Research Lab

Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Research Interests

Our broaden scientific question tackles the mechanisms underlying ischemia-reperfusion events in brain cells, and we aim to protect the brain tissue by targeting several cellular processes: apoptosis, inflammation, autophagy, metabolic shifts, redox signaling and neuronal differentiation. The final objective is to integrate this knowledge and to develop new approaches for protecting brain tissue based on:

(i) the cytoprotective function of carbon monoxide /hemeoxygenase

(ii) the activation of endogenous mechanisms of defense by remote ischemic conditioning.

Research Highlights
How remote ischemic conditioning can protect brain against ischemia? Carbon monoxide modulation of glial cell function

Out of the 3 published papers the Figueiredo- Pereira et al. Redox Biology 2020 is a review paper that summarizes a newly found biological function of carbon monoxide: modulation of cell metabolism by targeting oxidative phosphotylarion and pentose phosphate pathway. In 2012 our goup was pioneer in showing CO modulation of cell metabolism, since then several other research groups have demonstrated this CO function.


highlight 2020


Representative Projects

  • Remote ischemic post-conditioning in acute phase of ischemic stroke: disclosing novel circulating biomarkers and clinical trial for improving outcome - PTDC/MEC-NEU/28750/2017, Total funding € 239 900 - PI: Helena L A Vieira  and Co-PI: Miguel Viana-Baptista
  • Translational and mechanistic approaches on carbon monoxide as a modulator of neuroinflammation and neuroprotection in glial cells - FCT-ANR/NEU-NMC/0022/2012, Total funding € 249 000 - Funded by “Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia” and “Agence Nationale pour la Recherche” - PI: Helena L.A. Vieira and Roberto Motterlini
  • Mechanisms of cardioprotection by berries driven polyphenols - ANR-FCT/BEX-BCM/0001/2013, Total funding € 187 800 - Funded by “Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia” and “Agence Nationale pour la Recherche” - PI: Cláudia Santos (iBET) and Catherine Brenner (Université de Paris-Sud), Helena L Vieira responsible for one task
  • Preconditioning triggered by Carbon monoxide: new strategies to prevent brain damage due to hypoxia-ischemia and reperfusion, PTDC/SAU-NEU/089747/2008, Total funding € 100 000 - PI: Helena L A Vieira
  • Carbon monoxide as neuroprotector against hypoxia-ischemia and reperfusion - PTDC/SAU-NEU/64327/2006, Total funding € 125 000 – PI: Helena L A Vieira

Selected Publications

Figueiredo-Pereira, C; Villarejo-Zori, B; Cipriano, PC; Tavares, D; Ramirez-Pardo, I; Boya, P; Vieira, HLA. 2023. Carbon Monoxide Stimulates Both Mitophagy And Mitochondrial Biogenesis to Mediate Protection Against Oxidative Stress in Astrocytes. MOLECULAR NEUROBIOLOGY, DOI: 10.1007/s12035-022-03108-7
Morleo, M; Vieira, HLA; Pennekamp, P; Palma, A; Bento-Lopes, L; Omran, H; Lopes, SS; Barral, DC; Franco, B. 2022. Crosstalk between cilia and autophagy: implication for human diseases. Autophagy, DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2022.2067383
Inês Guerra Mollet; Catarina Martins; Miguel Ângelo-Dias; Carvalho AS; Kerman Aloria; Rune Matthiesen; M Viana-Baptista; LUIS MIGUEL BORREGO; Helena LAVieira. 2022. Pilot study in human healthy volunteers on the mechanisms underlying remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) – Targeting circulating immune cells and immune-related proteins. JOURNAL OF NEUROIMMUNOLOGY, DOI: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2022.577847
Soares, NL; Paiva, I; Bravo, J; Queiroga, CSF; Melo, BF; Conde, SV; Romao, CC; Summavielle, T; Vieira, HLA. 2022. Carbon Monoxide Modulation of Microglia-Neuron Communication: Anti-Neuroinflammatory and Neurotrophic Role. MOLECULAR NEUROBIOLOGY, DOI: 10.1007/s12035-021-02643-z
Dias-Pedroso, D; Ramalho, JS; Sardao, VA; Jones, JG; Romao, CC; Oliveira, PJ; Vieira, HLA. 2021. Carbon Monoxide-Neuroglobin Axis Targeting Metabolism Against Inflammation in BV-2 Microglial Cells. MOLECULAR NEUROBIOLOGY, DOI: 10.1007/s12035-021-02630-4
Figueiredo-Pereira, C; Dias-Pedroso, D; Soares, NL; Vieira, HLA. 2020. CO-mediated cytoprotection is dependent on cell metabolism modulation. Redox Biology, 32, DOI: 10.1016/j.redox.2020.101470
Almeida, Ana S.; Soares, Nuno L.; Sequeira, Catarina O.; Pereira, Sofia A.; Sonnewald, Ursula; Vieira, Helena L.A.. 2018. Improvement of neuronal differentiation by carbon monoxide: role of pentose phosphate pathway. Redox Biology, 17, DOI: 10.1016/j.redox.2018.05.004