Jones Laboratory: Epilepsy and Behaviour

Researcher

Research Overview

Our research utilises basic science approaches to explore animal behaviour in the context of health and disease. The primary goal of the lab is to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms which cause neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly epilepsy, cognitive disorders and mental health conditions. We employ of a range of advanced behavioural tests of cognition, anxiety, depression, coupled with in vivo electrophysiology, molecular biology, in vivo imaging, opto/chemogenetic, immunocytochemical and transgenic methods to achieve this goal. We also study the role and influence of neuronal oscillations in cognitive behaviours in physiological circumstances, using sophisticated behavioural tasks and hig-end electrophysiological recordings.

Staff

  • A/Prof Nigel Jones – Behavioural Neuroscientist and group leader  
  • Ms. Gabi Dezsi – Research Assistant
  • Dr. Ezgi Ozturk - Research Assistant
  • Jaime Lee - PhD student
  • Elysia Sokolenko - PhD student
  • Sephanie Amiridis - PhD student
  • Juliana Silva - PhD student
  • Dana Jazayeri - PhD student
  • Shobi Sivathamboo - PhD student
  • Ping Zheng - PhD student
  • Crystal Li - Masters student
  • Joseph Sun - Masters student
  • Gabriella Martello - Honours student
  • Georgia Harris - Honours student
  • Caitlyn Roberts - Honours student

Collaborators

  • Prof Patrick Kwan and Prof. Terry O'Brien - Department of Medicine (RMH), University of Melbourne
  • A/Prof Andrew Morokoff - Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne
  • Prof. Margaret Morris - University of New South Wales, NSW
  • Prof. Phil Robinson and A/Prof Megan Chircop - Children’s Medical Research Institute, NSW
  • Prof. Adam McCluskey - University of Newcastle, NSW
  • Prof Maarten van den Buuse - La Trobe University  
  • A/Prof Cheryl Shoubridge - University of Adelaide
  • Prof. Hal Blumenfeld - Yale University, CT, USA
  • Prof Moshe Syzf and Prof Anne McKinney - McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • Dr. Thibault Renoir and Dr. Jess Nithianantharajah - Florey Institutes for Neuroscience and Mental Health
  • A/Prof Didier Pinault - University de Strasbourg, France
  • Dr. Jay Spampanato - University of Utah, USA

Funding

  • ARC Future Fellowship - Psychiatric disorders in epilepsy
  • NHMRC Project grant - The effect of stress and environmental enrichment on disease progression in epilepsy
  • NHMRC Project grant - A new approach to treating intractable epilepsy
  • Cancer Council of Australia - Defining the cellular determinants that drive dynamin inhibitor induced cell death and in vivo efficacy against glioblastoma  
  • NHMRC project grant - Tau phosphorylation to treat and prevent acquired epilepsy, neurodegeneration and neuropsychiatric disease following a brain injury
  • NHMRC Project grant - Comorbid affective disturbance in a model of absence epilepsy
  • CURE Taking Flight award - Epigenetics in epilepsy
  • NHMRC project grant - Why does early life stress aggravate epileptogenesis?

