Neuronal Circuits and Behaviour

Neuronal Circuits and Behaviour

Neuronal Circuits and Behaviour



Principal Investigator: Juliana M Rosa



Research and Aims:


Our group aims to understand how we can restore neural circuit function after CNS injuries by targeting glial cell types.


Neuroscience nowadays has several challenges that with the advance of sophisticated techniques we are just starting to unravel. One of these challenges is to understand the role of glia cells, not only as a by-product of neuronal activity or through the lens of neuronal function, but as an individual entity that can support and adapt to the environment and therefore modulate brain activity in health and disease. Astrocytes, one of the glial cell types in the brain, tile the entire central nervous system and serve multiple roles that are essential for the normal brain development and function in health and disease (Rosa et al., 2016 eLife; Rosa et al., 2021 British J Pharmacol; Miguel-Quesada et al., 2023 Cell Reports).


In our group, we investigate how astrocytes and neurons interact within specific sensory circuitries to generate a particular behavior. Moreover, we use new state-of-the-art techniques to modulate astrocyte activity with the final goal to find new therapeutical strategies to remodel and rewire neuronal circuitries after CNS injuries.



Main research lines:


1. Determine the role of astrocytes in the processing of sensory information in health and after CNS injuries.
2. Explore and develop new strategies to manipulate the astrocyte-neuron interaction to promote neural circuits repair/plasticity and functional recovery after CNS injuries.
3. In vivo evaluation of new biomaterials for reconnecting neuronal circuitries.





In vivo (miniScope) and ex vivo live imaging
In vivo and ex vivo Electrophysiology
Genetic manipulation and viral strategies (Cre-Lox system, optogenetics, FosTrap, DREADDs, AAVs, GECIs)
Behaviour tests and Anatomical assessments
Computer programming



Selected publications:

(only selected articles, for more information see ORCID: 0000-0003-0857-3746)



- Miguel-Quesada C, Herrera-Pérez S, Zaforas M, Lines J, Fernández-López E, Alonso-Calviño E, Araque A, Aguilar J, Rosa JM. (2023) Astrocytes adjust the dynamic range of cortical network activity to control modality-specific sensory information processing. 42(8):112950. Cell Reports (Cell Press) doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112950 (IF: 9.99 D1)


- Alonso-Calviño E, Fernández-López E, Zaforas M, Rosa JM, Aguilar J. (2023) Increased excitability and reduced GABAergic levels in somatosensory cortex under chronic spinal cord injury. Exp Neurol. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2023.114504 (IF: 5.6, Q1)


- Soto V, Díez-Dominguez E, Herrera-Perez S, Rosa JM et al., Effects of transcranial static magnetic field stimulation over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on random number generation. (2023) Clinical Neurophysiology, 149:18-24 (IF: 4.86, D1)


- Rosa JM; Farré-Alins V; Ortega MC; et al; Egea J. (2021). TLR4 pathway impairs synaptic number and cerebrovascular functions through astrocyte activation following traumatic brain injury. British Journal of Pharmacology. 178-17, pp.3395-3413. doi: 10.1111/bph.15488 (IF: 9.47, D1)


- Domínguez-Bajo A*, Rosa JM*, González-Mayorga A, et al. (2021). Nanostructured gold electrodes promote neural maturation and network connectivity. *co-first Biomaterials 279: 121186 doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2021.121186 (IF: 15.3, D1)


- Zaforas M*, Rosa JM*, Alonso-Calviño E, Fernández-López E, Miguel-Quesada C, Oliviero A, Aguilar J. (2021). Cortical layer-specific modulation of neuronal activity after sensory deprivation due to spinal cord injury. *co-first authors. doi: 10.1113/JP281901 Journal of Physiology. 20-599, pp.4643-4669 (IF: 6.22, Q1)


- Dafre AL, Rosa JM, Rodrigues ALS, Cunha MP. (2020) Multiple cellular targets involved in the antidepressant-like effect of glutathione. Chemico-Biological Interactions, 328-109195 doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2020.109195. (IF: 5.19, D1)


- Parada E, Casas AI, Palomino-Antolin A, Gomez_Rangel V, Rubio-Navarro A, Farre-Alins V, Narros-Fernandez P, Guerrero-Hue M, Moreno JA, Rosa JM, Hernandez-Garcia B, Egea J. (2019) Early toll-like receptor 4 blockade reduces ROS and inflammation triggered by microglial pro-inflammatory phenotype in rodent and human brain ischaemia models. British Journal of Pharmacology, doi: 10.1111/bph.14703 (IF 9.97, D1)


