Stamenkovic Vera

Stamenkovic Vera Country: Serbia
Laboratory webpage
E-mail: vera.stamenkovic@bio.bg.ac.rs

Participation in Working Groups

  • WG3 - New methodologies to study mechanobiology of cells and tissues

Research Interests

My research interest is to investigate the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) glycoprotein tenascin C in structural plasticity of the CNS by following appearance and remodeling of specialized structures of the ECM known as perineuronal nets, changes in size and density of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic terminals, and the activity of major ECM degrading enzymes, matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9. By using more sophisticated imaging techniques, my further work would concern elucidation of molecular signalling pathways by which TnC may affect MMP-9 synthesis and/or activity, as well as a more detailed characterization of changes in PNN composition and synaptic morphology due to lack of TnC. In addition, since there are evidence that pharmacological suppression of neuronal activity via inhibitors of voltage-gated sodium channels or L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels strongly reduces the extracellular accumulation of PNN components, and in view of the fact that TnC may modulate the activity of these channels directly or indirectly through interaction with integrins, the focus of my further investigations will be to examine whether activation of these channels via TnC is essential for the regulation of neuronal plasticity in response to different environmental stimuli.

Technologies offered to other EuroCellNet participants

• Handling mice and rats
• Enriched environment paradigms
• Animal genotyping by PCR and gel electroforesis
• Preparation of brain tissue slices on cryocut, rotary microtome, and vibratome
• Immunohistochemistry of wax embedded or frozen brain tissue
• High resolution in situ zymography
• Purification of matrix metalloproteinases and gel zymography
• Western blotting
• Preparation of acute brain slices and Ca2+ imaging
• Confocal laser scanning microscopy
• Behavioral testing of mice (neurological tests: hind-limb clasping response, visual placing response, geotaxis, righting reflex, basket test; sucrose preference test; step-down test; beam walking test; rota-rod test; open field test; novel object test; spontaneous nocturnal activity; spontaneous alternation behavior, forced swimming test; Morris water maze test)

• Statistical analysis (SPSS, SigmaPlot, GraphPad)

Technologies sought from other EuroCellNet participants

• High- and super-resolution microscopies
• Electrophysiology

Publications

Stamenkovic V, Stamenkovic S, Jaworski T, Gawlak M, Jovanovic M, Jakovcevski I, Wilczynski GM, Kaczmarek L, Schachner M, Radenovic L, Andjus PR. The extracellular matrix glycoprotein tenascin-C and matrix metalloproteinases modify cerebellar structural plasticity by exposure to an enriched environment. Brain Struct Funct. 2017 Jan;222(1):393 415.

Stamenkovic V, Milenkovic I, Galjak N, Todorovic V, Andjus P. Enriched environment alters the behavioral profile of tenascin-C deficient mice. Behav Brain Res. 2017 Jul 28;331:241-253.

• Momčilović M, Stamenković V, Jovanović M, Andjus PR, Jakovčevski I, Schachner M, Miljković Đ. Tenascin-C deficiency protects mice from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J Neuroimmunol. 2017 Jan 15;302:1-6.

• Tsilibary E, Tzinia A, Radenovic L, Stamenkovic V, Lebitko T, Mucha M et al. Chapter 6 - Neural ECM proteases in learning and synaptic plasticity. Prog. Brain Res. 2014; 214, 135–157.

Sekeljic V, Andjus PA. Tenascin-C and its functions in neuronal plasticity. Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 2012; 44 (6): 825-829.