Scientific topics

Research Staff Methods Projects Publications

The intense rhythm of life increases stress, aggression and depression in humans. The study of neurobiological regulatory mechanisms of behavioral responses in neurodegenerative and socially significant diseases, incl. epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, depression, diabetes, dementia and affective disorders of various origins and others, contribute to the discovery of new therapeutic approaches, and hence to improve the quality of human life. The field examines electrophysiological and neurological changes, behavioral disorders and disorders of memory and learning, seizures, mechanisms of nociception and analgesia, studies the neurobiological mechanisms that determine brain plasticity and neuronal activity in normal and in models of neurodegenerative diseases.
The visco-elastic characteristics of normal blood vessels, in different physiological conditions, pathological and age changes and influence of pharmacological substances are studied. The methodology expands the possibilities for characterizing the behavior of blood vessels in the considered conditions and provides a new look at the therapeutic approaches for control and treatment of various vascular diseases and conditions leading to damage of blood vessels.

Scientific topics

Research Staff

Methods Projects Publications

  • Prof. Jana Tchekalarova, PhD - Head of Department
  • Assoc. Prof. Daniela Pechlivanova, PhD
  • Assoc. Prof. Mariya Antonova, PhD
  • Chief Assist. Zlatina Nenchovska, PhD
  • Chief Assist. Natasha Ivanova, PhD
  • Chief Assist. Polina Mateeva, PhD
  • Chief Assist. Tzveta Stoyanova, PhD
  • Assist. Desislava Krushovlieva, PhD
  • Assist. Petya Ivanova, PhD
  • Mariya Kaneva chemist
  • Rumyana Mitreva chemis еng

Scientific topics Research Staff


Projects Publications

  • Automated video system for tracking mice and rats (video-tracking, PanLab Harvard Apparatus, Holliston, USA);
  • EEG registration and analysis of brain activity of mice and rats (AcqKnowledge software ACK100W (BIOPAC Inc., USA)
  • System of video cameras (2 IP cameras), DVR (8-channel FullHD / 25 hp) and software for round-the-clock video surveillance and registration of behavior of mice and rats (S-2016, AVTECH, Taiwan, No AVC307R)
  • Stereotactic technique for implantation of electrodes, cannulas and microinjection into certain brain structures of mice and rats (model # 51500 Stoelting Europe, Dublin, Ireland; Narishige Sci. Inst. Labs, Japan);
  • Gas anesthesia system (model # 21200, Ugo-Basile, Italy);
  • Method for studying round-the-clock motor activity and research behavior using IR Actimeter in mice and rats (Harvard Apparatus, Holliston, USA);
  • Methods for inducing acute and chronic immobilization stress in mice and rats;
  • Methods for studying metabolic parameters in rat metabolic cells;
  • Methods for the study of seizure-seizure excitability: chemically and electrically-induced seizures in mice and rats;
  • Method of motor coordination and muscle strength of mice: Rotarod; Grip strength apparatus of mice and rats (BIOSEB, Vitrolles, France);
  • Methods for studying anxiety behavior: Elevated plus maze; Hole-board; Open field; light-dark test; novelty-suppressed feeding test in mice and rats;
  • Methods for studying cognitive behavior and memory: Radial arm maze; Y-maze alternation test; Novel object recognition of rats;
  • Methods for studying depressive behavior: Forced swimming test; Sucrose preference test; splash test on mice and rats; Tail suspension test on mice;
  • Methods for testing pain sensitivity: paw pressure test, writhing test, formalin test in mice;
  • Carrageenan-induced inflammation test method;
  • Biochemical methods: ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) method, Western blot method, HPLC.
  • Transcardiac perfusion fixation of rats;
  • Dissection of discrete brain structures of mice and rats;
  • Method and device for in vitro study of static and dynamic elastic characteristics of band preparations from blood vessels;
  • Method and device for in vitro study of static and dynamic elastic characteristics of cylindrical preparations of blood vessels;
  • A method for the in vivo study of the elasticity of blood vessels in humans by means of an arterial oscillogram.

