Immunology and Neuroimmunology

Prof. RNDr. Eva Kontseková, DSc

Neuroimmunology

The Laboratory of Neuroimmunology is focused on the understanding of the mechanisms of the neuro-immune interaction in Alzheimer’s disease neurodegeneration.

To study the interactions between the IMMUNE and the NERVOUS systems affected by the neurodegenerative process, we use transgenic animal models (mice and rats). We develop immunotherapy approaches for monitoring of the impact of aging on the immune system and effectiveness of immunotherapies. Great emphasis is put on the understanding of the molecular underpinnings of the immunotherapy mechanism of action.

The group has a long tradition in the preparation and characterization of monoclonal antibodies against a wide range of proteins. We develop antibodies that recognize the critical antigenic determinants on the pathological forms of tau protein, which is the key player in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease.

The antibodies also serve as sensitive tools for the study of the structure-function relationship of the intrinsically disordered proteins like tau. The antibodies helped us to uncover a therapeutic target for pathological tau protein.

Finally, we analyze markers of ageing of the immune system and their connection to the ability to respond to new immune stimuli. The laboratory is equipped with complete setup for proteomic and molecular biology analyses and a dedicated facility for cell and tissue culture research. The available high-end flow cytometer Becton Dickinson LSR Fortessa allows us to measure multiple parameters in a single run.

Lab members

  • Ľubica Fialová, DVM, PhD
  • RNDr. Monika Žilková, PhD
  • Ing. Gabriela Paulíková Roľková, PhD
  • RNDr. Michal Prčina, PhD
  • MSc. Ľubica Wojčiaková
  • MSc. Lucia Belancová
  • Jana Síthová (technician)
  • Linda Francistiová (diploma student)

Projects – funding

Imunogenetic markers in Slovak Alzheimer’s disease patients
VEGA Grant: 1/0240/16
Duration: 01/2016 – 12/2019
…………
The aging of the immune system and biomarkers of human immunosenescence
VEGA Grant: 2/0150/16
Duration: 01/2016 – 12/2018

Selected Publications

Paholikova K, Salingova B, Opattova A, Skrabana R, Majerova P, Zilka N, Kovacech B, Zilkova M, Barath P, Novak M. 2015. N-terminal Truncation of Microtubule Associated Protein Tau Dysregulates its Cellular Localization. J Alzheimers Dis. 1;43(3):915-26. doi: 10.3233/JAD-140996

Prcina, M.; Kontsekova, E.; Novak, M. 2015. Prion protein prevents heavy metals overloading of cells and thus protects them against their toxicity. ACTA VIROLOGICA 59: 179-184

Kontseková E, Žilka N, Kováčech B, Novák P, Novák M. 2014. First-in-man tau vaccine targeting structural determinants essential for pathological tau–tau interaction reduces tau oligomerisation and neurofibrillary degeneration in an Alzheimer’s disease model. In Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy 6: 44.

Kontseková E, Žilka N, Kováčech B, Škrabana R, Novák M. 2014. Identification of structural determinants on tau protein essential for its pathological function: novel therapeutic target for tau immunotherapy in Alzheimer’s disease. In Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy 6: 45.

Majerova P, Zilkova M, Kazmerova Z, Kovac A, Paholikova K, Kovacech B, Zilka N, Novak M. 2014. Microglia display modest phagocytic capacity for extracellular tau oligomers. J Neuroinflammation. Sep 13;11(1):161

Kazmerova Z, Zilka N, Cente M, Neradil P, Zilkova M, Novak M. Can We Teach Old Dogs New Tricks? 2013. Neuroprotective Cell Therapy in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. J Alzheimers Dis 37: 251-272

Žilka N, Kováčech B, Baráth P, Kontseková E, Novák M. 2012. The self-perpetuating tau truncation circle. In Biochemical society transactions 40, no.4: 681-686.

Novak P, Prcina M, Kontsekova E. 2011. Tauons and prions-infamous cousins? J Alzheimers Dis 26 (3): 413-430

Prčina, M., Kontseková, E. 2011. Has prion protein important physiological function? Medical Hypotheses, 76: 567–569

Zilkova M, Zilka N, Kovac A, Kovacech B, Skrabana R, Skrabanova M, Novak M. 2011. Hyperphosphorylated truncated protein tau induces caspase-3 independent apoptosis-like pathway in the Alzheimer’s Disease cellular model. J Alzheimers Dis 23: 161-U173.

Zilka N, Zilkova M, Kazmerova Z, Sarissky M, Cigankova V, Novak M. 2011. Mesenchymal stem cells rescue the alzheimer’s disease cell model from cell death induced by misfolded truncated tau. Neuroscience 193: 330-337.

Novak P, Prcina M, Kontsekova E. 2011. Tauons and Prions: Infamous Cousins? J Alzheimers Dis 26: 413-430