ZFIN ID: ZDB-LAB-210827-1
Anbalagan Lab
PI/Director: Anbalagan, Savani
Contact Person: Anbalagan, Savani
Email: savanb@amu.edu.pl
URL: http://ibmib.amu.edu.pl/en/main-page/
Address: Institute of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, ul. Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 6, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
Country: Poland
Phone: +48618295905
Line Designation: amu

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Oxytocin (OXT) is a hypothalamus-derived neuropeptide majorly secreted via the neurohypophysis (posterior pituitary). During social, feeding and reproductive behaviors, OXT is released via synapses both centrally and into the peripheral blood circulation. Reduced hypothalamic OXT content in autism-like mice models and claims of genetic polymorphisms in oxytocin receptor gene of children with social deficits led to the controversial OXT-deficit hypothesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Thus, investigating the molecular mechanisms that regulate OXT content and release can aid in understanding factors underlying ASD.

At a molecular level, neurohypophyseal OXT synapses-associated glial pituicytes can secrete factors that affect OXT content or release. However, the identity and the role of pituicyte-derived secreted factors that can regulate synaptic OXT are largely unknown. Finally, situated outside the blood-brain barrier (BBB), glial pituicytes are directly exposed to the blood-borne molecules and are highly responsive to physiological challenges to promote synaptic plasticity. But the identity and the role of the pituicyte-derived cues that regulate the plasticity of OXT axonal terminals and OXT neuropeptide content upon challenges are largely unknown.

Our lab combines molecular and advanced light microscopy techniques to study the role of glial pituicytes using zebrafish as vertebrate model organism.

We are currently looking for a lab/fish facility manager.

Motivated Postdoctoral candidates eligible to apply for other National or International Postdoctoral fellowships are welcome to contact Savani in advance. (EMBO, EU MSCA)

Agata Gonicka (MS thesis 2022-2023)
Justyna Frątczak (MS thesis 2023-2024)
Miłosz Chodkowski (MS thesis 2022-2023)
Naveen Nedunchezhian (Doctoral student 2022-)

Paula Oklińska (BS thesis 2022)
David Kaszuba (BS thesis 2022)
Ángel Espadas Sanchez (Erasmus student 2022)
Emilia Wysocka (Lab manager 2021-2023, Obtained a PhD studentship position in dr Krzysztof Kowalski group at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń).

2023.03: Savani presented the groups' research interests in the EMBO neuronal remodelling workshop.
2023.01: Publication alert: Our collaborative work on zebrafish stress resilience is published in Cell Reports.
2022.12: Preprint alert: A ligand-receptor interactome atlas of the zebrafish. Our collaborative work led by Miłosz is published as preprint.
2022.12: Hasan Ali has joined our group as postdoctoral fellow. Hasan received his PhD from Toshinobu Tokumoto group, Shizuoka University, Japan.
2022.10: Naveen Nedunchezhian has joined our group as doctoral student.
2022.09: Savani presented the groups' research interests in the NeuroRNA Conference.
2022.09: Savani presented the groups' research interests in the Institute of Neuronal Cell Biology, TU Munich, with financial support from ID-UB (Excellence Initiative).
2022.09: Savani presented the groups' research interests in the EMBO workshop, with financial support from ID-UB (Excellence Initiative).
2022.08: Agata performed her summer internship in Junker group, MDC Berlin.
2022.07: Paula Oklińska and Dawid Kaszuba successfully passed their Bachelor thesis exam. (The first zebrafish-based bachelor thesis from UAM)
2022.07: Savani presented the groups' research interests in the Krakow division of Polish Cell Biology Society seminar series.
2022.05: Our lab virtually hosted Alexander Schier and Lalita Ramakrishnan as part of the UAM ID-UB lecture series.
2022.04: Our lab hosted Didier Stainier from MPI, Bad Nauheim. (The first in person lecture by an International speaker in our Institute this year).
2021.12: Paula Oklińska and Dawid Kaszuba will join us for their Bachelor thesis. Agata Gonicka will join us for her Master thesis.
2021.10: Emilia Wysocka joins as the lab manager/tech of the lab.


Chodkowski, M., Zielezinski, A., Anbalagan S.(2022) A ligand-receptor interactome atlas of the zebrafish. bioRxiv doi:10.1101/2022.12.15.520415.

Amrutha, S., Gliksberg, M., Anbalagan S., Wigoda, N., Levkowitz, G. (2022) Stress resilience is established during development and is regulated by complement factors. bioRxiv doi:10.1101/2022.01.31.478444.

Gonicka, Agata Graduate Student Nedunchezhian, Naveen Graduate Student

Ribeiro, D., Nunes, A.R., Teles, M., Anbalagan, S., Blechman, J., Levkowitz, G., Oliveira, R.F. (2020) Genetic variation in the social environment affects behavioral phenotypes of oxytocin receptor mutants in zebrafish. eLIFE. 9:
Nunes, A.R., Carreira, L., Anbalagan, S., Blechman, J., Levkowitz, G., Oliveira, R.F. (2020) Perceptual mechanisms of social affiliation in zebrafish. Scientific Reports. 10:3642
Ribeiro, D., Nunes, A.R., Gligsberg, M., Anbalagan, S., Levkowitz, G., Oliveira, R.F. (2020) Oxytocin receptor signaling modulates novelty recognition but not social preference in zebrafish. Journal of neuroendocrinology. 32(4):e12834
Anbalagan, S., Blechman, J., Gliksberg, M., Gordon, L., Rotkopf, R., Dadosh, T., Shimoni, E., Levkowitz, G. (2019) Robo2 regulates synaptic oxytocin content by affecting actin dynamics. eLIFE. 8
Anbalagan, S., Gordon, L., Blechman, J., Matsuoka, R.L., Rajamannar, P., Wircer, E., Biran, J., Reuveny, A., Leshkowitz, D., Stainier, D.Y.R., Levkowitz, G. (2018) Pituicyte Cues Regulate the Development of Permeable Neuro-Vascular Interfaces. Developmental Cell. 47(6):711-726.e5
Blechman, J., Anbalagan, S., Matthews, G.G., Levkowitz, G. (2018) Genome Editing Reveals Idiosyncrasy of CNGA2 Ion Channel-Directed Antibody Immunoreactivity Toward Oxytocin. Frontiers in cell and developmental biology. 6:117