Integrated Neuromics

Assoc. Prof. Norbert Žilka, DVM, DSc

Integrated Neuromics The main research focus is on tau protein which may induce neurofibrillary pathology and can spread through-out the brain. Tau protein is the main cause and driver of the neurofibrillary degeneration in human Alzheimer’s disease. Tau proteome in AD composed of a plethora of different tau species. Some of them display infectious properties. Using proteomic and immunological approaches we aim to identify tau forms which are able to induce and spread tau pathology in the brain of experimental animals.

In collaboration with international (Brain bank Geneva, Brain bank Newcastle) and national brain banks (Slovak Brain Bank) we are participating on the post-mortal diagnostics of human neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration and many others.

The third area of interest deals with an attractive topic – canine dementia. Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) or canine dementia represents a serious health problem for aged dogs. CDS is characterized characterised by deficits in learning, memory and spatial awareness, as well as changes to social interaction and sleeping patterns. In collaboration with the University of Veterinary medicine and pharmacy in Kosice we have developed unique diagnostic approach allowing identifying early stages of the disease. Currently we are focusing on the synaptic damage and neuroinflammation that represent hallmarks of canine dementia.

Lab members

  • Santosh Jadhav, MSc, PhD
  • Tomáš Smolek, DVM, PhD
  • Ivana Zímová, DVM, PhD
  • Veronika Cubínková, DVM, PhD
  • Bernadeta Valachová, DVM (PhD student)
  • Veronika Brezováková, DVM (PhD student)
  • Jana Jergušová (technician)
  • Dominika Obetková (technician)
  • Valéria Štofíková (technician)
  • Jozef Végh (technician)

Projects – funding

The model of cell communication between nervous and immune system in Alzheimer’s disease
Duration: 2015 – 2018
Pathway complexities of protein misfolding in neurodegenerative diseases: a novel approach to risk evaluation and model development (REfraAME)
Duration: 2016 – 2019

Selected Publications

Sutovsky S, Smolek T, Alafuzoff I, Blaho A, Parrak V, Turcani P, Palkovic M, Petrovic R, Novak M, Zilka N. Atypical Huntington’s disease with the clinical presentation of behavioural variant of frontotemporal dementia. J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2016 Jun 10

Lelental N, Brandner S, Kofanova O, Blennow K, Zetterberg H, Andreasson U, Engelborghs S, Mroczko B, Gabryelewicz T, Teunissen C, Mollenhauer B, Parnetti L, Chiasserini D, Molinuevo JL, Perret-Liaudet A, Verbeek MM, Andreasen N, Brosseron F, Bahl JM, Herukka SK, Hausner L, Frölich L, Labonte A, Poirier J, Miller AM, Zilka N, Kovacech B, Urbani A, Suardi S, Oliveira C, Baldeiras I, Dubois B, Rot U, Lehmann S, Skinningsrud A, Betsou F, Wiltfang J, Gkatzima O, Winblad B, Buchfelder M, Kornhuber J, Lewczuk P. Comparison of Different Matrices as Potential Quality Control Samples for Neurochemical Dementia Diagnostics. J Alzheimers Dis. 2016 Mar 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Katina S, Farbakova J, Madari A, Novak M, Zilka N. Risk factors for canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome in Slovakia. Acta Vet Scand. 2016 Feb 29;58(1):17.

Smolek T, Madari A, Farbakova J, Kandrac O, Jadhav S, Cente M, Brezovakova V, Novak M, Zilka N.Tau hyperphosphorylation in synaptosomes and neuroinflammation are associated with canine cognitive impairment. J Comp Neurol. 2016 Mar 1;524(4):874-95.

Kruse N, Persson S, Alcolea D, Bahl JM, Baldeiras I, Capello E, Chiasserini D, Bocchio Chiavetto L, Emersic A, Engelborghs S, Eren E, Fladby T, Frisoni G, García-Ayllón MS, Genc S, Gkatzima O, Heegaard NH, Janeiro AM, Kováčech B, Kuiperij HB, Leitão MJ, Lleó A, Martins M, Matos M, Mollergard HM, Nobili F, Öhrfelt A, Parnetti L, de Oliveira CR, Rot U, Sáez-Valero J, Struyfs H, Tanassi JT, Taylor P, Tsolaki M, Vanmechelen E, Verbeek MM, Zilka N, Blennow K, Zetterberg H, Mollenhauer B. Validation of a quantitative cerebrospinal fluid alpha-synuclein assay in a European-wide interlaboratory study. Neurobiol Aging. 2015 Sep;36(9):2587-96.

Jadhav S, Katina S, Kovac A, Kazmerova Z, Novak M, Zilka N. Truncated tau deregulates synaptic markers in rat model for human tauopathy. Front Cell Neurosci. 2015 Feb 23;9:24.

Kazmerova Z, Zilka N, Cente M, Neradil P, Zilkova M, Novak M. Can we teach old dogs new tricks? Neuroprotective cell therapy in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;37(2):251-72.

Levarska L, Zilka N, Jadhav S, Neradil P, Novak M. Of rodents and men: the mysterious interneuronal pilgrimage of misfolded protein tau in Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;37(3):569-77.

Jadhav S, Zilka N, Novak M. Protein truncation as a common denominator of human neurodegenerative foldopathies. Mol Neurobiol. 2013 Dec;48(3):516-32.

Zilka N, Kazmerova Z, Jadhav S, Neradil P, Madari A, Obetkova D, Bugos O, Novak M. Who fans the flames of Alzheimer’s disease brains? Misfolded tau on the crossroad of neurodegenerative and inflammatory pathways. J Neuroinflammation. 2012 Mar 7;9:47.