Major Discoveries of the Koliatsos Lab

  • Axotomy responses in CNS and PNS recapitulate cytoskeletal changes seen in human neurodegenerative disease
  • Neurotrophins are potent survival factors for distinct populations of neurons: NGF for central cholinergic neurons, BDNF or NT4/5 for motor neurons, BDNF for central serotonin neurons
  • Neurotrophin transduction is dependent upon binding to and phosphorylation of Trk receptors in retrogradely transported complexes
  • Programmed cell death (apoptosis) is a universal mechanism of death in developmental and late-onset neurodegenerative diseases although mechanisms may differ
  • Distinct classes of cortical interneurons that express neuronal NOS may be important for the processing of transsynaptic signals and execution of programmed cell death
  • Trophic signals interact with steroid hormone signals in molecular pathways that may be key for neuronal survival
  • Neural stem cells are present in distinct niches in the adult CNS beyond the classical dentate gyrus and subventricular zone-rostral migratory stream
  • Spinal cord is fully capable of processing and responding to growth signals and shows substantial repair potential after neuronal stem cell transplantation
  • Blast injury to brain can be reproduced in experimental mice using shock tubes and such injury is prevented with body, but not head, shields
  • Concussion can be reproduced in experimental mice and the visual and corticospinal tracts are excellent model systems in which to study diffuse traumatic axonal injury
  • Traumatic axonal injury is the most common lesion in adult TBI including blast injury and CTE
  • Mild TBI exacerbates rate and severity of tauopathy in mice harboring tau transgenes predisposing to tau aggregation
  • Traumatic axonal injury in the CNS may lead to Wallerian degeneration that can be prevented or treated by interfering with SARM1 enzyme activation video – August 13, 2015

Hidden Damage Revealed in Veterans’ Brains

Typical diffuse axonal injury after motor vehicle crash (left) and blast (middle) compared to few linear swellings in opiate overdose (right)