Neural plasticity in neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases PI: Albert Giralt Torroella


The group of Dr. Giralt is interested in three research lines distributed in three different neurological diseases but sharing a common point, the study of the hippocampal function in basal and pathological conditions. So, the three lines of research are:

  1. The characterization of new genetic risk factors in Alzheimer's disease and the study of new strategies for gene therapy and pharmacology in rodent models. Focused study in the cerebral region called hippocampus.. 
  2. Characterization of the formation of neural engrams in murine models of depression induced by chronic stress. Focused study in the cerebral region called hippocampus.
  3. Research on new risk factors (genetic and environmental) in schizophrenia using murine models. Focused study in the cerebral region called hippocampus.

Albert Giralt Torroella
Principal lnvestigator (Ramón y Cajal)

Anna Sancho Balsells
Pre-doctoral researcher

Belissa Scherer Fernandez
Master's student

Jessica Scherer Fernandez
Master's student

  • Study of new risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, such as the PTK2B gene (Pyk2).
  • Identification and characterization of new molecules with therapeutic potential for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Use of congenital mouse transgenic models for the identification of neural anagrams during different phases of chronic stress.
  • Identification and characterization of new molecules with therapeutic potential for the treatment of major depression.
  • Study of new risk factors (environmental and genetic) of schizophrenia and evaluation of the interaction between these factors.

  • Definiendo el rol de la familia Ikaros en la esquizofrenia

Project reference: RTI2018-094678-A-I00
Principal investigator: Albert Giralt Torroella
Affiliation entity: Universitat de Barcelona
Funding entity: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Period: 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2021
Funding received: 121.000 euros

  • Striatal and hippocampal excitatory synapses in normal and diseased brain

Project reference: RYC-2016-19466
Principal investigator: Albert Giralt Torroella
Funding entity: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Period: 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2023
Funding received: 40.000 euros

  • Borsa Ajut: “Welcome pack” funding

Reference of the aid: 200017439
Principal investigator: Albert Giralt Torroella
Funding entity: Universitat de Barcelona
Period: 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2023
Funding received: 40.000 euros

  • Identification of altered specific neuronal subpopulations in different phases of stress-induced major depression NARSAD Foundation

Project reference: 24803
Principal investigator: Albert Giralt Torroella
Funding entity: Institut du Fer à Moulin (INSERM)
Period: 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2018
Funding received: 66.397 euros

For more information for PI publications click in the link:
Researcher ID: MT-7672-2015
Scopus Author ID: 23024562800

Brito V, Giralt A, Castañé A, Masana M, Alberch J and Ginés S. Cdk5 dysfunction contributes to depressive-like behaviors in Huntington´s Disease by altering the phospho-DARPP-32 status in the nucleus accumbens. Biol Psychiatry. 2019 Aug 1; 86(3): 196-207. doi: 10.1016/ j.biopsych. 2019.03.001. Epub 2019 Mar 13. PMID: 31060804. IF: 11.412

Tible M, Mouton Liger F, Schmitt J, Giralt A, Farid K, Thomasseau S, Gourmaud S, Paquet C, Rondi Reig L, Meurs E, Girault JA, Hugon J. PKR knockout in the 5xFAD model of Alzheimer's disease reveals beneficial effects on spatial memory and brain lesions. Aging Cell. 2019 Mar 1: e12887. doi: 10.1111/acel.12887. PMID: 30821420. IF: 7.62

de Pins B, Cifuentes-Díaz C, Farah AT, López-Molina L, Montalban E, Sancho-Balsells A, López A, Ginés S, Delgado-García JM, Alberch J, Gruart A, Girault JA, Giralt A. Conditional BDNF Delivery from Astrocytes Rescues Memory Deficits, Spine Density, and Synaptic Properties in the 5xFAD Mouse Model of Alzheimer Disease. J Neurosci. 2019 Mar 27; 39(13): 2441-2458. doi: 10.1523/ JNEUROSCI. 2121-18.2019. Epub 2019 Jan 30. PMID: 30700530. IF: 5.9

Montalban E, Al-Massadi O, Sancho-Balsells A, Brito V, de Pins B, Alberch J, Ginés S, Girault JA, Giralt A. Pyk2 in the amygdala modulates chronic stress sequelae via PSD-95-related micro-structural changes. Transl Psychiatry. 2019 Jan 15; 9(1): 3. doi: 10.1038/ s41398-018-0352-y. PMID: 30664624. IF: 4.7

Suelves N, Miguez A, López-Benito S, Barriga GG, Giralt A, Alvarez-Periel E, Arévalo JC, Alberch J, Ginés S, Brito V. Early Downregulation of p75(NTR) by Genetic and Pharmacological Approaches Delays the Onset of Motor Deficits and Striatal Dysfunction in Huntington's Disease Mice. Mol Neurobiol. 2019 Feb; 56(2): 935-953. doi: 10.1007/ s12035-018-1126-5. Epub 2018 May 27. PMID: 29804232. IF: 5.076

