Leonard A. Levin
- Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
- (608) 265-6546
M.D., Ph.D. Harvard University
Mechanisms of Axotomy-Induced Apoptosis
My main research interest is to better understand the subcellular events underlying death of retinal ganglion cells due to axonal injury. These cells are identified central neurons which have anatomically separated axons, allowing dissection of the neuronal responses to axonal damage. Our working hypothesis is that axotomy of retinal ganglion cells causes expression of genes that turn on a program for cell death involving reactive oxygen species and opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, and that these genes and their products can be characterized, and eventually modulated. We also study the role of these and other genes in primary retinal cultures. We can then examine the initiating steps in neuronal death, and ways to inhibit them. Since certain clinical syndromes (glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, etc.) cause blindness via optic nerve injury, this research may eventually be applicable to human disease.
- Kanamori A, Catrinescu M, Mahammed A, Gross Z, Levin LA. Neuroprotection against superoxide anion radical by metallocorroles in cellular and murine models of optic neuropathy. J Neurochem, 114:488-498, 2010.
- Kanamori A, Catrinescu M, Kanamori N, Mears KA, Beaubien R, Levin LA. Superoxide is an associated signal for apoptosis in axonal injury. Brain, in press.
- Levin LA, Danesh-Meyer HV. Lost in translation: Lost in translation: Bumps in the road between bench and bedside. JAMA, 303:1533-1534, 2010.
- Kern TS, Du Y, Miller CM, Hatala DA, Levin LA. Overexpression of bcl-2 in vascular endothelium inhibits the microvascular lesions of diabetic retinopathy. Am J Pathol, 176:2550-2558, 2010.
- Kanamori A, Catrinescu M, Beaubien R, Traistaru M, Levin LA. In vivo imaging of retinal ganglion cell axons within the nerve fiber layer. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 51:2011-2018, 2010.
- Thompson AF, Levin LA. Neuronal differentiation by analogs of staurosporine. Neurochem Int, 56:554-560, 2010
- Seidler EA, Lieven CJ, Thompson AF, Levin LA. Effectiveness of novel borane-phosphine complexes in inhibiting cell death depends on the source of superoxide production induced by blockade of mitochondrial electron transport. ACS Chem Neurosci, 1:95-103, 2010.
- Scott CJ, Seidler EA, Levin LA. Cell-autonomous generation of mitochondrial superoxide is a signal for cell death in differentiated neuronal precursor cells. Brain Res, 1306:142-148, 2010.