Research Outcomes

  • P Anderson, et al. The N-methyl D-aspartate glutamate receptor antagonist ketamine disrupts the functional state of the corticothalamic pathway. Cerebral Cortex, accepted May 11, 2016.
  • G Dezsi, et al & NC Jones. Environmental enrichment imparts disease-modifying and transgenerational effects on genetically-determined epilepsy and anxiety. Neurobiology of Disease, accepted May 9, 2016.
  • S-J Liu, et al & NC Jones & TJ O’Brien. Sodium selenate retards epileptogenesis in acquired epilepsy models reversing changes in protein phosphatase 2A and hyperphosphorylated tau. Brain, accepted April 12, 2016
  • MS Hildebrand, et al. Mutations of the sonic-hedgehog pathway underlie hypothalamic hamartoma with gelastic epilepsy. American Journal of Human Genetics, accepted 7 March 2016
  • M Hudson, et al & NC Jones. Reversal of evoked gamma oscillation deficits is predictive of antipsychotic activity with a unique profile for clozapine. Translational Psychiatry, accepted 6 March 2016
  • YH Hung, et al.  Npc1 haploinsufficiency causes developmental motor dysfunction and increased anxiety-like behavior. Neurotherapeutics accepted 23 Feb 2016
  • M Yang, et al & NC Jones. Environmental enrichment delays limbic epileptogenesis and restricts pathological synaptic plasticity. Epilepsia v.57(3), p:484-94. 2016.
  • Shultz SR, et al. Sodium selenate reduces hyperphosphorylated tau and improves outcomes after traumatic brain injury. Brain,v.138:1297-313, 2015.
  • J Chan, et al. A mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease displays increased susceptibility to kindling and seizure-associated death. Epilepsia, v.56(6):73-7, 2015 PMID: 25879152
  • JK Callaway, et al. Memory impairment in rats after desflurane anaesthesia is age- and dose-dependent. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease v.44, p:995-1005. 2015.
  • LE Long, et al & NC Jones. Neuregulin 1 expression and electrophysiological abnormalities in the Neuregulin 1 transmembrane domain heterozygous mutant mouse. PLoS One, v10(5): e0124114, 2015
  • L Cardamone, et al & NC Jones Antidepressant treatment accelerates kindling epileptogenesis in rats. Neurobiology of Disease v.63, p194 – 200, 2014
  • AS Koe, et al & NC Jones. Early life maternal separation stress augmentation of limbic epileptogenesis: the role of corticosterone and HPA axis programming Psychoneuroendocrinology, v.42, p:124-33, 2014
  • SR Shultz, et al. Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is neuroprotective in experimental traumatic brain injury. J Neurotrauma, 31(10):976-83, 2014.
  • NC Jones, et al. Effects of aberrant gamma frequency oscillations on prepulse inhibition. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, v.17, p:1671–81, 2014
  • KL Powell, et al & NC Jones. Seizure expression, behavior, and brain morphology differences in colonies of Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats from Strasbourg. Epilepsia.v.55 (12): 1959, 2014.
  • PM Anderson, et al & NC Jones. Chronic administration of antipsychotics attenuates ongoing and ketamine-induced increases in cortical gamma oscillations. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, v.17, p:1895–1904, 2014.
  • N Carcak, et al. The effect of amygdala kindling on neuronal firing patterns in the lateral thalamus in the GAERS model of absence epilepsy. Epilepsia v.55(5) p:654-65, 2014.
  • P Zheng, et al. Hyperphosphorylated tau is implicated in acquired epilepsy and neuropsychiatric comorbidities. Molecular Neurobiology v.49, p: 1532-9. 2014.
  • K Powell, NC Jones, et al. HCN channelopathy and cardiac electrophysiologic dysfunction in genetic and acquired rat epilepsy models. Epilepsia v.55(4), p:609-20, 2014.
  • NC Jones, et al. Interaction between sex and early life stress: influence on epileptogenesis and epilepsy comorbidities. Neurobiology of Disease v.72, p:233-41. 2014.
  • I Ali, et al. Enduring Effects of Early Life Stress on Firing Patterns of Hippocampal and Thalamocortical Neurons in Rats: Implications for Limbic Epilepsy. PLoS One v8 e66962, 2013
  • SR Shultz, et al Can structural or functional changes following traumatic brain injury in the rat predict epileptic outcome? Epilepsia v.54(7), p1240-50, 2013
  • G Dezsi, et al & NC Jones Ethosuximide reduces epileptogenesis and behavioural comorbidity in the GAERS model of genetic generalized epilepsy. Epilepsia v54 p635-43, 2013
  • Z Machnes, et al. DNA Methylation Mediates Persistent Epileptiform Activity In Vitro and In Vivo PLoS One v.8, i10, e76299, 2013
  • RC Harty, et al. Axon initial segment structural plasticity in animal models of genetic and acquired epilepsy. Epilepsy Research v.105, p:272-279, 2013.
  • NC Jones, et al. Repeatedly stressed rats have enhanced vulnerability to amygdala kindling epileptogenesis. Psychoneuroendocrinology v.38, p263-270, 2013
  • L Cardamone, et al & NC Jones. Antidepressant therapy in epilepsy – can treating the comorbidities affect the underlying disorder? British Journal of Pharmacology v.168, p1531–54, 2013
  • NC Jones, TJ O’Brien. Stress, epilepsy and psychiatric comorbidity: How can animal models inform the clinic? Epilepsy & Behavior v.26, p:363-369, 2013.
