in studying human tissues to validate hypotheses based on rodent experiments with the aim to understand mechanisms underlying pain and depression and to develop novel strategies for treatment of these disorders .

Selected publications

Critical role of somatostatin receptor 2 in the vulnerability of the central noradrenergic system: new aspects on Alzheimer's disease.
Ádori C, Glück L, Barde S, Yoshitake T, Kovacs G, Mulder J, et al
Acta Neuropathol. 2015 Apr;129(4):541-63

Narcolepsy patients have antibodies that stain distinct cell populations in rat brain and influence sleep patterns.
Bergman P, Adori C, Vas S, Kai-Larsen Y, Sarkanen T, Cederlund A, et al
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2014 Sep;111(35):E3735-44

Neuronal calcium-binding proteins 1/2 localize to dorsal root ganglia and excitatory spinal neurons and are regulated by nerve injury.
Zhang M, Tortoriello G, Hsueh B, Tomer R, Ye L, Mitsios N, et al
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2014 Mar;111(12):E1149-58

Brain galanin system genes interact with life stresses in depression-related phenotypes.
Juhasz G, Hullam G, Eszlari N, Gonda X, Antal P, Anderson I, et al
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2014 Apr;111(16):E1666-73

Distinct features of neurotransmitter systems in the human brain with focus on the galanin system in locus coeruleus and dorsal raphe.
Le Maître E, Barde S, Palkovits M, Diaz-Heijtz R, Hökfelt T
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2013 Feb;110(6):E536-45

Group members

Agnieszka LimiszewskaResearch assistant
Blanca Silva LopezBiomedical scientist
Csaba AdoriSenior researcher
Jaekyung ShinPostdoc
Jan MulderSenior researcher
Karin LagermanAdministrator
Lora DeuitchPhD student
Magdalena CiszewskaResearch assistant
Nicholas MitsiosSenior lab manager
Swapnali BardePhD student
Tomas HökfeltProfessor
Tony Jimenez-BeristainBiomedical scientist
Zhi-Qing XuSenior researcher