Cases S, Saavedra A, Tyebji S, Giralt A, Alberch J, Pérez-Navarro E. Age-related changes in STriatal-Enriched protein tyrosine Phosphatase levels: Regulation by BDNF. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2018 Jan; 86:41-49. doi: 10.1016/ j.mcn.2017.11.003. Epub 2017 Nov 6. PMID: 29122705. IF: 3.734

Giralt A, de Pins B, Cifuentes-Díaz C, López-Molina L, Farah AT, Tible M, Deramecourt V, Arold ST, Ginés S, Hugon J, Girault JA. PTK2B/Pyk2 overexpression improves a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Exp Neurol. 2018 Sep; 307: 62-73. doi: 10.1016/ j.expneurol.2018.05.020. Epub 2018 May 24. PMID: 29803828. IF: 4.48

Giralt A, Gómez-Climent MÁ, Alcalá R, Bretin S, Bertrand D, María Delgado-García J, Pérez-Navarro E, Alberch J, Gruart A. The AMPA receptor positive allosteric modulator S 47445 rescues in vivo CA3-CA1 long-term potentiation and structural synaptic changes in old mice. Neuropharmacology. 2017 Sep 1; 123: 395-409. doi: 10.1016/ j.neuropharm. 2017.06.009. Epub 2017 Jun 8. PMID 28603025. IF: 4.24

Giralt A, Brito V, Chevy Q, Simonnet C, Otsu Y, Cifuentes-Díaz C, de Pins B, Coura R, Alberch J, Ginés S, Poncer JC, Girault JA. Pyk2 modulates hippocampal excitatory synapses and contributes to cognitive deficits in a Huntington's disease model. Nat Commun. 2017 May 30;8: 15592. doi: 10.1038/ ncomms15592. PMID: 28555636. IF: 12.35

García-Díaz Barriga G, Giralt A, Anglada-Huguet M, Gaja-Capdevila N, Orlandi JG, Soriano J, Canals JM, Alberch J. 7,8-dihydroxyflavone ameliorates cognitive and motor deficits in a Huntington's disease mouse model through specific activation of the PLCγ1 pathway. Hum Mol Genet. 2017 Aug 15;26 (16): 3144-3160. doi: 10.1093/ hmg/ ddx198. PMID: 28541476. IF: 4.9

Martín-Ibáñez R, Pardo M, Giralt A, Miguez A, Guardia I, Marion-Poll L, Herranz C, Esgleas M, Garcia-Díaz Barriga G, Edel MJ, Vicario-Abejón C, Alberch J, Girault JA, Chan S, Kastner P, Canals JM. Helios expression coordinates the development of a subset of striatopallidal medium spiny neurons. Development. 2017 Apr 15; 144(8): 1566-1577. doi: 10.1242/ dev. 138248. Epub 2017 Mar 13. PMID: 28289129. IF: 5.4

Engmann O, Giralt A, Girault JA. Acute drug-induced spine changes in the nucleus accumbens are dependent on β-adducin. Neuropharmacology. 2016 Nov; 110(Pt A): 333-342. doi: 10.1016/ j.neuropharm. 2016.07.035. Epub 2016 Jul 29. PMID: 27480796. IF: 5.012

Giralt A, Coura R, Girault JA. Pyk2 is essential for astrocytes mobility following brain lesion. Glia. 2016 Apr; 64(4): 620-34. doi: 10. 1002/ glia. 22952. Epub 2015 Dec 11. PMID: 26663135. IF: 6.01

Anglada-Huguet M, Giralt A, Rué L, Alberch J, Xifró X. Loss of striatal 90-kDa ribosomal S6 kinase (Rsk) is a key factor for motor, synaptic and transcription dysfunction in Huntington's disease. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 Jul; 1862(7): 1255-66. doi: 10.1016/ j.bbadis. 2016.04.002. Epub 2016 Apr 6. PMID: 27063456. IF: 4.702

Puigdellívol M, Cherubini M, Brito V, Giralt A, Suelves N, Ballesteros J, Zamora-Moratalla A, Martín ED, Eipper BA, Alberch J, Ginés S. A role for Kalirin-7 in corticostriatal synaptic dysfunction in Huntington's disease. Hum Mol Genet. 2015 Dec 20; 24 (25): 7265-85. doi: 10.1093/ hmg/ddv426. Epub 2015 Oct 12. PMID: 26464483. IF: 5.98