Scientific topics Research Staff Methods



  • DN-12/6 of 2017. Research Fund - "Automatic identification of epileptiform activity by extracellular recording and computer processing" Coordinator of the INB - Prof. Jana Chekalarova, PhD
  • KP-06- H21 / 10 of 2018. Research Fund - "Study of the sex-dependent therapeutic effects of the new melatoninergic preparation pyromelatine in an experimental model of prenatal stress" Chief Assistant Professor Natasha Ivanova, PhD
  • KP-06-H31 / 16 from 2019. Research Fund - Study of the relationship between phospholipid and Akt signaling pathway in pathophysiology in an in vivo model of Alzheimer's. Development of combined therapeutic approaches “Coordinator from INB - Prof. Jana Chekalarova, PhD
  • KP-06-N41-4 from 2020. Research Fund - "Study of the influence of melatonin deficiency on some mechanisms of aging in an experimental model" - Prof. Jana Chekalarova, PhD
  • Under the EBRD Joint BAS-Slovak Academy of Sciences SAV-18-11 - head Prof. Jana Chekalarova, PhD.
  • Project title KP-06-M63/1 "Sex-specific studies in prenatal exposure models: therapeutic effects". Head assist.: Tsveta Stoyanova, Institute of Neurobiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, financial support: Bulgarian National Science Fund
  • Project KP-06-M63/11 " Neuropharmacological studies of newly synthesized sulfanyl hydrazones and melatonin derivates with cholinesterase inhibitory activity in models of Alzheimer's disease and melatonin deficiency ". Coordinator from the Institute of Neurobiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Prof. Dr. Jana Tchekalarova , financial support: Bulgarian National Science Fund

