Department of developmental physiology

Head: prof. DVM. Juraj Koppel, DSc.

• Laboratory of reproduction and embryology
(DVM. Dušan Fabian, DSc.)
• Laboratory of cell signalization
(RNDr. Štefan Čikoš, PhD.)

The main object of research at the Department of developmental physiology is the preimplantation period of embryo development (i.e. the time between the fertilization of oocyte in oviduct and implantation of embryo in uterus). This period is one of the most sensitive phases of mammalian embryonic development and disorders appearing during this developmental stage are frequently the cause of abortive gravidity in both humans and animals. At present time, the research team is focused on problematics of interactions between maternal organism and preimplantation embryo. We have been the first to found expression of adrenergic receptors in oocytes and preimplantation embryos. Adrenergic receptors can bind adrenalin released in maternal organism after the stress exposure, and this interaction can lead to the impairment of fertilization and early embryo development. Our results obtained on animal model (laboratory mouse) show that both fertilization and preimplantation development can be negatively affected by maternal obesity as well; however, the specific amount of maternal fat has to be present to maintain good reproductive health. We also proved that maternal stress and obesity appearing during early gravidity might have impact on various somatic and behavioral parameters of offspring. Our other studies identified specific regulatory mechanisms of cell cycle during the first mitosis of embryo. In 2011, independent national agency ARRA classified research team working at Department of developmental physiology as excellent.*

Personal staff:
prof. DVM. Juraj Koppel, DSc., RNDr. Štefan Čikoš, PhD., DVM. Dušan Fabian, DSc., DVM. Vladimír Baran, PhD., DVM. Zuzana Šefčíková, PhD., RNDr. Janka Kubandová, PhD., Dana Čigášová, Anna Olšavská.

Instrumental facility:

  • Confocal microscope Leica TCS SP5 with “live-cell imaging” system for real time studies of functional morphology in living cells
  • Automatized upright fluorescence microscope Nikon Eclipse 90i for studies of functional morphology of cells
  • Inverted fluorescence microscope Nikon Ti-E with micromanipulation equipment (Eppendorf) for micromanipulation techniques on cell level
  • Inverted light microscope Nikon Ti-U for morphological studies in cells cultured in vitro
  • Raman spectrometer DXR with microscope (Thermo Fisher Scientific) for metabolomics analysis of cells and biological fluids
  • Whole body composition analyzer EchoMRI 700 (Echo Medical System) for the measurement of body fat in laboratory animals
  • Non-Invasive Blood Pressure System CODA for the measurement of blood pressure in laboratory animals
  • Real-time PCR system Mx3000P (Stratagene-Agilent) and LC480 (Roche) for detection and quantification of specific RNA and DNA sequences.
  • Multidetection microplate reader Synergy 2 (Biotek) enabling analyses requiring fluorescence, luminiscence and absorbance measurements.
  • Capillary microelektroforetic system Agilent 2100 for automatic electroforetic analysis of DNA, RNA a proteins.
  • Multiporator Eppendorf for electroporation of bacterial, yeast and eukaryotic cells
  • High-sensitive imaging system Fusion FX7 (Vilber Lourmat) for detection of chemiluminiscence signal in membranes (Western blot analysis)
  • Microspectrofotometer NanoDrop (Thermo Scientific) for spectrophotometric measurement of limited volumes(1 ul) of nucleic acids

*See also: Top Scientific Teams and People at SAS


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