Cell Biology & Physiology Division

Dr. K. P. Mohanakumar

(PhD, Saurashtra University, Rajkot)

Contact: mohankumar@iicb.res.in / kpmohanakumar@yahoo.com

Chief Scientist
& Head, PME

Current Research Interest

    Parkinson’s disease – drug development. Animal and cellular models are used for target identification and for drug screening. Novel molecules are isolated from plant sources, identified, and modeled with the help of bio-informatics, and the good molecules and their congeners are synthesized, and evaluated. These are achieved by means of vigorous collaborative research with synthetic organic chemists and bioinformatics specialists. Of special interest is investigation on combination of drugs for better therapeutic outcome, as well as with a view to reduce the dose of L-DOPA for reducing the drug-induced complications on long-term use.

    Pathophysiology of neurolathyrism, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases: Molecular basis of neuronal death in Parkinson’s disease, neurolathyrism and Huntington’s disease is investigated employing animal models, human postmortem brain tissues, primary cell cultures, cell lines and modified cell lines (cybrids). Neurobehavioral abnormalities and neurotransmitter metabolism in animals models, reactive oxygen & nitrogen species, and cellular signaling in relation to apoptosis, calcium homeostasis, membrane potential, voltage and ligand gated channel currents, mitochondrial functions and gene expression defects are investigated. What makes substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons to die, whereas dopaminergic neurons of other areas of the brain are spared is a major interest in the laboratory. A proteomics approach is adopted to decipher this issue.

    Stem cells differentiation and transplantation recovery in Parkinson’s disease: Stem cells are differentiated into dopaminergic neurons, employing several means. Co-culture, magnetically sorted cells, and mixed population of cells with varied stages of differentiation are used for transplantation recovery in animal models of hemi-parkinsonism. Recovery in terms of behavior, neurotransmission, neuronal integrity and glial proliferation are examined. Survival of the graft, stereology, neurogenesis and transplantation loci in the brain are of prime interest.

    Bioenergetics in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): ASD & ADHD are investigated in terms of involvement of mitochondrial integrity, biogenesis and their functions. Human samples from patient population are used for creating cybrids and investigated for mitochondrial genes and their gene expression pattern for examining pathophysiology of these diseases.

    Research collaborations: Active collaborative research with funding are operative with Manovikas Kendra, Kolkata; Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata; and Assam Central University, Silchar.

    Facilities: Dedicated facilities in the laboratory include an advanced neurobehavioral laboratory, HPLC-electrochemistry/fluorimetry, small brain stereotaxic apparatus, patch clamp rig, intracellular calcium assays, tools for protein separation and analysis including a Chemidoc system, PCR, real-time PCR, stereo-, fluorescent- and IR-DIC microscopes and a modern cell culture laboratory.



Names of the group members including regular staff with designation and research fellows

Staff Member`s

Research Fellows / RA


  1. Mr. Amit Naskar, SRF, DBT infinite_amit32@yahoo.com
  2. Mr. Raghavendra Singh, SRF, CSIR singh_sarvesh01@yahoo.co.in
  3. Mr. Debashis Dutta, SRF, CSIR ddebashis22@yahoo.com
  4. Miss Nilufar Ali, SRF, CSIR nilufar.ali.87@gmail.com
  5. Miss Poonam Verma, SRF, CSIR pv1585@gmail.com
  6. Mr. Nthenge Dominic Ngumbau Ngima, DBT-CICS-TWAS Senior Fellow; ngutimba17@gmail.com
  7. Miss Alpana Singh, SRF,UGC alpanasingh2008@gmail.com
  8. Miss. Anu Raju, SRF, GATE-CSIR anu.anuraju@gmail.com
  9. Miss Meghna Banerjee, SRF, UGC meghna000@gmail.com
  10. Mr. Paidi Ramesh Kumar, JRF, GATE-CSIR rameshkumar602@gmail.com

