In 1961, when prof. MUDr. J. Maršala, CSc. was appointed to the position of the head of Department of Histology and Embryology, the scientific research activity was focused on the experimental neuromorphology. Experimental morphological laboratory was established at our department in 1986. This allowed the scientific research activities, mainly microsurgical procedures on laboratory animals also for the students of Faculty of Medicine at the P. J. Šafárik University.
Laboratory of light microscopy with the potential of processing biological material by histological, histochemical and immunohistochemical methods for the light and fluorescent microscopy purposes was based in 1981.
In 2008 the Laboratory of molecular biology was established. The equipment of this laboratory allows to employ modern research methods for the detection of gene expression in our scientific research projects.
In 2016 the department underwent general reconstruction of histological and immunohistological laboratories as well as practical rooms.
At present, the scientific and research activities at the Department of Histology and Embryology are focused on three areas:
1. The problems of ischemia-reperfusion injury of the small intestine in experiment.
The scientific team of our department has focused, for many years, on the theme of the mechanism and development of damage to the small intestine after experimentally induced ischemia and reperfusion, as well as possible ways of reduction its consequences. We focus on the analysis of inflammatory changes at the subcellular, cellular, tissue and organ level in the intestine itself, as well as in the distant organs in various models of experimentally induced ischemia-reperfusion injury, and heterotopic allotransplantation of rat jejunum.
2. The problems of ischemia-reperfusion injury of the spinal cord and ischemic tolerance development after pharmacological conditioning in rabbits.
The second project at the Department of Histology and Embryology relates to information obtained from previous VEGA grants aimed to pharmacological conditioning before ischemia – reperfusion. It is focused on the possible development of ischemic tolerance in the rabbit spinal cord neurons after ischemia and subsequent reperfusion by pharmacological postconditioning.
3. The demonstration of alpha-synuclein in the large intestine during the premotor stage of Parkinson’s disease.
A new research area is investigated at our department within the grant APVV and in collaboration with clinical departments. In this study we examine the presence of aggregates of alpha-synuclein in neuronal structures of enteric nervous system. The alpha-synuclein aggregates in the bioptic material from the large intestine could be the potential biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease already in the premotor stage of the disease.
Organization of scientific events
Since 1997, an annual meeting of Slovak scientists working on morphologic field is being held in Košice known as ”Košický morfologický deň”. The Department of Histology and Embryology participates in organization of this event every year. The meeting presents the results of research activities of Slovak morphologists that are published in a Book of scientific articles.
The Slovak Anatomical Society together with the Czech Anatomical Society annually organize an international conference “Morphology”, in the Czech Republic or Slovakia respectively. In 2010, the Department of Histology and Embryology organized the 42nd International Congress of Slovak Anatomical Society and 47th Lojda Symposium on Histochemistry.