In the adult mammalian brain few neurogenic niches that include the main and accessory olfactory bulb and the hippocampus, are maintained. In addition, a latent neurogenic potential is present in the brain parenchyma and can be specifically activated in relevant conditions such as brain lesions, as we and others have recently demonstrated.
Our research interest is focused on the study of these neurogenic niches by tackling different aspects of the process that govern the generation and integration of new neurons into pre-existing neuronal circuits in the adult brain. Our studies contributed to the definition of the morphological, molecular and functional features of postnatal/adult neurogenic zones, including neural stem cell niches and parenchymal progenitors, in brain homeostasis and in animal models of lesion/neurodegeneration. We are also interested in unravel the potential role of adult-born neurons in olfactory sensory processing with particular attention to olfactory experiences that are behaviourally relevant.
In our research we combine a series of well-established behavioral tests to morphological and neuroanatomical approaches, including histological/anatomical and confocal imaging techniques and brain surgery, coupled to genetic tools using viral vectors and transgenic mouse lines. Moreover, we are improving our optical approaches together with in vivo two-photon imaging to study how these neurons develop and maintain, in vivo.
To learn more about us please visit our website @NICO: