Cell Biology & Physiology Division

Dr. K. P. Mohanakumar

(PhD, Saurashtra University, Rajkot)

Contact: mohankumar@iicb.res.in / kpmohanakumar@yahoo.com

Chief Scientist
& Head, PME

Current Research Interest

    Parkinson’s disease – drug development. Animal and cellular models are used for target identification and for drug screening. Novel molecules are isolated from plant sources, identified, and modeled with the help of bio-informatics, and finally congeners are synthesized. These are achieved by means of vigorous, active collaborative research with synthetic organic chemists and bioinformatics specialists. Of special interest is investigation on combination of drugs for better therapeutic outcome, as well as with a view to reduce the dose of L-DOPA for reducing toxicity on long-term use.

    Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and neurolathyrism – pathophysiology: Basis of neuronal death in Parkinson’s disease, neurolathyrism and Huntington’s disease is investigated employing animal models, human postmortem brain tissues, primary cell cultures, cell lines and modified cell lines (cybrids). Analyses of behavioral abnormalities, neurotransmitter metabolism, reactive oxygen species, and cellular events of apoptosis, calcium homeostasis, membrane potential, voltage and ligand gated channels currents, mitochondrial functions and gene expression are carried out. What makes substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons to die, whereas other dopaminergic neurons of the brain are spared is a major interest in the laboratory. A proteomics approach is made to decipher this issue.

    Stem cells differentiation and transplantation recovery in Parkinson’s disease : Stem cells are differentiated into dopaminergic neurons, employing several means. Co-culture, magnetic sorting with care, and mixed population of cells with varied stages of differentiation are used for transplantation recovery in animal models of parkinsonism. Recovery in terms of neurotransmission, neuronal status, glial proliferation, and behavioral outcome are examined. Survival of the grafts, stereology, neurogenesis, and brain transplantation loci are of prime interest.

    Bioenergetics in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): These disorders are of special interests in terms of the involvement of mitochondrial genes in the development of these diseases. Human samples from patient population are used for creating cybrids and investigated for mitochondrial genes and their gene expression pattern for examining pathophysiology of these diseases.

    Research collaborations: Active collaborative research with funding are operative with with Manovikas Kendra, Kolkata; Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata; and Assam Central University, Silchar.

    Facilities: Dedicated facilities in the laboratory include an advanced neurobehavioral laboratory, HPLC-electrochemistry, small brain stereotaxic apparatus, patch clamp amplifier, intracellular calcium assays, tools for protein separation and analysis including a Chemidoc system, PCR, real-time PCR, stereo-, fluorescent- and IR-DIC microscopes and a modern cell culture laboratory.

Names of the group members including regular staff with designation and research fellows

Staff Member`s

Research Fellows / RA

  1. Dr. Emili Benerjee, R.A., DBT banerjeeemily@yahoo.com
  2. Miss Debasmita Tripathy, SRF, CSIR debasmitatripathy@rediffmail.com
  3. Mr. Joy Chakraborty, SRF, CSIR joe4u_agt@yahoo.co.in
  4. Mr. Amit Naskar, SRF, DBT infinite_amit32@yahoo.com
  5. Mr. Raghavendra Singh, SRF, CSIR singh_sarvesh01@yahoo.co.in
  6. Mr. Debashis Dutta, SRF, CSIR ddebashis22@yahoo.com
  7. Miss Nilufar Ali, SRF, CSIR nilufar.ali.87@gmail.com
  8. Miss Poonam Verma, JRF, CSIR pv1585@gmail.com
  9. Mr. Nthenge Dominic Ngumbau Ngima, DBT-CICS-TWAS Fellow; ngutimba17@gmail.com
  10. Miss Alpana Singh, JRF,UGC alpanasingh2008@gmail.com
  11. Miss. Anu Raju, JRF, GATE-CSIR anu.anuraju@gmail.com
  12. Miss Meghna Banerjee, JRF, UGC meghna000@gmail.com
  13. Mr. Paidi Ramesh Kumar, JRF, GATE-CSIR rameshkumar602@gmail.com

