Jaime Grutzendler MD

Associate Professor of Neurology and of Neurobiology; Director, Center for Experimental Neuroimaging

Research Interests

Neuro-glio-vascular interactions, cerebral blood flow and metabolism blood-brain barrier, two-photon microscopy, myelin imaging, synaptic plasticity, development and pathology of the brain microvasculature, Neuroinflammationin, neurodegenerative diseases and stroke

Current Projects

Research Summary

The dynamics and logic of neuro-glio-vascular interactions

in health and disease

The overall interest of our laboratory centers around cells in the so called "neuro-glio-vascular unit" (neurons, endothelium, astrocytes, pericytes, microglia and oligodendrocytes). Our goal is to learn about the dynamic properties of these cells and how cell-cell interactions are disrupted in brain injury, vascular and neurodegenerative pathologies.

We combine high-resolution cellular imaging in vivo and fixed tissues of single cells and small clusters of interacting cells, with novel optical sensors of cellular physiology, optogenetic tools and genetic manipulations using viral vectors, in utero electroporation and genome editing techniques.

Extensive Research Description

  • IN VIVO IMAGING:The majority of projects in the laboratory are imaging-oriented. We use a variety of techniques including transcranial in vivo two photon microscopy, high-resolution confocal, spectral confocal reflectance microscopy (SCoRe) and electron microscopy in combination with differential fluorescent cell labeling and genetic/pharmacological manipulations. We aim at developeing novel imaging strategies and methods to better understand the pathophysiology of a variety of neurological disorders.
  • MICROVASCULAR PLASTICITY: microvascular recanalization and angioplasticity after cerebral embolic occlusion. We have recently described a new mechanism of microvascular plasticity which leads to vessel recanalization (Angiophagy). We are investigating the molecular control and physiological relevance of this novel mechanism.
  • "NEURO-GLIO-VASCULAR UNIT" FUNCTION AND PATHOLOGY: Understanding the postnatal development and pathology of neuro-glio-vascualr interactions, neurovascular coupling, tissue oxygenation. Astrocyte physiology.
  • AXON AND SYNAPSE DEGENERATION/REGENERATION: Wa have recently developed a method for imaging myelinated axons in vivo (Spectral confocal reflectance microscopy SCoRe), which we are currently using to explore questions related to myelin's role in degeneration and regeneration.
  • ALZHEIMER"S DISEAESE: understanding the dynamics of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. We study the interactions between microglia, neurons and amyloid plaques to understand the sequence of events leading to neural dysfunction in AD.

Selected Publications

  • Microglia constitute a barrier that prevents neurotoxic protofibrillar Aß42 hotspots around plaques. Condello C, Yuan P, Schain A, Grutzendler J. Nature Comms. 2015 Jan 29;6 :6176.
  • In vivo imaging of oligodendrocytes using sulforhodamine 101. R. Hill and J. Grutzendler. Nature Methods, 2014. Oct 30;11:1081-1082.
  • Label-free in vivo imaging of myelinated axons in health and disease with spectral confocal reflectance microscopy. Schain A, Hill R, Grutzendler J. Nature Medicine. 2014 Mar 30; Epub 2014 Mar 30.
  • Angiophagy prevents early embolus washout but leads to microvascular recanalization through embolus extravasation. Grutzendler J, Murikinati S, Hiner B ,Lam C , Yoo T ,Ji L, Hafler B, Adelman R ,Gupta S, Yuan P, Rodriguez G. Science Translational Medicine. 2014. 6:226-231
  • Perturbed neural activity disrupts cerebral angiogenesis during a postnatal critical period.C. Whiteus, C. Freitas, J. Grutzendler. Nature. 2013, Dec 04 .505, 407–411
  • In vivo imaging of cerebral microvascular plasticity from birth to death. Harb R, Whiteus C, Freitas C, Grutzendler J. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2012 Oct 24.
  • Multicolor time-stamp reveals the dynamics and toxicity of amyloid deposition. C. Condello, A. Schain, J. Grutzendler. Scientific Reports. 2011. 1,19. doi:10.1038/srep00019.
  • CX3CR1 in microglia regulates brain amyloid deposition through selective protofibrillar amyloid-ß phagocytosis. Liu Z, Condello C, Schain A, Harb R, Grutzendler J. J Neurosci. 2010 Dec 15;30(50):17091-101.
  • Embolus extravasation is an alternative mechanism for cerebral microvascular recanalization. Lam CK, Yoo T, Hiner B, Liu Z, Grutzendler J. Nature. 2010 May 27;465(7297):478-82.
  • Various dendritic abnormalities are associated with fibrillar amyloid deposits in Alzheimer's disease. Grutzendler J, Helmin K, Tsai J, Gan WB. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Feb;1097:30-9.


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