Brain extracellular matrix (Brain XM)
With ambition of identifying new therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases, this thematic area will characterize the composition of the ectracellular matrix (ECM) across the central nervous system.
Relatively little is known about the structure and function of the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the brain, which constitutes about 10-20% of the brain volume. Recent findings suggest that the ECM may play a key role in brain function and pathogenic mechanisms underlying many brain diseases.
Long term objectives
- To characterize the composition and system level distribution of the brain ECM
- To unravel the roles of ECM in signaling and pathophysiological processes in the brain, such as aging and neurodegeneration.
- To identify new principles for diagnostic and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders
With complementary expertise and experimental techniques of the contributing partners, we will study relationships between ECM proteins and region-specific disease processes characteristic of different neurodegenerative disorders at a brain-wide level, employing methodologies spanning from molecular in vitro approaches to cellular, regional and whole organ in vivo investigation in healthy animals and disease models.