Neuroscience in Denmark

Back to overview

General information

Name (center, department, group or other)
The Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Bispebjerg Hospital, University of Copenhagen
Contact name
Jan Fahrenkrug
Contact email
Contact title
Head of department, professor, DMSc.
3. August 2015

Brief description of research activities

The research area is basal and clinical neurochemistry with focus on the presence, function and pathobiochemical significance of neuropeptides and neuropeptide receptors in neuropsychiatric diseases.

Present research focuses on the significance of the role of the neuropeptides VIP and PACAP in the regulation and function of the brain’s biological clock that regulates our circadian rhythm and the photoreceptor system which adjusts the biological clock. Dysfuntion in the brain’s clock can lead to e.g. seasonal affective disorders, sleep disorders, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The research area covers a wide field from molecular and cellular biology and animal experiments (transgenic mice) to clinical medicine.

Keywords: Circadian rhythms, Neuropeptides, Clock genes, Melanopsin, Transgenic mice

Research tools and techniques

Cell biology
Molecular biology
Animal behavior and physiology
Knock-out mice

Scientific Personnel

No of Associate Professors/Postdocs: 2
No of PhD students: 1
Other: 2

Key references from within the last 5 years

Hannibal J, Hindersson P, Knudsen SM, Georg B, Fahrenkrug J. The photopigment melanopsin is exclusively present in pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide-containing retinal ganglion cells of the retinohypothalamic tract. J Neurosci 2002; 22:1-7.

Fahrenkrug J, Georg B, Hannibal J, Hindersson P, Gräs S. Diurnal rhythmicity of the clock genes Per1 and Per2 in the rat ovary. Endocrinology 2006; 147:3769-3776.

Moldrup M-L, Georg B, Falktoft B, Mortensen R, Hansen JL, Fahrenkrug J. Light induces Fos expression via extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 in melanopsin-expressing PC12 cells. J Neurochem 2010; 112:797-806.

Hannibal J, Hsiung HM, Fahrenkrug J. Temporal phasing of locomotor activity, heart rate rhythmicity and core body temperature is disrupted in VIP receptor 2- deficient mice. Am J Phys 2011; 300:R519-R530.

Engelund A, Fahrenkrug J, Harrison A, Luuk H, Hannibal J. Altered pupillary light reflex in PACAP receptor 1-deficient mice. Brain Res 2012;1453:17-25.

Fahrenkrug J, Georg B, Hannibal J, Jørgensen HL. Altered rhythm of adrenal clock genes, StAR and serum corticosterone in VIP receptor 2-deficient mice. J Mol Neurosci 2012; 48:584-596.

Yang Y, Duguay D, Bédard N, Rachalski A, Baquiran G, Na, CH, Fahrenkrug J, Storch K-F, Peng J, Wing SS, Carmakian N. Regulation of behavioral circadian rhythms and clock protein PER1 by the deubiquitinating enzyme USP2. Biol Open 2012; 1:789-801.

Rath MF, Rohde K, Fahrenkrug J, Møller M. Circadian clock components in the rat neocortex: daily dynamics, localization and regulation. Brain Struct Funct 2013; 218:551-562.

Fahrenkrug J, Falktoft B, Georg B, Hannibal J, Kristiansen SB, Klausen TK. Phosphorylation of rat melanopsin at Ser-381 and Ser-398 by light/darkness and its importance for ipRGCs cellular Ca2+ signalling. J Biol Chem. 2014; 289: 35482-93.

Yang Y, Duguay D, Fahrenkrug J, Cermakian N, Wing SS. USP2 regulates the intracellular localization of PER1 and circadian gene expression. J Biol Rhythms. 2014; 29: 243-56.
Scherfigsvej 7
2100 Copenhagen Ø
Tel. +45 39 12 80 00
CVR-nr. 11 81 49 13
Nils Axelsen Ralf Hemmingsen Lauritz Holm-Nielsen Ralf Hemmingsen Jens Oddershede Jens Frederik Rehfeld Anders Bjørklund