Scientific topics Research Staff Methods Projects


  Period (2021-2023)
  • Tchekalarova J.*, Stoyanova T, Angelova V, Tzoneva R, Andreeva-Gateva P., The anticonvulsant effect of a novel indole-related compound in the kainate-induced status epilepticus in mice: the role of an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanism, Neurochemical Research, (2021). DOI: 10.1007/s11064-021-03447-2 IF = 3.858 Q1
  • Atanasova D, Lazarov N, Stoyanov DS, Spassov RH, Tonchev AB, Tchekalarova J.* Reduced neuroinflammation and enhanced neurogenesis following chronic agomelatine treatment in rats undergoing chronic constant light. Neuropharmacology. 2021 Jul 15:108706. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2021.108706. IF = 5.25 Q1
  • Tzoneva, R.; Georgieva, I.; Ivanova, N.; Uzunova, V.; Nenchovska, Z.; Apostolova, S.; Stoyanova, T.; Tchekalarova, J. The role of melatonin on behavioral changes and concomitant oxidative stress in icvAβ1‐42 rat model with pinealectomy. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 12763. ijms22231276. IF = 5.924 Q1
  • Ilieva K, Atanasova M, Atanasova D, Kortenska L, Tchekalarova J*. Chronic agomelatine treatment alleviates icvAβ-induced anxiety and depressive-like behavior through affecting Aβ metabolism in the hippocampus in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease. Physiol Behav. (2021):113525. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2021.113525. IF = 3.244 Q1
  • Ivanova, N., Nenchovska, Z., Atanasova, M., Tchekalarova, J.* Chronic Piromelatine Treatment Alleviates Anxiety, Depressive Responses and Abnormal Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Axis Activity in Prenatally Stressed Male and Female Rats. Cell Mol Neurobiol (2021). IF = 3.644 Q1
  • Shishmanova-Doseva, M.; Atanasova, D.; Uzunova, Y.; Yoanidu, L.; Peychev, L.; Marinov, P.; Tchekalarova, J.* Effects of Lacosamide Treatment on Epileptogenesis, Neuronal Damage Comorbidities in a Rat Model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 4667. https:// IF = 4.556 CJR = 1. 317 Q1
  • Petar Todorov, Stela Georgieva, Petia Peneva, Jana Tchekalarova,* Spectral and electrochemical solvatochromic investigations of newly synthesized peptide-based chemosensor bearing azobenzene side chain bio photoswitch. Dyes and Pigments, 191, 2021, 109348, IF = 4.613 Q1
  • Tchekalarova J*, Atanasova D, Lazarov N, Chapter 13 - The role of inflammatory signaling in comorbid depression and epilepsy, Editor(s): Colin R. Martin, Lan-Anh Hunter, Vinood B. Patel, Victor R. Preedy, Rajkumar Rajendram, The Neuroscience of Depression, Academic Press, 2021, Pages 127-137, ISBN 9780128179352, 2021
  • Shishmanova-Doseva, M.; Peychev, L.; Yoanidu, L.; Uzunova, Y.; Atanasova, M.; Georgieva, K.; Tchekalarova, J.* Anticonvulsant Effects of Topiramate and Lacosamide on Pilocarpine-Induced Status Epilepticus in Rats: A Role of Reactive Oxygen Species and Inflammation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 2264. IF = 4.556 Q1
  • Berkov S, Pechlivanova D, Denev R, Nikolova M, Georgieva L, Sidjimova B, Bakalov D, Tafradjiiska R, Stoynev A, Momekov G, Bastida J, GC-MS analysis of Amaryllidaceae and Scletium-type alkaloids in bioactive fractions from Narcissus cv. Hawera, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 2021, 35 (14), e9116 IF =2.419 Q2
  • Assenov B, Pechlivanova D, Dzhambazova E, Peneva P, Todorov P, Antinociceptive Effects of VV-Hemorphin-5 Peptide Analogues Containing Amino Phosphonate Moiety in Mouse Formalin Model of Pain. Protein and Peptide Letters 2021, 28 (4), 442-449 IF = 1.89 Q3
  • Yakimova, B., Mateeva, P., Kardaleva, P., Stoineva, I., Todorova, P., Zamfirova, R., Yanev, S. In Vitro And Ex Vivo Studies On Angiotensin-I Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitory Activity Of Short Synthetic Peptides. Volume 69, 2, Romanian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2021, ISSN:0014-8237, DOI:, 307-313. JCR-IF (Web of Science):1.433
  • Georgiev A., Kaneva M., Shikova L., Antonova M. Experimental estimation and comparison of viscoelastic characteristics of rat aorta in vitro. Series on Biomechanics. Series on Biomechanics, Vol. 36 No.1 (2022), 86-97 DOI: 10.7546/SB.12.20222022, SJR 0.2 Q4
  • Tchekalarova J., Stoyanova T, Angelova V, Tzoneva R, Andreeva-Gateva P., The anticonvulsant effect of a novel indole-related compound in the kainate-induced status epilepticus in mice: the role of an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanism, Neurochemical Research, (2022). Feb;47(2):327-334 DOI: 10.1007/s11064-021-03447-2 Q1
  • Petar Todorov, Petia Peneva, Stela Georgieva, Jana Tchekalarova, Miroslav Rangelov, Nadezhda Todorova. Synthesis and characterization of new 5,5’-dimethyl- and 5,5’- diphenylhydantoin-conjugated hemorphin derivatives designed as potential anticonvulsant agents. New J. Chem., 2022, DOI: 10.1039/d1nj05235g. IF = 3.591 Q1
