Roser Masgrau Juanola

Roser  Masgrau Juanola



Roser Masgrau Juanola

Academic Staff

+34 935 811 574



Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Institut de Neurociències
Faculty  of Medicine (room M2-117)
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Bellaterra Campus 08193-Cerdanyola del Vallés


Thesis number in address

Dr. Roser Masgrau is a Principal Investigator at the Signaling and New Therapeutic Targets (SINDATER) research group. Her research is on calcium signaling and metabolism in astrocytes.
Laboratory members:
Arantxa Golbano – PhD student
Raquel Larramona – PhD student

Former members:
Miquel Barceló
Paulina Carriba
Abel Eraso
Gemma Huesa
Mateu Lichtenstein
Luis Pardo
Rubén Villalonga
Elena Vicario

In healthy brains, astrocytes modulate neurotransmission: they surround synapses and, under the control of calcium transients, respond to, take up and release neurotransmitters, namely glutamate, D-serine, ATP, or TNF-alpha. Astrocytes have been implicated in various cellular processes allegedly related to memory acquisition such as neuronal synchronization, inhibitory synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation (LTP) and synaptic scaling. Astrocytes also protect neurons from oxidative stress. In neurodegenerative diseases, astrocytes may contribute to pathology by loss-of-function or gain of toxic function.
The general objectives of our research group are:
1. To find out molecular mechanisms by which astrocytes regulate memory formation
2. To establish astrocytes as a therapeutic target in neurodegeneration


1.- Astrocytic CREB- We seek to analyze the role of CREB in astrocyte plasticity, that is, morphological and functional changes that that affect synaptic efficiency: i) molecular mechanisms of the regulation of calcium signaling (astrocyte excitability) by CREB, ii)  metabolic genes regulated by CREB. Project funded by: Ministerio de Economia y Competividad, Gobierno de España. BFU2016-79735-P – CREB astrocitario en plasticidad y traumatismo cerebral. January 2016- December2019

2.-Astrocytes in Alzheimer- Our purpose is to characterize how expression of ApoE4, the main genetic risk of Alzheimer, regulates astrocytes, analyzing: calcium signaling, metabolism and mitochondrial and lysosomal functions. Project funded by: La Marató de TV3. 127/c/2014- Dexifrant la relació entre la reactivitat dels astròcits i el dany neuronal en la malaltia de l’Alzheimer.  Jannuary 2015-May 2018

3.-  Metabolism of Astrocytes-  We have just shown that astrocytes, a part of being glycolytic,  are also fatty-acid and amino-acid oxidative cells. We are currently studying the molecular mechanism of the regulation of fatty-acid oxidation in astrocytes and its interplay with glycolysis and lactate secretion.

