+   Károly Elekes - Scientific Adviser

Károly Elekes MSc, Ph.D., DSc
scientific adviser
Institute Building A, room 2A
tel: +36 87 448244 ext №103
fax: +36 87 448006

Research Area
Research Description
Selected Publications

Major Projects
Travel, work abroad



1946, Budapest; married, two children

University studies:

1964-1969, Budapest, Eötvös Lóránd University, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Budapest, biology and geography

Working place:

Tihany, since 1969, Department of Experimental Zoology, Laboratory of Neuromorphology


assistant research fellow: 1969-1972, 
reasearch fellow: 1972-1981
senior research fellow: 1981-1995
scientific adviser: 1995-present
From 1991, deputy director, head of department

115 SCI publications, over 200 lectures/presentations

  Research Area

Chemical-neuroanatomy, synaptology, embryogenesis, signal molecules, invertebrates

  Research Description

Within the frame of the research field and complex experimental approach, described on the cover-page of the Department, investigations have been performed on the CNS and PNS of pulmonate gastropods in the following directions:

i) Chemical-neuroanatomical (immunocytochemical) visualization, mapping of transmitter specific neuronal populations, characterization of their projection and arborization pattern in central ganglia and different peripheral tissues, combined with tracing and ultrastructural studies. 

ii) Ultrastructural analysis of synaptic and non-synaptic (modulatory) contacts at the level of interneuronal, neuro-muscular and neuro-glandular interactions; the anatomical and ultrastructural basis of neurohormonal regulation (innervation of the neural sheath). 

iii) Co-localization and possible co-re-release of transmitters and neuropeptides. 

iv) Embryogenesis of transmitter systems, ganglio- and synaptogenesis, and the intracapsular behavioral maturation. 

The following signal molecules (transmitters) and peptides have been put into the focus of research, resulting in some important – a priori - observations (see also selected references): serotonin (5-HT), dopamine, octopamine, histamine, endogenous/molluscan neuropeptides (FMRFamide, Mytilus inhibitory peptides), naturalized/insect neuropeptides (leucokinin, locustatachykinin), nitrogen monoxide. Current projects: Morphogenetic and behavior-developmental role of signaling systems in gastropods; role of glia in gangliogenesis; co-localization of monoamines and neuropeptides in peripheral efferent elements.

  Selected Publications

Elekes K. (1991) Serotonin-immunoreactive varicosities in the cell body layer and neural sheath of the snail, Helix pomatia, ganglia. An electron microscopic immunocytochemical study. Neuroscience 42:583-591.

Elekes K., Kemenes G., Hiripi L., Geffard M., Benjamin P. R. (1991) Dopamine-immunorective neurones in the central nervous system of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. J. Comp. Neurology 307:214-224.

Elekes K., Eckert M., Rapus J. (1993) Small sets of putative interneurons are octopamine-immunoreactive in the central nervous system of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. Brain Res. 608:191-197.

Elekes K., Hernádi L., Muren J. E., Nässel D. R. (1994) Peptidergic neurons in the snail Helix pomatia: Distribution of neurons in the central and peripheral nervous system that react with an antibody raised to an insect myotropic neuropeptide, leucokinin I. J. Comp. Neurology 341:257-272.

Elekes K., Ude J. (1994) Peripheral connections of FMRFamide-immunoreactive neurons in the snail Helix pomatia. An immunogold electron microscopic study. J. Neurocytology 23:758-769.

Elekes K., Voronezhskaya E. E., Hiripi L., Eckert M., Rapus J. (1996) Octopamine in the developing nervous system of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis L. Acta Biol. Hung. 47:73-87.

Serfőző Z., Elekes K., Varga V. (1998) NADPH-diaphorase in the nervous system of the embryonic and juvenile snail, Lymnaea stagnalis L. Cell Tissue Res. 292:579-586.

Voronezhskaya E. E., Hiripi L, Elekes K., Croll R. P. (1999) Development of catecholaminegic neurons in the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis: I. Embryonic development of dopamine-containing neurons and dopamine-dependent behaviors. J. Comp. Neurology 404:285-296.

Croll R. P., Voronezhskaya E. E., Hiripi L, Elekes K. (1999) Development of catecholaminegic neurons in the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis: II. Postembryonic development of central and peripheral cells. J. Comp. Neurology 404:297-307.

Nagy T., Elekes K. (2000) Embryogenesis of the central nervous system of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis L. An ultrastructural study. J. Neurocytology 29:43-60

Elekes K. (2000) Ultrastructural aspects of peptidergic modulation in Helix pomatia. Microsc. Res. Tech. 49:534-546.

Serfőző, Z., Elekes K. (2002) Nitric oxide level regulates the embryonic development of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis L.: pharmacological, behavioral and ultrastructural studies. Cell Tissue Res. 310:119-130.

Serfőző Z., Kemenes G., Korneev S. A., de Vente J., Rőszer T., Veréb Z., Elekes K. (2002) Development of the nitric oxide/cGMP system in the embryonic and juvenile pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis L. A comparative in situ hybridization, histochemical and immunohistochemical study. J. Neurocytology 31:131-147.


Pertti Panula (Department of Biology, Biocity, Ĺbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland; comparative neurobiology of histamine) 

Etsuro Ito (Divison of Biological Sciences, Graudate School of Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, molecular basis of synaptic modulation of behavior in gastropods) 

Masaki Sakai (Department of Biology, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan; role of aminergic systems in the reproduction of invertebrates) 

Mária Csoknya, Róbert Gábriel (Department of General Zoology and Neurobiology, Unversity of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary; regeneration of signaling systems in oligochaetes)

  Major Projects
From 1990

six 4-year grants from the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA)


grant from the European Science Foundation (cooperation with the Department of Biology, University of York, York, UK)


grant from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences


grant from the Volkswagen-Foundation (cooperation with the Department of Animal Physiology, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany)

  Travels, work abroad

Altogether over 5 years abroad, working in different university laboratories, research institutes.


Major stays:

University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany, 2 years (Humboldt-Foundation); 

Institute of Physiology, CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette, France, 1 year (European Science Foundation), 

University of Lund, University of Stockholm, 8 months (HAS/SRAS);

College of Old Westbury, SUNY, Long Island, USA, 4 months (NSF);

University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, UK, 5 months (Royal Society).

2000 - Academy Prize
2002 - Charles Simonyi Research Fellowship