List of important Publications

      1. Haobam R, Tripathy D, Navneet AK, Mohanakumar KP. Embryonic stem cells derived neuron transplantation recovery in models of parkinsonism in relation to severity of the disorder in rats. Rejuvenation Res. (In Press - 2015)
      2. Jaiswal P, Guhathakurta S, Singh AS, Verma D, Pandey M, Varghese M, Sinha S, Ghosh S, Mohanakumar KP, Rajamma U. SLC6A4 markers modulate platelet 5-HT level and specific behaviors of autism: A study from an Indian population. Prog Neuro-Psychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 56, 196-206, 2015.
      3. Srinivas P, Wink D, Mohanakumar KP, Pillai MR. The legacy of nitric oxide: Impact on disease biology. Nitric Oxide 2014 Sep 17. doi: 10.1016/j.niox.2014.09.005.
      4. Chakraborty J, Pandey M, Navneet AK, Appukuttan AT, Varghese M, Sreetama SC, Rajamma U, Mohanakumar KP. Increased expression of profilin2 is associated with its altered interaction with the cytoskeletal protein, β-actin in the striatum of 3-nitropropionic acid-induced Huntington’s disease in rats. Neuroscience 281, 216-228, 2014.
      5. Tripathy D, Verma P, Nthenge-Ngumbau DN, Banerjee M, Mohanakumar KP. Regenerative therapy in experimental parkinsonism: Mixed population of differentiated mouse embryonic stem cells, rather than magnetically sorted and enriched dopaminergic cells provide neuroprotection. CNS Neurosci Ther 20, 717-727, 2014.
      6. Chakraborty J, Nthenge-Ngumbau DN, Rajamma U, Mohanakumar KP. Melatonin protects against behavioural dysfunctions and dendritic spine damage in 3-nitropropionic acid-induced rat model of Huntington's disease. Behav Brain Res 264: 91-104, 2014.
      7. Verma D, Chakraborti B, Karmakar A, Bandyodpadhyay T, Singh AS, Sinha S, Chatterjee A, Ghosh S, Mohanakumar KP, Mukhophadhyay K, Rajamma U. Sexual dimorphic effect in the genetic association of MAO-A markers with autism spectrum disorder. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 50:11-20, 2014.
      8. Chakraborty J, Singh R, Dutta D, Naskar A, Rajamma U, Mohanakumar KP. Quercetin improves behavioral deficiencies, restores astrocytes and microglia, and reduces serotonin metabolism in 3-nitropropionic acid-induced rat model of Huntington's disease. CNS Neurosci Ther, 20, 10-19, 2014.
      9. Borah A, Paul R, Choudhury S, Choudhury A and Mohanakumar KP. Neuroprotective potential of Silymarin against CNS disorders: Insight into the pathways and molecular mechanisms of action. CNS Neurosci Ther, 19, 847-53, 2013.
      10. Tripathy D, Haobam R, Nair R, Mohanakumar KP. Engraftment of mouse embryonic stem cells differentiated by default leads to neuroprotection, behaviour revival and astrogliosis in parkinsonian rats. PLoS ONE, 8(9): e72501, 2013.
      11. Naskar A, Manivasagam T, Chakraborty J, Singh R, Thomas B, Dhanasekaran M, Mohanakumar KP. Melatonin synergizes with low doses of L-DOPA to improve dendritic spine density in the mouse striatum in experimental Parkinsonism. J Pineal Res 55, 304-312, 2013.
      12. Appukuttan TA, Varghese M, Ali N, Singh A, Tripathy D, Padmakumar M, Gangopadhyay PK, Mohanakumar KP. Parkinson’s disease cybrids, differentiated or undifferentiated, maintain distinct morphological and biochemical phenotypes different from the control cybrids. J Neurosci Res 91, 963-970,2013.
      13. Madathil KS, Saravanan KS and Mohanakumar KP. Sodium salicylate protects against rotenone-induced parkinsonism in rats. Synapse 67:502–514, 2013.
      14. Madathil KS, Karuppagounder SS, Haobam R, Varghese M, Rajamma U, Mohanakumar KP. Nitric oxide synthase inhibitors protect against rotenone-induced, oxidative stress mediated parkinsonism in rats. Neurochem Int 62, 674-683, 2013.
      15. Karuppagounder SS, Madathil KS, Pandey M, Haobam R, Rajamma U, Mohanakumar KP. Quercetin up-regulates mitochondrial complex-I activity to protect against programmed cell death in rotenone model of Parkinson’s disease in rats. Neuroscience 236, 136–148, 2013.
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Updated on 19th January 2015

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