Mariangela Nikolakopoulou, PhD

Title(s)Assistant Professor of Research Physiology & Biophysics
SchoolKeck School of Medicine of USC
Phone+1 323 442 0216
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    I’m particularly interested in research associated with neurodegenerative diseases Early in my scientific career, I focused my research on Multiple Sclerosis and I used in vitro models to investigate factors that may enhance neurogenesis in white matter lesions. I discovered through my studies that trypsinogen, a serine protease, is an activated-microglia secreted factor that increases neurogenesis. Later in my career I applied my previous findings to discover neuroprotective agents against toxicity in Alzheimer Disease.
    Currently, my studies focus on blood brain barrier (BBB) damage and vascular-related neurodegeneration. In particular, I am studying pericyte deficiency in relation to demyelination, while my recent studies focus on selective ablation of pericytes in adulthood causing BBB leakage and distortion of capillary density. In addition, I am studying the effects of endothelial LRP1 depletion and am showing that short and long-term treatment with Cyclosporine A can reverse BBB leakage and neurodegeneration respectively.
    Over the years I have been successful in obtaining extramural funding from the Multiple Sclerosis society (NMMS) to study the effects of astrocytic ephrinB1 in demyelination and remyelination.
    Some of the techniques I apply for my studies include cell culture, western blotting, immunoprecipitation, flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry/immunofluorescence, immunocytochemistry, electron microscopy pre-embedding immunohistochemistry, cell transfection, viral infections, intracranial injections, microvessel isolation, CSF extraction, and reverse transcriptase chain polymerase reaction.

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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Lazic D, Sagare AP, Nikolakopoulou AM, Griffin JH, Vassar R, Zlokovic BV. 3K3A-activated protein C blocks amyloidogenic BACE1 pathway and improves functional outcome in mice. J Exp Med. 2019 Jan 15. PMID: 30647119.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Koeppen J, Nguyen AQ, Nikolakopoulou AM, Garcia M, Hanna S, Woodruff S, Figueroa Z, Obenaus A, Ethell IM. Functional Consequences of Synapse Remodeling Following Astrocyte-Specific Regulation of Ephrin-B1 in the Adult Hippocampus. J Neurosci. 2018 Jun 20; 38(25):5710-5726. PMID: 29793972.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Montagne A, Nikolakopoulou AM, Zhao Z, Sagare AP, Si G, Lazic D, Barnes SR, Daianu M, Ramanathan A, Go A, Lawson EJ, Wang Y, Mack WJ, Thompson PM, Schneider JA, Varkey J, Langen R, Mullins E, Jacobs RE, Zlokovic BV. Pericyte degeneration causes white matter dysfunction in the mouse central nervous system. Nat Med. 2018 Mar; 24(3):326-337. PMID: 29400711.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Salehi P, Ge MX, Gundimeda U, Michelle Baum L, Lael Cantu H, Lavinsky J, Tao L, Myint A, Cruz C, Wang J, Nikolakopoulou AM, Abdala C, Kelley MW, Ohyama T, Coate TM, Friedman RA. Role of Neuropilin-1/Semaphorin-3A signaling in the functional and morphological integrity of the cochlea. PLoS Genet. 2017 Oct; 13(10):e1007048. PMID: 29059194.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Nikolakopoulou AM, Zhao Z, Montagne A, Zlokovic BV. Regional early and progressive loss of brain pericytes but not vascular smooth muscle cells in adult mice with disrupted platelet-derived growth factor receptor-ß signaling. PLoS One. 2017; 12(4):e0176225. PMID: 28441414.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Nikolakopoulou AM, Georgakopoulos A, Robakis NK. Presenilin 1 promotes trypsin-induced neuroprotection via the PAR2/ERK signaling pathway. Effects of presenilin 1 FAD mutations. Neurobiol Aging. 2016 06; 42:41-9. PMID: 27143420; PMCID: PMC4857890 [Available on 06/01/17].
    7. Nikolakopoulou AM, Koeppen J, Garcia M, Leish J, Obenaus A, Ethell IM. Astrocytic Ephrin-B1 Regulates Synapse Remodeling Following Traumatic Brain Injury. ASN Neuro. 2016 Jan-Feb; 8(1):1-18. PMID: 26928051; PMCID: PMC4774052.
    8. Nikolakopoulou AM, Dutta R, Chen Z, Miller RH, Trapp BD. Activated microglia enhance neurogenesis via trypsinogen secretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 May 21; 110(21):8714-9. PMID: 23650361; PMCID: PMC3666689.
    9. Nikolakopoulou AM, Meynard MM, Marshak S, Cohen-Cory S. Synaptic maturation of the Xenopus retinotectal system: effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor on synapse ultrastructure. J Comp Neurol. 2010 Apr 01; 518(7):972-89. PMID: 20127801; PMCID: PMC2922692.
    10. Manitt C, Nikolakopoulou AM, Almario DR, Nguyen SA, Cohen-Cory S. Netrin participates in the development of retinotectal synaptic connectivity by modulating axon arborization and synapse formation in the developing brain. J Neurosci. 2009 Sep 09; 29(36):11065-77. PMID: 19741113; PMCID: PMC2775133.
    11. Marshak S, Nikolakopoulou AM, Dirks R, Martens GJ, Cohen-Cory S. Cell-autonomous TrkB signaling in presynaptic retinal ganglion cells mediates axon arbor growth and synapse maturation during the establishment of retinotectal synaptic connectivity. J Neurosci. 2007 Mar 07; 27(10):2444-56. PMID: 17344382.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Nikolakopoulou AM, Parpas A, Panagis L, Zikopoulos B, Dermon CR. Early post-hatching sex differences in cell proliferation and survival in the quail telencephalic ventricular zone and intermediate medial mesopallium. Brain Res Bull. 2006 Jun 30; 70(2):107-16. PMID: 16782501.
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    13. Nikolakopoulou AM, Davies HA, Stewart MG. Passive avoidance training decreases synapse density in the hippocampus of the domestic chick. Eur J Neurosci. 2006 Feb; 23(4):1054-62. PMID: 16519670.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Hu B, Nikolakopoulou AM, Cohen-Cory S. BDNF stabilizes synapses and maintains the structural complexity of optic axons in vivo. Development. 2005 Oct; 132(19):4285-98. PMID: 16141221.
      View in: PubMed