Engmann O, Giralt A, Gervasi N, Marion-Poll L, Gasmi L, Filhol O, Picciotto MR, Gilligan D, Greengard P, Nairn AC, Hervé D, Girault JA. DARPP-32 interaction with adducin may mediate rapid environmental effects on striatal neurons. Nat Commun. 2015 Dec 7; 6:10099. doi: 10.1038/ ncomms10099. PMID: 26639316. IF: 11.32

Anglada-Huguet M, Vidal-Sancho L, Giralt A, García-Díaz Barriga G, Xifró X, Alberch J. Prostaglandin E2 EP2 activation reduces memory decline in R6/1 mouse model of Huntington's disease by the induction of BDNF-dependent synaptic plasticity. Neurobiol Dis. 2016 Nov; 95:22-34. doi: 10.1016/ j.nbd.2015. 09.001. Epub 2015 Sep 11. PMID: 26369879. IF: 5.02

Miguez A, García-Díaz Barriga G, Brito V, Straccia M, Giralt A, Ginés S, Canals JM, Alberch J. Fingolimod (FTY720) enhances hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory in Huntington's disease by preventing p75NTR up-regulation and astrocyte-mediated inflammation. Hum Mol Genet. 2015 Sep 1;24 (17): 4958-70. doi: 10.1093/ hmg/ ddv218. Epub 2015 Jun 10. PMID: 26063761. IF: 5.98

Giralt A* Brito V,* Enriquez-Barreto L, Puigdellívol M, Suelves N, Zamora-Moratalla A, Ballesteros JJ, Martín ED, Dominguez-Iturza N, Morales M, Alberch J, Ginés S. Neurotrophin receptor p75(NTR) mediates Huntington's disease-associated synaptic and memory dysfunction. J Clin Invest. 2014 Oct; 124(10): 4411-28. doi: 10.1172/ JCI74809. Epub 2014 Sep 2. PMID: 25180603. (*contributed equally). IF: 13.21

Marin C, Bonastre M, Mengod G, Cortés R, Giralt A, Obeso JA, Schapira AH. Early L-dopa, but not pramipexole, restores basal ganglia activity in partially 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. Neurobiol Dis. 2014 Apr; 64: 36-47. doi: 10.1016/ j.nbd.2013.12.009. Epub 2013 Dec 24. PMID: 24370700. IF: 5.078

Moreno B, Lopez I, Fernández-Díez B, Gottlieb M, Matute C, Sánchez-Gómez MV, Domercq M, Giralt A, Alberch J, Collon KW, Zhang H, Parent JM, Teixido M, Giralt E, Ceña V, Posadas I, Martínez-Pinilla E, Villoslada P, Franco R. Differential neuroprotective effects of 5'-deoxy-5'-methylthioadenosine. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 5; 9 (3): e90671. doi: 10.1371/ journal.pone. 0090671. eCollection 2014. PMID: 24599318. IF: 3.23

Anglada-Huguet M, Xifró X, Giralt A, Zamora-Moratalla A, Martín ED, Alberch J. Prostaglandin E2 EP1 receptor antagonist improves motor deficits and rescues memory decline in R6/1 mouse model of Huntington's disease. Mol Neurobiol. 2014 Apr; 49(2): 784-95. doi: 10.1007/ s12035-013 -8556-x. Epub 2013 Nov 7. PMID: 24198227.  IF: 5.137

Saavedra A, Giralt A, Arumí H, Alberch J, Pérez-Navarro E. Regulation of hippocampal cGMP levels as a candidate to treat cognitive deficits in Huntington's disease. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 5; 8(9): e73664. doi: 10.1371/ journal.pone. 0073664. eCollection 2013. PMID: 24040016. IF: 3.53

Giralt A* Marco S,* Petrovic MM, Pouladi MA, Martínez-Turrillas R, Martínez-Hernández J, Kaltenbach LS, Torres-Peraza J, Graham RK, Watanabe M, Luján R, Nakanishi N, Lipton SA, Lo DC, Hayden MR, Alberch J, Wesseling JF, Pérez-Otaño I. Suppressing aberrant GluN3A expression rescues synaptic and behavioral impairments in Huntington's disease models. Nat Med. 2013 Aug;19 (8): 1030-8. doi: 10.1038/ nm. 3246. Epub 2013 Jul 14. PMID: 23852340. (*contributed equally). IF: 28.054

Giralt A, Sanchis D, Cherubini M, Ginés S, Cañas X, Comella JX, Alberch J. Neurobehavioral characterization of Endonuclease G knockout mice reveals a new putative molecular player in the regulation of anxiety. Exp Neurol. 2013 Sep; 247: 122-9. doi: 10.1016/ j.expneurol. 2013.03.028. Epub 2013 Apr 18. PMID: 23603365. IF: 4.61

Brito V, Puigdellívol M, Giralt A, del Toro D, Alberch J, Ginés S. Imbalance of p75(NTR)/TrkB protein expression in Huntington's disease: implication for neuroprotective therapies. Cell Death Dis. 2013 Apr 18; 4: e595. doi: 10.1038/ cddis. 2013.116. PMID: 23598407. IF: 5.17

