F A C U L T Y   P R O F I L E 

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Professor of Physiology & Cellular Biophysics, Director of Graduate Studies

Regulation of synaptic transmission in the superficial dorsal horn.

Office: Black Building| 11th floor | Room 1109
Telephone: 212.305.3889
Fax: 212.305.5575

Current Research

Nociceptors carrying pain input from the periphery terminate in the superficial aspect of the spinal cord dorsal horn. The input travels along primary afferent axons of the dorsal root ganglia and its excitatory signal is transmitted by the release of glutamate, substance P and possibly ATP onto target dorsal horn neurons. In this laboratory, we use electrophysiological, optical, and immunocytochemical techniques to study the regulation of synaptic transmission in the superficial dorsal horn. We have been investigating the specific role of glutamate, substance P and ATP in synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity, and development of synapses in the spinal cord dorsal horn.

Selected Publications

Daniele CA, MacDermott AB.  Low threshold primary afferent drive onto GABAergic interneurons in the superficial dorsal horn of the mouse.  J Neurosci. 2009 Jan 21; 29(3):686-95

Mukai J, Dhilla A, Drew LJ, Stark KL, Cao L, Macdermott AB, Karayiorgou M, Gogos JA Palmitoylation-dependent neurodevelopmental deficits in a mouse model of 22q11 microdeletion. Nat Neurosci. 2008 Nov;11(11):1302-10. Epub 2008 Oct 5.

Tong CK, Kaftan EJ, Macdermott AB Functional identification of NR2 subunits contributing to NMDA receptors on substance P receptor-expressing dorsal horn neurons. Mol Pain. 2008 Oct 10;4(1):44.

Manzini MC, Joseph DJ, MacDermott AB, Mason, CA.  Differential effects of AMPA receptor activation on survival and neurite integrity during neuronal development.  Mol Cell Neurosci. 2007 Jun;35(2):328-38.

Tong, C.K., and MacDermott, A.B. 2006. Both Ca2+ permeable and impermeable AMPA receptors are expressed at synapses between primary afferents and subpopulations of rat dorsal horn.  J Physiol.  575(Pt 1):133-44.

Torsney, C., Anderson, R.L., Ryce-Paul, K.A.G., and MacDermott, A.B. 2006. Characterization of sensory neuron subpopulations selectively expressing green fluorescent protein in phosphodiesterase 1C BAC transgenic mice.  Mol Pain, 2(1):17.

Torsney, C., and MacDermott, A.B. 2006. Disinhibition opens the gate to pathological pain signaling in superficial NK1 receptor expressing neurons in rat spinal cord.  J Neurosci. 26(6):1833-43.

Engelman, H.S., Anderson, R.A., Daniele, C., MacDermott, A.B. 2005. Presynaptic alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors modulate release of inhibitory amino acids in rat spinal cord dorsal horn. Neuroscience. 2006;139(2):539-53

Torsney C, MacDermott AB Neuroscience: a painful factor. Nature.  438(7070):923-5.

Zhuo, M., Caterina, M., Macdermott, A.B., Malmberg, A., Neugebauer, V., 2005. Yoshimura, M. Molecular pain, a new era of pain research and medicine. Mol Pain  1(1):1.

Torsney, C., and MacDermott, A.B. 2004. AMPA receptors bring on the pain. Neuron, 44(4):577-8.

Engelman, H.S., and MacDermott, A.B. 2004. Presynaptic ionotropic receptors in the central nervous system. Nature Review Neuroscience, 5:135-45.

Lee, C.J., Labrakakis, C., Joseph, D.J., and MacDermott, A.B. 2004. Functional similarities and differences of AMPA and kainate receptors expressed by cultured rat sensory neurons. Neuroscience 129(1):35-48.

Bardoni, R., Toursney, C., Tong, C.K., Prandini, M., and MacDermott, A.B. 2004. Presynaptic NMDA receptors modulate glutamate release from primary sensory neurons in rat spinal cord dorsal horn. J Neurosci. 24(11):2774-81.