Ana Mendanha Falcão

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Choroid Plexus
  • Oligodendrocyte Biology
  • Subventrticular Zone
  • Single-cell genomics

I am fascinated by the choroid plexus (CP), an overlooked tissue of the brain whose most described function is the production of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). During my PhD I have gained expertise in the CP and how it can modulate adult neural stem cells of the subventricular zone. Then, I moved to Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, where I have developed research projects focused on oligodendrocyte (OL) cell biology and multiple sclerosis (MS) that have significantly changed the view of OL role in MS pathology. We found that OL lineage cells are heterogeneous and OL progenitors phagocyte myelin and modulate the activity of immune cells suggesting that oligodendroglia are not passive targets but instead active immunomodulators in the disease. In the past years I have built expertise in groundbreaking methodologies such as single cell/nuclei RNA-seq that I have implemented in my host Institution. I was the main organizer of an EMBO practical course on: Single-cell genomics: get started! that has empowered researchers to implement these techniques at their labs. The projects I am developing encompass the expertise I acquired so far and bridge the themes I have worked during my scientific career: CP biological functions, OL cell biology and MS aetiology/pathology.

Scientific Highlights

Selected publications:
– Meijer, M., Agirre, E., Kabbe, M., van T., Cassandra A.; Heskol, A., Zheng, C., Falcão, A.M.; et al. (2022) Epigenomic priming of immune genes implicates oligodendroglia in multiple sclerosis susceptibility. Neuron. 110(7):1193-1210
– Loureiro-Campos, E., Pinto, L., Falcao, A.M. (2021) CSF circulation regulates depression: do not disturb the flow! Mol Psychiatry. 26:7072-7073
– Carlström, K.E., Zhu, K., Ewing, E., Krabbendam, I.E., Harris, R.A., Falcao, A.M., Jagodic, M., et al. (2020) Glutathione S-transferase 4α is a key regulator of oligodendrocyte differentiation and remyelination in models of multiple sclerosis, by reducing Fas/Caspase-8 pathway activity. Nat Commun 11:4071
– Domingues, H.S., Falcao, A.M., Mendes-Pinto, I., Salgado, A.J., and Teixeira, F.G. (2020) Exome circuitry during (De)(Re)Myelination of the Central Nervous System. Front Cell Dev Biol 8:483
– Falcao, A. M., Meijer, M., Scaglione, A., Rinwa, P., Agirre, E., Liang, J., Larsen, S. C., Heskol, A., et al. (2019) PAD2-Mediated Citrullination Contributes to Efficient Oligodendrocyte Differentiation and Myelination. Cell Rep 27, 1090-1102 e1010
– Jakel, S., Agirre, E., Falcao, A.M., van Bruggen, D., Lee, K. W., Knuesel, I., Malhotra, D., Ffrench-Constant et al. (2019) Altered human oligodendrocyte heterogeneity in multiple sclerosis. Nature 566, 543-547
– Falcao, A. M., van Bruggen, D., Marques, S., Meijer, M., Jakel, S., Agirre, E., Samudyata, Floriddia, E. M. et al. (2018) Disease-specific oligodendrocyte lineage cells arise in multiple sclerosis. Nat Med 24, 1837-1844
– Marques, S., van Bruggen, D., Vanichkina, D. P., Floriddia, E. M., Munguba, H., Varemo, L., Giacomello, S., Falcao, A. M. et al. (2018) Transcriptional Convergence of Oligodendrocyte Lineage Progenitors during Development. Dev Cell 46, 504-517 e507
– Marques, S., Zeisel, A., Codeluppi, S., van Bruggen, D., Falcao, A.M., Xiao, L., Li, H., Haring et al. (2016) Oligodendrocyte heterogeneity in the mouse juvenile and adult central nervous system. Science 352,1326-1329


The immune system in Multiple Sclerosis

This project aims to explore the immune system on multiple sclerosis pathophysiology and is divided in 3 branches:
– Tcells@MS. Our recent studies on newly diagnoses RRMS and PPMS patients…

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The role of CP in myelination and in MS

The choroid plexus (CP) is a tissue in the brain that produces cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a colorless body fluid whose functions is to provide mechanical protections against trauma, to supply…

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