Giralt A, Saavedra A, Carretón O, Arumí H, Tyebji S, Alberch J, Pérez-Navarro E. PDE10 inhibition increases GluA1 and CREB phosphorylation and improves spatial and recognition memories in a Huntington's disease mouse model. Hippocampus. 2013 Aug; 23 (8): 684-95. doi: 10.1002/ hipo.22128. Epub 2013 Apr 29. PMID: 23576401. IF: 4.3

Carretón O, Giralt A, Torres-Peraza JF, Brito V, Lucas JJ, Ginés S, Canals JM, Alberch J. Age-dependent decline of motor neocortex but not hippocampal performance in heterozygous BDNF mice correlates with a decrease of cortical PSD-95 but an increase of hippocampal TrkB levels. Exp Neurol. 2012 Oct; 237(2): 335-45. doi: 10.1016/ j.expneurol. 2012.06.033. Epub 2012 Jul 6. PMID: 22776425. IF: 4.64

Sánchez-Danés A, Richaud-Patin Y, Carballo-Carbajal I, Jiménez-Delgado S, Caig C, Mora S, Di Guglielmo C, Ezquerra M, Patel B, Giralt A, Canals JM, Memo M, Alberch J, López-Barneo J, Vila M, Cuervo AM, Tolosa E, Consiglio A, Raya A. Disease-specific phenotypes in dopamine neurons from human iPS-based models of genetic and sporadic Parkinson's disease. EMBO Mol Med. 2012 May; 4(5): 380-95. doi: 10.1002/ emmm. 201200215. Epub 2012 Mar 8. PMID: 22407749. IF: 7.8

Anglada-Huguet M, Giralt A, Perez-Navarro E, Alberch J, Xifró X. Activation of Elk-1 participates as a neuroprotective compensatory mechanism in models of Huntington's disease. J Neurochem. 2012 May; 121(4): 639-48. doi: 10.1111/ j.1471-4159. 2012.07711.x. Epub 2012 Mar 28. PMID: 22372926. IF: 3.97

Giralt A, Saavedra A, Alberch J, Pérez-Navarro E. Cognitive Dysfunction in Huntington's Disease: Humans, Mouse Models and Molecular Mechanisms. J Huntingtons Dis. 2012; 1(2): 155-73. doi: 10.3233/ JHD-120023. PMID: 25063329. IF: 1.05

Giralt A, Puigdellívol M, Carretón O, Paoletti P, Valero J, Parra-Damas A, Saura CA, Alberch J, Ginés S. Long-term memory deficits in Huntington's disease are associated with reduced CBP histone acetylase activity. Hum Mol Genet. 2012 Mar 15; 21(6): 1203-16. doi: 10.1093/ hmg/ ddr552. Epub 2011 Nov 24. PMID: 22116937. IF: 7.636

Giralt A, Carretón O, Lao-Peregrin C, Martín ED, Alberch J. Conditional BDNF release under pathological conditions improves Huntington's disease pathology by delaying neuronal dysfunction. Mol Neurodegener. 2011 Oct 10; 6(1): 71. doi: 10.1186/ 1750- 1326 -6-71. PMID: 21985529. IF: 4.27

Giralt A, Saavedra A, Carretón O, Xifró X, Alberch J, Pérez-Navarro E. Increased PKA signaling disrupts recognition memory and spatial memory: role in Huntington's disease. Hum Mol Genet. 2011 Nov 1; 20(21): 4232-47. doi: 10.1093 /hmg/ ddr351. Epub 2011 Aug 11. PMID: 21835884. IF: 7.36

Saavedra A, Giralt A, Rué L, Xifró X, Xu J, Ortega Z, Lucas JJ, Lombroso PJ, Alberch J, Pérez-Navarro E. Striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase expression and activity in Huntington's disease: a STEP in the resistance to excitotoxicity. J Neurosci. 2011 Jun 1; 31(22): 8150-62. doi: 10.1523/ JNEUROSCI. 3446-10.2011. PMID: 21632937. IF: 7.11

Bosch M, Marí M, Herms A, Fernández A, Fajardo A, Kassan A, Giralt A, Colell A, Balgoma D, Barbero E, González-Moreno E, Matias N, Tebar F, Balsinde J, Camps M, Enrich C, Gross SP, García-Ruiz C, Pérez-Navarro E, Fernández-Checa JC, Pol A. Caveolin-1 deficiency causes cholesterol-dependent mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptotic susceptibility. Curr Biol. 2011 Apr 26; 21(8): 681-6. doi: 10.1016/ j.cub. 2011.03.030. Epub 2011 Apr 14. PMID: 21497090. IF: 9.64

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