Nykjær Group

Nykjær Group - Receptor Biology

Using transgenic animal models the Nykjær group is studying sortilin receptors in cellular sorting/trafficking, trans-synaptic communication, and neuronal development and signaling.

Research focus

Research activities are focused towards the functional characterization of a family of neuronal type-1 receptors denoted sortilins, comprising sortilin, SorLA, and SorCS-1, -2, and -3. Although expression predominates in neurons, receptors are also present in specialized cell types outside the nervous system. They bind a vast number of ligands spanning from neurotrophic factors, Alzheimer precursor protein (APP), and progranulin to lipoproteins, implying critical roles in regulation of neuronal survival, differentiation, and cholesterol metabolism. Indeed, a number of genetic association studies and gene targeting in mice have linked sortilin dysfunction with neurodegenerative disorders, ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes.

Using transgenic mouse models and a broad repertoire of molecular, cellular and genetic tools it is the goal to unravel the function of the receptor family in health and disease and to evaluate their potential as drug targets.

Available projects

The Nykjær group currently has projects available for Master students and postdocs within the following research areas.

Functions of the sortilin receptor family in health and disease:

Signaling by neurotrophic factors
Synaptic plasticty and psychiatric disorders
Axonal development and ADHD
Neuropathic pain
Functionality of the dopaminergic system
Olfactory system

Please contact Group Leader Anders Nykjær directly, if interested.


2016.07.26 | Research news

New publication from Anders Nykjær's group - SorCS2 is required for BDNF-dependent plasticity in the hippocampus

SorCS2 is a member of the Vps10p-domain receptor gene family receptors with critical roles in the control of neuronal viability and function. Several genetic studies have suggested SORCS2 to confer risk of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Here we report that hippocampal N-methyl-d-aspartate…

2016.07.08 | Research news

New publication from Anders Nykjær's group - The proneurotrophin receptor sortilin is required for Mycobacterium tuberculosis control by macrophages

Sorting of luminal and membrane proteins into phagosomes is critical for the immune function of this organelle. However, little is known about the mechanisms that contribute to the spatiotemporal regulation of this process. Here, we investigated the role of the proneurotrophin receptor sortilin during phagosome maturation and mycobacterial…

2016.03.30 | Research news

New publication from Anders Nykjær's group - Sortilin mediates vascular calcification via its recruitment into extracellular vesicles

Vascular calcification is a common feature of major cardiovascular diseases. Extracellular vesicles participate in the formation of microcalcifications that are implicated in atherosclerotic plaque rupture; however, the mechanisms that regulate formation of calcifying extracellular vesicles remain obscure. Here, we have demonstrated that sortilin…

2014.12.01 | People

Anders Nykjær's group is visited by researchers from the Mayo Clinic Florida

PhD-student Maarten Rotman and Lab Manager Gangadaar Thotakura, Mayo Clinic Florida, will be visiting Anders Nykjær’s Group the first week of December. They both work in Anders Nykjær’s lab at Mayo Clinic and the purpose of their visit is to facilitate technology transfer in translational neuroscience between laboratories in Denmark and Florida.…

2014.11.17 | Research news

New publication from Anders Nykjær's group published in the Journal of Clinical Investigations

In this study "Targeting sortilin in immune cells reduces proinflammatory cytokines and atherosclerosis", the researchers identify a new mechanism critically involved in the development of ischemic heart disease. They report that sortilin, a multifunctional receptor enriched in neurons, has a surprising role outside the nervous system by…

2014.10.09 | People

Anders Nykjær is new professor at the Mayo Clinic

On October 1st 2014, Anders Nykjær was appointed Professor of Neuroscience at Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic Florida, where he has his own research laboratory. He will study the role of sortilin and its related receptors in neurodegenerative disorders. This appointment is in addition to his current professorship at Aarhus University, and he will…

2014.06.27 | Research news

Growing pains in the brain's reward system can lead to ADHD

New research from Anders Nykjær's group at Aarhus University and one of the world's leading hospitals contributes to the understanding of ADHD. Experiments on mice show how the incorrect branching of nerve cells in the brain’s reward system leads to behavioural disorders.

2014.06.13 | Research news

New publication - SorCS2 Regulates Dopaminergic Wiring and Is Processed into an Apoptotic Two-Chain Receptor in Peripheral Glia

New publication from Anders Nykjær's group in collaboration with the private American hospital The Mayo Clinic published in the journal Neuron. The new research findings increase our understanding of why the neuropsychiatric disorder ADHD occurs in the brain.

2014.02.07 | Research news

New publication from DANDRITE researchers - new way for cholesterol treatment

Researchers from Anders Nykjær's group publish new results on cholesterol research in the article "The Hypercholesterolemia-Risk Gene SORT1 Facilitates PCSK9 Secretion" published in Journal of Cell Metabolism. The results show that there is apparently another and just as effective way of reducing so-called bad cholesterol, which is the cause of…

2013.09.19 | Research news

New publication from Anders Nykjær's group - Sortilin-related receptor SORCS3 is a postsynaptic modulator of synaptic depression and fear extinction

New results published in PLoS ONE identifies a novel function for VPS10P domain receptors in control of synaptic depression and suggest SORCS3 as a critical factor modulating aversive memory extinction.

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