  • Petar Todorov, Stela Georgieva, Petia Peneva, Jana Tchekalarova. Investigation of the structure–activity relationship in a series of new LVV- and VV-hemorphin-7 analogues designed as potential anticonvulsant agents. Amino Acids 2022 DOI 10.1007/s00726-021-03112-6 IF = 3.520 Q1
  • Tchekalarova, J.; Nenchovska, Z.; Kortenska, L.; Uzunova, V.; Georgieva, I.; Tzoneva, R. Impact of Melatonin Deficit on Emotional Status and Oxidative Stress-Induced Changes in Sphingomyelin and Cholesterol Level in Young Adult, Mature, and Aged Rats. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 2809. ijms23052809 IF = 5.924 Q1
  • Tchekalarova J, Hrischev P, Ivanova P, Boyadjiev N, Georgieva K. Metabolic footprint in young, middle-aged and elderly rats with melatonin deficit. Physiol Behav. 2022 Jun 1;250:113786. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2022.113786. IF = 3.244 Q1
  • Tchekalarova, J.; Kortenska, L.; Marinov, P.; Ivanova, N. Sex-Dependent Effects of Piromelatine Treatment on Sleep-Wake Cycle and Sleep Structure of Prenatally Stressed Rats. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 10349. ijms231810349 IF = 6. 208 Q1
  • Todorov, P.; Georgieva, S.; Tchekalarova, J.; Subaer, S.; Peneva, P.; Hartati, H. Synthesis, Characterization and Biological Investigation of New N-Modified Spinorphin Analogs. Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15, 1251. IF = 5.215 Q1
  • Shishmanova-Doseva, M.; Georgieva, K.; Uzunova, Y.; Ioanidu, L.; Atanasova, M.; Nenchovska, Z.; Tchekalarova, J. Pre- and Post-Endurance Training Mitigates the Rat Pilocarpine-Induced Status Epilepticus and Epileptogenesis Associated Deleterious Consequences. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 13188. ijms232113188 IF = 6. 208 Q1
  • Todorov, P.; Georgieva, S.; Tchekalarova, J. Recent Synthesis, Characterization, and Pharmacological Evaluation of Multifunctional Hemorphins Containing Non‐Natural Amino Acids with Potential Biological Importance. Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15, 1425. IF = 5.215 Q1
  • Tchekalarova, J.; Tzoneva, R. Significance of Antioxidants on Aging and Neurodegeneration. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 13957. IF = 6. 208 Q1
  • Michaela Shishmanova-Doseva, Dimitrinka Atanasova, Lyubka Ioanidu, Yordanka Uzunova, Milena Atanasova, Lyudmil Peychev, Jana Tchekalarova, The anticonvulsant effect of chronic treatment with topiramate after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus is accompanied by a suppression of comorbid behavioral impairments and robust neuroprotection in limbic regions in rats, Epilepsy & Behavior, 134, 2022, 108802, IF = 3.337 SJR 0.88 Q2
  • Ljubica Mihailova, Jana Tchekalarova, Dushko Shalabalija, Nikola Geskovski, Veronika Gjorgievska, Gjoshe Stefkov, Paoleta Krasteva, Maja Crcarevska, Marija Dodov. Lipid nano-carriers loaded with Cannabis sativa extract for epilepsy treatment – in vitro characterization and in vivo efficacy studies. J Pharm Sci. 2022 Sep 19:S0022-3549(22)00417-8. doi: 10.1016/j.xphs.2022.09.01 IF = 3.784 Q2
  • Natasha Ivanova, Zlatina Nenchovska, Milena Atanasova, Rumyana Mitreva, Tzveta Stoynova, Lidia Kortenska, Jana Tchekalarova. SEX-DEPENDENT DIFFERENCES OF EMOTIONAL STATUS IN A RAT MODEL OF PRENATAL STRESS. Comptes rendus de l'Academie bulgare des Sciences. 75, No 7, 2022; 7-17 IF = 0.378 Q3
  • Zlatina Nenchovska, Milena Atanasova, Natasha Ivanova, Rumyana Mitreva, Jana Tchekalarova. EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE IN TWO MODELS OF MELATONIN DEFICIENCY: A COMPARATIVE STUDY. Comptes rendus de l'Academie bulgare des Sciences 75, No 1, 2022 IF = 0.378 Q3
  • D. Krushovlieva, S. Georgiev, P. Ivanova, Z. Petkova, T. Stoyanova, J. Tchekalarova Age-Dependent Differences in Behavioral Responses: the Impact of Hsp70 and Hsp90 in the Frontal Cortex. Acta Morphologica Et Anthropologica, 29(3-4), 49-52. doi:10.7546/AMA.29.3-4.2022.08
  • Darina Barbutska, Aneliya Petrova, Yvetta Koeva, Katerina Georgieva, Yana Tchekalarova, Georgi Nanov. Testicular Steroidogenesis after Pinealectomy - the Role of BDNF Signaling System. Acta Morphologica et Anthropologica, 29 (3-4) 2022
  • Ivanova, N.; Atanasova, M.; Nenchovska, Z.; Tchekalarova, J. Sex-Dependent Effect of Chronic Piromelatine Treatment on Prenatal Stress-Induced Memory Deficits in Rats. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24, 1271. ijms24021271 IF = 6. 208 Q1
  • Tchekalarova, J.; Tzoneva, R. Oxidative Stress and Aging as Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease: The Role of the Antioxidant Melatonin. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24, 3022. IF = 6. 208 Q1
  • Jana Tchekalarova, Desislava Krushovlieva, Petya Ivanova, Lidia Kortenska, Spontaneously hypertensive rats vs. Wistar Kyoto and Wistar rats: An assessment of anxiety, motor activity, memory performance, and seizure susceptibility, Physiology & Behavior, 269, 2023, 114268, ISSN 0031-9384, Q2 IF = 3.742