  • NC Jones, et al. Typical and atypical antipsychotics reduce EEG gamma power, but only LY379268 reduces the ketamine rise in gamma. International Journal of Neuropyschopharmacology v.15, p:657–668, 2012
  • NC Jones, et al.  Targeting hyperphosphorylated tau with sodium selenate suppresses seizures in rodent models. Neurobiology of Disease, 45(3):897-901, 2012.
  • J Callaway, et al. Isoflurane induces cognitive deficits in the Morris water maze task in rats. European Journal of Anaesthesia v.29, p.239-45, 2012
  • B Jupp, et al. Hypometabolism Precedes Limbic Atrophy and Seizures in a Rat Model of TLE. Epilepsia v.53.7, p1233-44, 2012
  • E Tringham, et al. Novel T-type calcium channel blockers relieve absence seizures. Science Trans Med. v.4, p121ra19, 2012
  • JK Callaway, et al. Sevoflurane anesthesia enhances acquisition learning in the Morris water maze. Anaesthesiology. v.117 (5), p1091-1101, 2012
  • M Tan, et al & NC Jones. Tissue Plasminogen Activator does not alter development of acquired epilepsy: evidence from mice and humans. Epilepsia v.53 (11), p1998–2004, 2012
  • I Ali, et al & NC Jones. Enduring effects of early life stress on cellular and network electrophysiology. Psychopharmacology. v.214(1), p:155-73, 2011
  • G Kumar, et al. Associations between early life stress enhancement of epileptogenesis, HPA response to seizures, hippocampal neurogenesis, CA3c cell loss and gender. PLoS One v.6(9), e24033, 2011
  • M Sashindranath, et al. Compartment- and context-specific changes in tissue-type plasminogen activator(tPA) activity following brain injury and pharmacological stimulation. Laboratory Investigation. v.91, p.1079-91, 2011
  • NC Jones, et al. Typical and atypical antipsychotics reduce EEG gamma power, but only LY379268 reduces the ketamine rise in gamma. International Journal of Neuropyschopharmacology v.15, p:657–668, 2011
  • NC Jones, et al. Morphometric changes and molecular mechanisms in rat models of idiopathic generalized epilepsy with absence seizures. Neuroscience Letters. v.497, p:185-193, 2011.
  • V Bouilleret, et al & NC Jones.  Confounding neurodegenerative effects of manganese for in vivo MR imaging in rat models of brain insults.  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging v.34, p:774-784, 2011.
  • NC Jones, et al. Evidence for Co-morbid Psychotic-Like Behavior in a Rat Model of Genetic Generalized Epilepsy. Neurobiology of Disease, v.39, p:116-125, 2010
  • S Petrovski, et al. Neuropsychiatric symptomatology predicts seizure recurrence in patients. Neurology v.75, p:1015-21, 2010
  • YR Liu, et al.  Progressive Structural and Functional Changes in Widespread Cerebral Regions Following TBI in a Rat Model. Journal of Nuclear Medicine v.51(11), p:1788-95, 2010  
  • NC Jones, et al.  Anxiolytic effects of rapid amygdala kindling, and the influence of early life experience in rats. Behavioral Brain Research v.203, p:81–87, 2009  
  • V Bouilleret, et al & NC Jones. Morphometric brain abnormalities and Increased Anxiety in a Rat Model of Generalized Epilepsy: Relevance for the Psychiatric Co-morbidities of Epilepsy? NeuroImage v.45, p:267-274, 2009. 
  • RJ Lohman, et al. A regulatory role for protease-activated receptor-2 in motivational learning in rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. v.29, p:301-309, 2009  
  • NC Jones, et al. NMDA Receptor Hypofunction Induces Aberrant Cortical γ Oscillations Independent of PLoS One v.4(8), p: e6755, 2009.
  • A Koe, et al. Early life stress as an influence on limbic epilepsy: an hypothesis whose time has come? Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience v.3, e: 24, 2009
  • NC Jones, et al. Elevated anxiety and depressive-like behavior in a rat model of genetic generalised epilepsy suggesting common causation. Experimental Neurology v.209(1), p:254-60, 2008  
  • NC Jones, et al. Experimental TBI induces a pervasive hyperanxious phenotype in rats. Journal of Neurotrauma, v.25, p:1367–1374, 2008.  
  • MR Salzberg, et al. Early postnatal stress confers vulnerability to limbic epileptogenesis. Epilepsia, v.48(11), p:2079-2085, 2007.  
  • G Kumar, et al. The acceleration of amygdala kindling epileptogenesis by chronic low-dose corticosterone involves both mineralocorticoid receptors. Psychoneuroendocrinology, v.32(7), p:824-42, 2007  
  • NC Jones, et al. Antagonism of the interleukin-1 receptor reduces nitric oxide synthase-2 expression and improves outcome following traumatic brain injury in the mouse. European Journal of Neuroscience v.22(1), p:72-78, 2005.  
  • CL Gibson, et al. G-CSF suppresses edema formation and reduces Interleukin-1β expression following cerebral ischemia in mice. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology v.64(9), p:763-9, 2005.  
  • NC Jones, et al. The neuroprotective effect of progesterone after traumatic brain injury in male mice is independent of both the inflammatory response and growth factor expression. European Journal of Neuroscience v.21(6), p:1-8, 2005  
  • NC Jones, et al. A detrimental role for nitric oxide synthase-2 in the pathology resulting from acute cerebral injury. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology v.63(7) p:708-720, 2004.

