Fuzik Laboratory - Neuronal circuits of anxiety

Probing neuronal connectivity, plasticity and identity is crucial to understand the architecture of neuronal circuits. We are looking at neuronal networks of the periaqueductal gray matter (PAG).

Research focus

The periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) is a midbrain structure processing threatful and panicogenic stimuli and involved in the regulation of autonomic functions. Direct stimulation of PAG neurons in humans and in rodents evokes panic-like behavior and associated autonomic responses. However, the identity of PAG neurons and the circuit motifs process the threat- and panic-related information is poorly understood.

We use viral labeling to study anatomy of projections and electrophysiology, Patch-Seq, and high-throughput voltage imaging combined with RNA-transcriptomics (Voltage-Seq) to dissect the PAG networks in naïve and panic-like neuronal circuits; we use in vivo mouse optogenetics and behavior to induce and validate panic-like states.

Our research has a special angle on sex-differences as this factor strongly determines the susceptibility to panic disorder. We identify the neuronal types and circuit motifs with pioneering techniques to detect molecular and physiological changes in male and female circuits of panic-like state.

Group members

Janos Fuzik

Assistant Professor, Group leader

Veronika Csillag

Postdoctoral studies

Research support

  • Åke Wibergs Stiftelse, Sweden
  • BBRF NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, USA
  • Jeansson Stiftelse, Sweden
  • Swedish Brain Foundation, Sweden
  • The Strategic Research Area Neuroscience (StratNeuro), Sweden
  • Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council), Sweden
  • Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Thurings Stiftesle, Sweden

Selected publications

Brain-wide genetic mapping identifies the indusium griseum as a prenatal target of pharmacologically unrelated psychostimulants.
Fuzik J, Rehman S, Girach F, Miklosi AG, Korchynska S, Arque G, Romanov RA, Hanics J, Wagner L, Meletis K, Yanagawa Y, Kovacs GG, Alpár A, Hökfelt TGM, Harkany T
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 Dec;116(51):25958-25967

Functional Differentiation of Cholecystokinin-Containing Interneurons Destined for the Cerebral Cortex.
Calvigioni D, Máté Z, Fuzik J, Girach F, Zhang MD, Varro A, Beiersdorf J, Schwindling C, Yanagawa Y, Dockray GJ, McBain CJ, Hökfelt T, Szabó G, Keimpema E, Harkany T
Cereb Cortex 2017 Apr;27(4):2453-2468

Integration of electrophysiological recordings with single-cell RNA-seq data identifies neuronal subtypes.
Fuzik J, Zeisel A, Máté Z, Calvigioni D, Yanagawa Y, Szabó G, Linnarsson S, Harkany T
Nat Biotechnol 2016 Feb;34(2):175-183

Protracted brain development in a rodent model of extreme longevity.
Penz OK, Fuzik J, Kurek AB, Romanov R, Larson J, Park TJ, Harkany T, Keimpema E
Sci Rep 2015 Jun;5():11592

Miswiring the brain: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol disrupts cortical development by inducing an SCG10/stathmin-2 degradation pathway.
Tortoriello G, Morris CV, Alpar A, Fuzik J, Shirran SL, Calvigioni D, Keimpema E, Botting CH, Reinecke K, Herdegen T, Courtney M, Hurd YL, Harkany T
EMBO J 2014 Apr;33(7):668-85

Fundamental interstrain differences in cortical activity between Wistar and Sprague-Dawley rats during global ischemia.
Fuzik J, Gellért L, Oláh G, Herédi J, Kocsis K, Knapp L, Nagy D, Kincses ZT, Kis Z, Farkas T, Toldi J
Neuroscience 2013 Jan;228():371-81