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Benrhard MeurersTranscriptional Network Analyses of Basal Ganglia Related Motor Dysfunction

Abstract :

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease selectively affect specific populations of neuronal or glial cell-types in the central nervous system. Thus studies of disease relevant mechanisms critically depend on the cellular specificity of the analysis. Using a combination of laser-capture microdissection and microarray techniques that allow the generation of genome scale transcriptional profiles down to a single cell level, I have studied etiologic and phenotypic aspects of Parkinson’s disease. Analyses throughout the basal ganglia in various animal models of the disease revealed complex coordinated changes in transcriptional networks that regulate an array of functions, such as cellular phenotype, signal transduction efficacy, neuronal excitability and cell survival. The data demonstrate the extraordinary adaptability of the adult nervous system and provide useful guidelines for the development of novel therapeutic strategies.

Selected publications

Richter F., Meurers B., Zhu C., Chesselet M.F. Hemoglobin alpha and beta chains are expressed in neurons and transcriptionally regulated by rotenone. J Comp Neurol (accepted for publication) (2009b).    
Meurers B., Dziewczapolski G., Shi T., Bittner A., Kamme F., Shults C.W. Dopamine depletion induces distinct compensatory gene expression changes in DARPP-32 signal transduction cascades of striatonigral and striatopallidal neurons. J Neurosci (accepted for publication) (2009a).
Meurers B., Dziewczapolski G., Shi T., Bittner A., Kamme F., Shults C.W. Roeper J. Dopamine depletion induced upregulation of HCN3 enhances rebound excitability of basal ganglia output neurons. Neurobiol Dis 34:178-88 (2009).
Lu X.H., Fleming S. Meurers B., Ackerson L., Mortazavi F., Lo V., Hernandez D., Sulzer D., Jackson G., Maidment N.T., Chesselet M.F., Yang X.W. BAC Transgenic Mice Expressing a Truncated Mutant Parkin Exhibit Age-dependent Hypokinetic Motor Deficits, Dopaminergic Neuron Degeneration, and Accumulation of Proteinase K-Resistant Alpha-Synuclein. J Neurosci 29:1962-76 (2009).

Scientific focus :

Los Angeles, CA 90034

2005 – pres David Geffen School of Medicine – Neurobiology/Neurology
2005 – 2009    Assistant Researcher
1997 – 2005 The R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute San Diego, CA 92121
2000-2005 Principal Scientist
1997-2000 Medical Fellow
1995 - 1997 University of Regensburg, Department of Neurology Regensburg, Germany Assistant Professor Neurology
1992 - 1995 Max-Planck-Institute of Physiological and Clinical Research Bad Nauheim, Germany Postdoctoral Research Fellow