- Guojun Bu, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, USA
- Grant Churchill, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.
- Joan Comella, Institut de Recerca Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona.
- Pau Gorostiza, Institut de Biotecnologia de Catalunya, Barcelona
- Antonia Gutiérrez, Universidad de Málaga.
- Gyles Hardingham, University of Edinburgh, U.K.
- Baljit S. Khakh, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA
- Diego Sánchez y Lola Ganfornina, Universidad de Valladolid, Valladolid. 
- Javier Vitorica, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Hospital Virgen del Rocío, Sevilla.
- Other INc research groups
  • Kastanenka KV, Moreno-Bote R, De Pittà M, Perea G, Eraso-Pichot A, Masgrau R, Poskanzer KE, Galea E. A roadmap to integrate astrocytes into Systems Neuroscience. Glia. 2019 May 6. doi: 10.1002/glia.23632. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 31058383.
  • Riefolo F, Matera C, Garrido-Charles A, Gomila AMJ, Sortino R, Agnetta L, Claro E, Masgrau R, Holzgrabe U, Batlle M, Decker M, Guasch E, Gorostiza P. Optical Control of Cardiac Function with a Photoswitchable Muscarinic Agonist. J  Am Chem Soc. 2019 May 8;141(18):7628-7636. doi: 10.1021/jacs.9b03505. Epub 2019 Apr 26. PubMed PMID: 31010281.
  • Eraso-Pichot A, Brasó-Vives M, Golbano A, Menacho C, Claro E, Galea E, Masgrau R. GSEA of mouse and human mitochondriomes reveals fatty acid oxidation in astrocytes. Glia. 2018 Aug;66(8):1724-1735. doi: 10.1002/glia.23330. Epub 2018 Mar 25. PubMed PMID: 29575211.
  • Pardo L, Valor LM, Eraso-Pichot A, Barco A, Golbano A, Hardingham GE, Masgrau  R, Galea E. CREB Regulates Distinct Adaptive Transcriptional Programs in Astrocytes and Neurons. Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 25;7(1):6390. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-06231-x. PubMed PMID: 28743894; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5526874.
  • Masgrau R, Guaza C, Ransohoff RM, Galea E. Should We Stop Saying 'Glia' and 'Neuroinflammation'? Trends Mol Med. 2017 Jun;23(6):486-500. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2017.04.005. Epub 2017 May 9. Review. PubMed PMID: 28499701.
  • Hasel P, Dando O, Jiwaji Z, Baxter P, Todd AC, Heron S, Márkus NM, McQueen J,  Hampton DW, Torvell M, Tiwari SS, McKay S, Eraso-Pichot A, Zorzano A, Masgrau R,  Galea E, Chandran S, Wyllie DJA, Simpson TI, Hardingham GE. Neurons and neuronal  activity control gene expression in astrocytes to regulate their development and  metabolism. Nat Commun. 2017 May 2;8:15132. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15132. Erratum in: Nat Commun. 2018 Feb 06;9:16176. PubMed PMID: 28462931; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5418577.
  • Eraso-Pichot A, Larramona-Arcas R, Vicario-Orri E, Villalonga R, Pardo L, Galea E, Masgrau R. CREB decreases astrocytic excitability by modifying subcellular calcium fluxes via the sigma-1 receptor. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2017 Mar;74(5):937-950. doi: 10.1007/s00018-016-2397-5. Epub 2016 Oct 19. PubMed PMID: 27761593.
  • Pardo L, Schlüter A, Valor LM, Barco A, Giralt M, Golbano A, Hidalgo J, Jia P, Zhao Z, Jové M, Portero-Otin M, Ruiz M, Giménez-Llort L, Masgrau R, Pujol A, Galea E. Targeted activation of CREB in reactive astrocytes is neuroprotective in focal acute cortical injury. Glia. 2016 May;64(5):853-74. doi: 10.1002/glia.22969. Epub 2016 Feb 16. PubMed PMID: 26880229.
  • Melachroinou K, Xilouri M, Emmanouilidou E, Masgrau R, Papazafiri P, Stefanis  L, Vekrellis K. Deregulation of calcium homeostasis mediates secreted α-synuclein-induced neurotoxicity. Neurobiol Aging. 2013 Dec;34(12):2853-65. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2013.06.006. Epub 2013 Jul 25. PubMed PMID: 23891486.
  • Carriba P, Pardo L, Parra-Damas A, Lichtenstein MP, Saura CA, Pujol A, Masgrau R, Galea E. ATP and noradrenaline activate CREB in astrocytes via noncanonical Ca(2+) and cyclic AMP independent pathways. Glia. 2012 Sep;60(9):1330-44. doi: 10.1002/glia.22352. Epub 2012 May 16. PubMed PMID: 22593004.
  • Barceló-Torns M, Lewis AM, Gubern A, Barneda D, Bloor-Young D, Picatoste F, Churchill GC, Claro E, Masgrau R. NAADP mediates ATP-induced Ca2+ signals in astrocytes. FEBS Lett. 2011 Jul 21;585(14):2300-6. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2011.05.062. Epub 2011 Jun 6. PubMed PMID: 21664355.
  • España J, Valero J, Miñano-Molina AJ, Masgrau R, Martín E, Guardia-Laguarta C, Lleó A, Giménez-Llort L, Rodríguez-Alvarez J, Saura CA. beta-Amyloid disrupts  activity-dependent gene transcription required for memory through the CREB coactivator CRTC1. J Neurosci. 2010 Jul 14;30(28):9402-10. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2154-10.2010. PubMed PMID: 20631169; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6632424.
  • Gubern A, Barceló-Torns M, Barneda D, López JM, Masgrau R, Picatoste F, Chalfant CE, Balsinde J, Balboa MA, Claro E. JNK and ceramide kinase govern the biogenesis of lipid droplets through activation of group IVA phospholipase A2. J  Biol Chem. 2009 Nov 20;284(47):32359-69. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.061515. Epub 2009  Sep 24. PubMed PMID: 19778898; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2781651.
  • Gubern A, Barceló-Torns M, Casas J, Barneda D, Masgrau R, Picatoste F, Balsinde J, Balboa MA, Claro E. Lipid droplet biogenesis induced by stress involves triacylglycerol synthesis that depends on group VIA phospholipase A2. J  Biol Chem. 2009 Feb 27;284(9):5697-708. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M806173200. Epub 2008 Dec 30. PubMed PMID: 19117952.
  • Gubern A, Casas J, Barceló-Torns M, Barneda D, de la Rosa X, Masgrau R, Picatoste F, Balsinde J, Balboa MA, Claro E. Group IVA phospholipase A2 is necessary for the biogenesis of lipid droplets. J Biol Chem. 2008 Oct 10;283(41):27369-82. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M800696200. Epub 2008 Jul 16. PubMed PMID:  18632668.
  • Yamasaki M, Masgrau R, Morgan AJ, Churchill GC, Patel S, Ashcroft SJ, Galione A. Organelle selection determines agonist-specific Ca2+ signals in pancreatic acinar and beta cells. J Biol Chem. 2004 Feb 20;279(8):7234-40. Epub 2003 Dec 2.  PubMed PMID: 14660554.
  • Masgrau R, Churchill GC, Morgan AJ, Ashcroft SJ, Galione A. NAADP: a new second messenger for glucose-induced Ca2+ responses in clonal pancreatic beta cells. Curr Biol. 2003 Feb 4;13(3):247-51. PubMed PMID: 12573222.
  • Churchill GC, O'Neill JS, Masgrau R, Patel S, Thomas JM, Genazzani AA, Galione A. Sperm deliver a new second messenger: NAADP. Curr Biol. 2003 Jan 21;13(2):125-8. PubMed PMID: 12546785.
Institut de Neurociències
Tel: 93 581 3861 / Fax: +34 93 581 3327

Facultat de Medicina. Edifici M-1
Avinguda de Can Domènech - Campus de la UAB · 08193
Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès) · Barcelona