List of important Publications

  1. Chakraborty J, Singh R, Dutta D, Naskar A, Rajamma U, Mohanakumar KP. Quercetin improves behavioral deficiencies, restores astrocytes and microglia, and reduces serotonin metabolism in 3-nitropropionic acid-induced rat model of Huntington's disease. CNS Neurosci Ther, doi:10.1111/cns.12189, 2013.
  2. Tripathy D, Haobam R, Nair R, Mohanakumar KP. Engraftment of mouse embryonic stem cells differentiated by default leads to neuroprotection, behaviour revival and astrogliosis in parkinsonian rats. PLoS ONE, 8(9): e72501.
  3. Naskar A, Manivasagam T, Chakraborty J, Singh R, Thomas B, Dhanasekaran M, MohanakumarKP. Melatonin synergizes with low doses of L-DOPA to improve dendritic spine density in the mouse striatum in experimental Parkinsonism. J Pineal Res 55, 304-312, 2013.
  4. Appukuttan TA, Varghese M, Ali N, Singh A, Tripathy D, Padmakumar M, Gangopadhyay PK, Mohanakumar KP. Parkinson’s disease cybrids, differentiated or undifferentiated, maintain distinct morphological and biochemical phenotypes different from the control cybrids. J Neurosci Res 91, 963-970,2013.
  5. Madathil KS, Saravanan KS and Mohanakumar KP. Sodium salicylate protects against rotenone-induced parkinsonism in rats. Synapse 67:502–514, 2013.
  6. Madathil KS, Karuppagounder SS, Haobam R, Varghese M, Rajamma U, Mohanakumar KP. Nitric oxide synthase inhibitors protect against rotenone-induced, oxidative stress mediated parkinsonism in rats. Neurochem Int 62, 674-683, 2013.
  7. Karuppagounder SS, Madathil KS, Pandey M, Haobam R, Rajamma U, Mohanakumar KP. Quercetin up-regulates mitochondrial complex-I activity to protect against programed cell death in rotenone model of Parkinson’s disease in rats. Neuroscience 236, 136–148, 2013.
  8. Pandey M, Mohanakumar KP, Usha R. Mitochondrial functional alterations in relation to pathophysiology of Huntington’s disease. J Bioenerg Biomemb 42, 217-226, 2010.
  9. Borah A, Mohanakumar KP. Denervated, but not innervated striatum of parkinsonian rats is sensitive to 6-hydroxydopamine production in vivo following prolonged L-DOPA administration. Neurochem Int 56, 357-362, 2010.
  10. Borah A, Mohanakumar KP. Melatonin inhibits 6-hydroxydopamine production in the brain to protect against experimental parkinsonism in rodents. J Pineal Res 47, 293-300, 2009.
  11. Varghese M, Pandey M, Samanta A, Gangopadhyay PK, Mohanakumar KP. Reduced NADH coenzyme Q dehydrogenase activity in platelets of Parkinson’s disease, but not Parkinson plus patients, from an Indian population. J Neurol Sci 279, 39-42, 2009.
  12. Borland MK, Mohanakumar KP, Rubinstein JD, Keeney PM, Xie J, Capaldi RA, Dunahm LD, Trimmer PA, Bennett Jr. JP. Relationships among molecular genetic and respiratory properties of Parkinson's disease cybrid cells show similarities to Parkinson's brain tissues. BBA – Molecular Basis of Disease, 1792, 68-74, 2009.
  13. Borland MK, Trimmer PA, Rubinstein JD, Keeney PM, Mohanakumar KP, Liu L, Bennett Jr JP. Chronic, low-dose rotenone reproduces Lewy neurites found in early stages of Parkinson's disease, reduces mitochondrial movement and slowly kills differentiated SH-SY5Y neural cells. Molecular Neurodegeneration, 3:21, 2008.


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Updated on 25th October 2013

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