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Anuska Andjelkovic

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Primary Appointment: Pathology Department
Primary PIBS Dept.: Molecular and Cellular Pathology
PubMed Name: Anuska V. Andjelkovic

  Our laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms underlying cerebrovascular dysfunction associated with stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic type), neuroinflammatory disorders and process of vascular aging. We are particularly interested in addressing how the changes in the integrity and function of the blood brain barrier (BBB), affect stroke occurrence and outcome, and acute and chronic neuroinflammatory response.

Primarily the laboratory is interested in:

A) The molecular mechanisms of inflammatory remodeling of brain endothelial tight junctional complex that underlies the increase of BBB permeability. The most of the work is focused on the Tj protein-protein interaction during the resealing of Tj complex as well as on the signaling pathways responsible for increased BBB paracellular permeability. Our goal is to find the best target for treatment of BBB permeability in neuropathological conditions such as stroke or vascular aging, but also to identify new pathways for bridging BBB in brain drug delivery.

B) Molecular mechanisms underlying the most common cause of inherited hemorrhaging stroke in humans - the cerebral cavernous malformation. We are primarily interested in elucidating the BBB/ brain endothelial TJ complex defect, as potential cause for developing CCM lesion that leads to occurrence of hemorrhagic stroke, as well as the potential factors and interaction essential for regulation stability of Tj complex.

C) Pattern of neuroinflammatory response during the acute and chronic phase of stroke as well as during the process of vascular aging. Here, we are looking for specific pattern of the cytokines, chemokines and adhesion molecules expression which my predict stroke occurrence as well as the stroke outcome.

Some of our current projects are as follows; a) the pattern of the structural alteration of tight junction complex during the chronic neuroinflammation and aging b) tight junctional protein-protein (transmembrane-scaffoding and scaffolding-actin cytoskeleton) interaction essential for occlusion and stability of junctional complex, c) the role of CCM3/ PDCD10 proteins in establishing the brain endothelial Tj complex, d) the role of Junctional adhesion molecules (JAM-A) in acute and chronic inflammatory response at BBB e) the impact of various risk factors of stroke (i.e. systematic inflammation, hypertension) on brain microvascular inflammation and aging.