Molecular Neuroscience


Example of CA1 pyramidal neurons expressing enhanced green fluorescent proteins, two weeks after lentiviral injection into the dorsal CA1 area. From Figure 1 of Yu et al (2016).

This is the newest branch of the Disterhoft Laboratory. We have established a number of methods that include quantitative Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, q-RT-PCR, and in vivo shRNA viral vector “gene therapy”. We are equipped to perform many standard techniques that include cloning, in situ hybridization, RT-PCR, and ELISA.

We are primarily interested in a translational approach where molecular targets associated with learning, neuronal excitability, and lifespan may be identified and manipulated for potential therapeutic utility for cognitive disorders and aging-associated dementia.

Current projects:

  1. Ameliorate aging-related learning and memory deficits by overexpressing CREB in dorsal CA1 region of aged rats
  2. Measurement and quantification of various voltage-gated calcium channels that regulate the afterhyperpolarization in young and aging animals during learning
  3. Design and delivery of therapeutic shRNAs directed against multiple signaling targets in animal models of Alzheimer’s and aging-associated dementia
  4. Assay biochemical pathways that participate in the expression of normal and aging-associated learning and memory

Recent Publications:

  1. Yu XW, Curlik DM, Oh MM, Disterhoft JF. CREB overexpression in dorsal CA1 ameliorates long-term memory deficits in aged rats. ELife. 2017 Jan 4;6. pii: e19358. doi: 10.7554/eLife.19358. PubMed PMID: 28051768; PMCID: PMC5214885.
  2. Yu XW, Oh MM, Disterhoft JF. CREB, cellular excitability, and cognition: Implications for aging. Behav Brain Res. 2016 Jul 28. pii: S0166-4328(16)30477-6. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2016.07.042. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27478142.