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Neuroscience Homepage  > Faculty List > Lanier

Lorene M. Lanier, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience
Director of Undergraduate Education, Department of Neuroscience
Office: 4-140 MCB
Phone:(612) 626-2399      

Developmental Plasticity

We are interested in understanding the molecular basis of developmental plasticity.  Current research is focused on medium spiny neurons (MSNs), the major type of neuron in the striatum.  The striatum plays an important role in regulation of movement, motivation and reward and altered or abnormal activity of MSNs is associated with neurological diseases such as Huntington's (HD) and Parkinson's (PD) and is thought to be a major determinant of addiction. These changes in MSN activity have been correlated with changes in dendritic arborization and the number, distribution and morphology of dendritic spines. Current research in the lab uses a recently developed in vitro system are to 1) determine how neurotransmitter signaling affects MSN development and morphology, 2) analyze neurotransmitter receptor trafficking during dendritic spine development and 3) characterize the relationship between MSN development and network excitability. To achieve these goals, we use a combination of multi-electrode array  (MEA) recordings and immunofluorescence microscopy to investigate the relationship between morphometric development and network activity of MSNs. Because it is easily amenable to molecular manipulation and microscopic visualization, future studies may use this in vitro model system to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate MSN development and function, determine the consequences of disease associated gene mutations and screen for drugs that regulate MSN synaptic properties.


Selected Publications
Penrod R.D., Kourrich S., Kearney E., Thomas M.J. and Lanier L.M. (2011)
An embryonic culture system for the investigation of striatal medium spiny neuron dendritic spine development and plasticity.
J. Neurosci. Methods 200(1): 1-13
Spillane M., Ketschek A., Jones S.L., Korobova F., Marsick B., Lanier L., Svitkina T. and Gallo G. (2011)
The actin nucleating Arp2/3 complex contributes to the formation of axonal filopodia and branches through the regulation of actin patch precursors to filopodia.
Dev. Neurobiol. 71(9): 747-58
Hoover B.R., Reed M.N., Su J., Penrod R.D., Kotilinek L.A., Grant M.K., Pitstick R., Carlson G.A., Lanier L.M., Yuan L.L., Ashe K.H. and Liao D. (2010)
Tau mislocalization to dendritic spines mediates synaptic dysfunction independently of neurodegeneration.
Neuron 68(6): 1067-81
Fernandes A., Falc„o A.S., Abranches E., Bekman E., Henrique D., Lanier L.M. and Brites D. (2009)
Bilirubin as a determinant for altered neurogenesis, neuritogenesis, and synaptogenesis.
Dev. Neurobiol. 69(9): 568-82
Xu X., Harder J., Flynn D.C. and Lanier L.M. (2009)
AFAP120 regulates actin organization during neuronal differentiation.
Differentiation 77(1): 38-47
Popko J., Fernandes A., Brites D. and Lanier L.M. (2009)
Automated analysis of NeuronJ tracing data.
Cytometry A 75(4): 371-76
Harder J., Xu X., Letourneau P. and Lanier L.M. (2008)
The actin cross-linking protein AFAP120 regulates axon elongation in a tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent manner.
Neurosci. Lett. 444(2): 132-36
Ikin A.F., Sabo S.L., Lanier L.M., Buxbaum J.D. (2007)
A macromolecular complex involving the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the cytosolic adapter FE65 is a negative regulator of axon branching.
Mol. Cell Neurosci. 35(1): 57-63
Mesngon M.T., Tarricone C., Hebbar S., Guillotte A.M., Schmitt E.W., Lanier L., Musacchio A., King S.J. and Smith D.S. (2006)
Regulation of cytoplasmic dynein ATPase by Lis1.
J. Neurosci. 26(7): 2132-39
Strasser G.A., Abdul Rahim N., VanderWall K.A., Gertler F.B. and Lanier L.M. (2004)
Arp2/3 is a Negative Regulator of Growth Cone Translocation.
Neuron 43(1): 81-94
Lebrand C., Dent E. W., Strasser G. A., Lanier L.M., Krause M., Svitkina T.M., Borisy G.G. and Gertler F.B. (2004)
Critical role of Ena/VASP proteins for filopodia formation in neurons and in function downstream of netrin-1.
Neuron 42(1): 37-49

Zukerberg L.R., Patrick G.N., Nikolic M., Humbert S., Wu C.L., Lanier L.M., Gertler F.B., Vidal M., Van Etten R.A. and Tsai L.H. (2000)
Cables links Cdk5 and c-Abl and facilitates Cdk5 tyrosine phosphorylation, kinase upregulation, and neurite outgrowth.
Neuron 26(3): 633-46

Lanier L.M. and Gertler F.B. (2000)
From Abl to actin: Abl tyrosine kinase and associated proteins in growth cone motility.
Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 10(1): 80-87

Sabo S.L., Lanier L.M., Ikin A.F., Khorkova O., Sahasrabudhe S., Greengard P. and Buxbaum J.D. (1999)
Regulation of beta-Amyloid Secretion by FE65, an Amyloid Protein Precursor-binding Protein.
J. Biol. Chem. 274(12): 7952-57
Howell B.W., Lanier L.M., Frank R., Gertler F.B. and Cooper J.A. (1999)
The disabled 1 phosphotyrosine-binding domain binds to the internalization signals of transmembrane glycoproteins and to phospholipids.
Mol. Cell Biol. 19(7): 5179-88
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