Research Publications

  • G Dezsi, E Ozturk, M Salzberg, M Morris, T O'Brien, NC Jones. Environmental enrichment imparts disease-modifying and transgenerational effects on genetically-determined epilepsy and anxiety. Neurobiology of Disease, accepted May 9, 2016.
  • S-J Liu, P Zheng, DK Wright, G Dezsi, E Braine, T Nguyen, NM Corcoran, LA Johnston, CM Hovens, JN Mayo, M Hudson, SR Shultz, NC Jones, and TJ O’Brien. Sodium selenate retards epileptogenesis in acquired epilepsy models reversing changes in protein phosphatase 2A and hyperphosphorylated tau. Brain, accepted April 12, 2016
  • M Hudson, G Rind, TJ O’Brien, NC Jones. Reversal of evoked gamma oscillation deficits is predictive of antipsychotic activity with a unique profile for clozapine. Translational Psychiatry, accepted 6 March 2016
  • AS Koe, MR Salzberg, MJ Morris, TJ O’Brien, NC Jones. Early life maternal separation stress augmentation of limbic epileptogenesis: the role of corticosterone and HPA axis programming Psychoneuroendocrinology, v.42, p:124-33, 2014
  • G Dezsi, E Ozturk, D Stanic, KL Powell, H Blumenfeld, TJ O’Brien, and NC Jones Ethosuximide reduces epileptogenesis and behavioural comorbidity in the GAERS model of genetic generalized epilepsy. Epilepsia v54 p635-43, 2013
  • NC Jones, MR Salzberg, G Kumar, A Couper, MJ Morris, TJ O’Brien. Elevated anxiety and depressive-like behavior in a rat model of genetic generalised epilepsy suggesting common causation. Experimental Neurology v.209(1), p:254-60, 2008

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects



Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience

School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Group Leader Associate Professor Nigel Jones

Department / Centre

Medicine and Radiology

Unit / Centre

Jones Laboratory


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