- Rosa JM, Morrie RD, Baertchs HC, Feller M. (2016) Contributions of Rod and Cone Pathways to Retinal Direction Selectivity Through Development, The Journal of Neuroscience 36(37): 9683-9695. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3824-15.2016 (IF 5.98, Q1)


- Rosa JM, Ruhle S, Ding H, Lagnado L. (2016) Crossover Inhibition Generates Sustained Visual Responses in the Inner Retina, Neuron 90(2):308-19. (IF 14.4, D1)


- Rosa JM, Bos R, Sack GS, Fortuny C, Agarwal A, Bergles DE, Flannery JG, Feller M. (2015) Neuron-glia interaction in developing retina mediated by neurotransmitter spillover, eLife 10.7554. (IF 8.28, D1)


- Rosa JM, Feller MB. (2014 ) Neurodevelopment: a novel role for activity in shaping retinal circuits. Current Biology. 24(19):R964-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.002. (IF: 9.57 D1)


- Esposti F, Johnston J, Rosa JM, Leung KM, Lagnado L. (2013) Olfactory stimulation selectively modulates the OFF pathway in the retina of zebrafish. Neuron. 79(1):97-110. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.05.001. (IF 15.98, D1)






Juliana M Rosa (Principal Investigator, Group Leader)
Marina Sánchez-Petidier (Juan de la Cierva Postdoctoral Researcher)
Verónica Barranco Maresca (PhD student)
Andrea Misol Ortiz (PhD student, shared with Neurophysiology Group)
María del Lamo Atencia (Lab Tech)



Ongoing/active grants:


1. Astro-Strategy: Manipulación de los astrocitos con potencial neurotóxico en médula y estimulación cerebral profunda como diana terapéutica para la recuperación motora y funcional tras la LM: una estrategia doble. Proyectos De Investigación Científica y Transferencia de Tecnología, Junta de Castilla La Mancha. Principal Investigator: Juliana M Rosa. Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos. Start-End Date: 2024-2027. Total amount: 94.028,68€.


2. Piezo4Spine: Piezo-driven theramesh: A revolutionary multifaceted actuator to repair the injured spinal cord (GA No. 101098597). HORIZON-EIC-2022-PATHFINDEROPEN-01. Principal Investigator WP4 leader: Juliana M Rosa (in vivo evaluation). Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos.  Start-End Date: 01/01/2023 – 31/12/2026. Total amount: 3.6 M€ in total, 620.000€ for National Hospital of Paraplegics.


3. ASTRO-sense: Astrocytic discrimination of sensory modalities in the somatosensory cortex (PID2021-126609NA-I00). Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, AEI. Proyectos de Generación de Conocimiento - Call 2021. Principal Investigator: Juliana M Rosa. Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos. Start-End date: 01/09/2022 - 31/08/2025 Duration: 3 years. Total amount: 153.000€


4. Neural circuits repair after CNS injuries (RYC2019-026870-I). Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. Ramón y Cajal Program, 2019. Principal Investigator: Juliana M Rosa. Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos, Toledo. Start-End date: 01/05/2021 - 31/04/2026. Total amount: 308.600€



Past projects:


1. Spatial-temporal characteristics of Cortical Reorganization after Spinal Cord Injury and the role of interneurons and astrocytes, Marie Slodowska-Curie Action. H2020 European Commission 794926-CRASCI-H2020-MSCA-IF-2017. Principal Investigator: Juliana M Rosa. Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos. Start-End date: 01/08/2018-30/04/2021. Total 170.000€


2. Synaptic plasticity and remodelling in the somatosensory cortex after traumatic injuries. Entidad Financiadora: RochePharma SFC2017, Principal Investigator: Juliana M Rosa. Start-End date 2017-2019. Total: 60.000€


3. Fast and slow endocytosis at synapses.Marie-Sklodowska Curie Actions Individual Grant IEF (FSES-IEF-2010-272723). Principal Investigator: Juliana M Rosa. Start-End date: 2011-2013, Total: 209.092€





Title: Método para determinar la evolución de daño cerebral agudo y composición farmacéutica para su tratamiento
Inventores: Víctor Farré-Alins, Alejandra Palomino-Antolín, Paloma Narros-Fernández, Juliana M Rosa, Alfonso Lagares, Javier Egea
Nº de solicitud: P202031194   
País de prioridad: España
Fecha de prioridad: 30/11/2020
Entidad titular: Fundaciónpara la Investigación Biomédica del Hospital Universitario La Princesa