Paediatric cell and molecular biology – Anita Aperia and Hjalmar Brismar's research group

The Pediatric Cell and Molecular Biology lab is focused on understanding the many aspects of Na,K-ATPase (NKA). NKA is best known as the ion pump that maintains the electrochemical gradient across the plasma membrane. This enzyme has a central role in all mammalian cells and consumes more than 30% of all energy in the body.

Several years ago we published a seminal paper describing that NKA also has a signaling function, which involves the generation of slow calcium oscillations (PNAS 2001). Recent work has shown that the NKA signal is transferred to the mitochondria and may protect against the initiation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. The molecular mechanisms and the protective effects of this signal are now being studied in renal cells and neurons.

The clinical importance of these basal studies is currently tested in models of kidney disease, where the anti-apoptotic effects of cardiotonic steroids have been shown to protect from adverse fetal programming and to halt the progression of chronic kidney disease.

The lab is also involved in studies of mutant forms of neuronal NKA and other aspects of NKA pathology.

In our laboratory we use STED, PALM, dSTORM and SIM super resolution microscopy - nanoscopy. We operate the Swedish national infrastructure for super resolution microscopy within Science for Life Laboratory. (

Staff and contact

Group leader

All members of the group