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Department of Neurophysiology
Laboratory of Defensive Conditioned Reflexes
Laboratory of Ethology
Laboratory of Limbic System
Laboratory of Molecular and Systemic Neuromorphology
Interinstitute Laboratory of Neuromuscular Plasticity
Laboratory of Neuropsychology
Laboratory of Psychophysiology
Laboratory of Reinnervation Processes
Laboratory of Visual System
Laboratory of Preclinical Studies in Neurodegenerative Diseases
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nencki.gov.pl » Working Groups » Department of Neurophysiology »
Interinstitute Laboratory of Neuromuscular Plasticity
(Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology and Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering)


Anna CABAJ (Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering), Teresa GÓRSKA, Anna KĘDZIOREK-PIETRYKA, Irena ŁAPIŃSKA, Henryk MAJCZYŃSKI, Katarzyna MALESZAK (Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering)

Research profile

Devoted to the investigation of the plasticity processes in the neuromuscular system and the neural control of locomotion in rats. Particularly the research involves the analysis of functional aspects of muscle recovery after central and peripheral nervous system injury in young as well as in adult rats. Moreover, changes in the locomotor fore- and hindlimb movements and the recovery of inter-limb and intra-limb coordination after spinal cord lesions of different extent in rats are investigated. The main interest is given to search for the new rehabilitation techniques that can stimulate the neuromuscular plasticity mechanisms responsible for restitution of muscle functions after various nervous system injuries. Particularly the effects of the rehabilitation approaches that employ intraspinal neural transplantation, pharmacological treatment and intensive locomotor training are investigated.

Current research activities

  • investigation of the role of the perturbation of the neuromuscular interaction on the development of muscle, motoneurone, and motor units in rats;
  • influence of different pharmacological drugs on the recovery of extensor and flexor muscles after peripheral nervous system injury in rats (sciatic crush or partial denervation);
  • electromyographic and kinematic studies of locomotion in intact adult rats as well as in rats after spinal cord injuries (partial lesions, hemisection and total spinal cord transection);
  • investigation of the role of monoaminergic systems in locomotion of intact rats and on the recovery of hindlimb motor functions after partial spinal cord injuries in rats (systemic and intrathecal administration of different pharmacological drugs);
  • behavioural and electrophysiological studies upon the recovery of motor functions in adult rats with their spinal cord totally transected after transplantation of embryonic neural tissue;
  • functional and electrophysiological investigation of neurodegenerative disease progression in transgenic rats (SOD1) – an animal model of amyothrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • investigation of neural networks; identification of various types of neurones and interneurones and analysis of their functional properties.

Selected publications

Górska T., Chojnicka-Gittins B., Majczyński H., Zmysłowski W. (2007)Overground locomotion after incomplete spinal lesions in the rat: quantitative gait analysis. J Neurotrauma 24: 1198-1218.

Sanusi J., Sławińska U., Vrbova G., Navarrete R. (2007) Effect of precocious locomotor activity on the development of motoneurones and motor units of slow and fast muscles in rat. Behav Brain Res  178:1-9

Celichowski J. , Mrówczyński W., Krutki P., Górska T., Majczński H., Sławińska U. (2006) Changes of contractile properties of motor units in the rat medial gastrocnemius muscle after total transection of the spinal cord. Exp Physiol 91: 887-95

Majczyński H ., Cabaj A., Sławińska U., Górska T. (2006) Intrathecal administration of yohimbine impairs locomotion in intact rats. Behav Brain Res 175: 315-322

Majczyński H ., Maleszak K., Cabaj A. Sławińska U. (2005) Serotonin-related enhancement of recovery of hind limb motor functions in spinal rats after grafting of embryonic raphe nuclei. J Neurotrauma 22:590-60

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Published at: 2007-11-19 11:06

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