Anant has been using NMR spectroscopy to study biological systems from the beginning of his career. In his earliest study he applied NMR spectroscopy to investigate different bimolecular systems such as the conformation of bioactive peptides in different environments, interaction of ligand with protein, and metabolic study with spermatozoa. During the last several years he was involved in studying neurotransmitters metabolism in rodent brain by using in vivo NMR spectroscopy. The major emphasis was to understand the regulation of inhibitory (GABAergic) process in the brain. Using NMR spectroscopy and 13C isotope techniques he has shown that glutamine is a major precursor for GABA synthesis. He also discovered that GAD67 (glutamate decaboxylase) mediates majority of GABA synthesis at rest while GAD65 supports the increased GABA synthesis during higher brain activity. Using 13C labeled acetate, and glucose he has developed a method to quantify GABA contribution to neurotransmitter cycling. It was shown that contribution of GABA to neurotransmitter cycling and neuronal glucose oxidation is significant, and the flux through inhibitory pathway also increased with increased brain activity. His study on glutamate neurotransmitter indicated that neurotransmitter energetic is fuelled by oxidative glucose metabolism over the entire range of brain activity.
Anant joined the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad as a Scientist in June 2006. He has started in vivo NMR imaging and spectroscopy program in the institute. His current research interests are to understand metabolic basis of various diseases / disorders related with nervous system. One major area of focus in his laboratory is to understand how excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter pathways are affected during normal ageing and in Alzeimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Other areas of research in his laboratory are identification of the biomarker(s) in biofluids for the diagnosis of diseases using NMR spectroscopy.
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Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India