Michael P. Nusbaum, Ph.D

faculty photo
Professor of Neuroscience
Department: Neuroscience
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Dept. of Neuroscience
Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
215 Stemmler Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6074
Office: 215-898-1585
Fax: 215-573-9050
Lab: 215-898-9158
Education:
B.A. (History)
SUNY at Buffalo , 1973.
B.A. (Biology)
Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, 1978.

Summer Research Course- Cold Spring Harbor Lab: Leech Nervous System, 1979.
Ph.D. (Neurobiology)
University of California at San Diego, 1984.
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Description of Research Expertise

RESEARCH INTERESTS
Neural network modulation; motor pattern selection from multifunctional networks; local, presynaptic influences; neuropeptide function, cotransmission, sensory influence on central neuronal networks

KEY WORDS:
Neuromodulation; neural networks; neuropeptides; identified neurons; cotransmission

RESEARCH TECHNIQUES
Intrasomatic and intra-axonal recordings, extracellular recordings, intracellular dye injections, neurotransmitter immunocytochemistry; exogenous application of modulatory transmitters; confocal microscopy

RESEARCH SUMMARY
We aim to understand how the nervous system selects and generates distinct motor patterns from multifunctional neural networks. The current set of issues that we are addressing include (1) the cellular mechanisms underlying how different identified modulatory projection and sensory neurons elicit distinct outputs from the same neural circuits, including the role of coreleased small molecule and neuropeptide transmitters in this process, and (2) how distinct but related neural circuits interact to generate a coordinated output. We use a small model system, the stomatogastric nervous system (STNS), which is an extension of the CNS in decapod crustaceans that controls the rhythmic movements of different regions of the foregut underlying various aspects of feeding. The STNS consists of 4 ganglia, containing several distinct but interacting rhythmically active circuits that control the different foregut regions. The two motor patterns that we study (called the pyloric and gastric mill rhythms) are generated by overlapping sets of neurons located in the stomatogastric ganglion (STG), which contains only 26 neurons in our experimental animal, the crab Cancer borealis. There are many advantages to studying this preparation for obtaining a cellular-level understanding of neuronal circuit function. All of the STG neurons are readily recorded intracellularly, they are all physiologically identified, their intraganglionic synapses and many of their membrane properties are known, and so are their neurotransmitters. More than a dozen modulatory transmitters have been localized as inputs to the STG from the other STNS ganglia. When individually bath applied, many of these transmitters elicit distinct pyloric and gastric mill rhythms. Individual activation of different projection and sensory neurons also elicits distinct rhythms. We are using a set of identified projection and sensory neurons to study the above-mentioned issues. We are also assessing the relationship between the circuit response to bath application of individual modulatory transmitters and to activation of modulatory neurons containing the same transmitter. Our analysis also includes identifying and determining the function of "presynaptic inputs" occurring on the STG terminals of these projection neurons. These presynaptic inputs are electrically invisible in the ganglion of origin of these neurons, so we study them by recording from these neurons intra-axonally, at the entrance to the STG. Results from work with the STNS has led to general principles of neural circuit dynamics that have been extended to many other systems, ranging from other invertebrates to the mammalian systems.

Selected Publications

DeLong Nicholas D, Nusbaum Michael P: Hormonal modulation of sensorimotor integration. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 30(7): 2418-27, Feb 2010.

DeLong Nicholas D, Kirby Matthew S, Blitz Dawn M, Nusbaum Michael P: Parallel regulation of a modulator-activated current via distinct dynamics underlies comodulation of motor circuit output. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 29(39): 12355-67, Sep 2009.

DeLong Nicholas D, Beenhakker Mark P, Nusbaum Michael P: Presynaptic inhibition selectively weakens peptidergic cotransmission in a small motor system. Journal of neurophysiology 102(6): 3492-504, Dec 2009.

Kintos Nickolas, Nusbaum Michael P, Nadim Farzan: A modeling comparison of projection neuron- and neuromodulator-elicited oscillations in a central pattern generating network. Journal of computational neuroscience 24(3): 374-97, Jun 2008.

Blitz Dawn M, Nusbaum Michael P: State-dependent presynaptic inhibition regulates central pattern generator feedback to descending inputs. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 28(38): 9564-74, Sep 2008.

Blitz Dawn M, White Rachel S, Saideman Shari R, Cook Aaron, Christie Andrew E, Nadim Farzan, Nusbaum Michael P: A newly identified extrinsic input triggers a distinct gastric mill rhythm via activation of modulatory projection neurons. The Journal of experimental biology 211(Pt 6): 1000-11, Mar 2008.

Kirby Matthew S, Nusbaum Michael P: Peptide hormone modulation of a neuronally modulated motor circuit. Journal of neurophysiology 98(6): 3206-20, Dec 2007.

Stein Wolfgang, DeLong Nicholas D, Wood Debra E, Nusbaum Michael P: Divergent co-transmitter actions underlie motor pattern activation by a modulatory projection neuron. The European journal of neuroscience 26(5): 1148-65, Sep 2007.

Beenhakker Mark P, Kirby Matthew S, Nusbaum Michael P: Mechanosensory gating of proprioceptor input to modulatory projection neurons. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 27(52): 14308-16, Dec 2007.

Wood DE., Stein W., Nusbaum MP.: Projection neurons with shared cotransmitters elicit different motor patterns from the same neural circuit. Journal of Neuroscience (Online) 20(23): 8943-53, Dec 1 2000.

Swensen AM., Golowasch J., Christie AE., Coleman MJ., Nusbaum MP., Marder E.: GABA and responses to GABA in the stomatogastric ganglion of the crab Cancer borealis. Journal of Experimental Biology 203 Pt 14: 2075-92, Jul 2000.

Meyrand P., Faumont S., Simmers J., Christie AE., Nusbaum MP.: Species-specific modulation of pattern-generating circuits. European Journal of Neuroscience 12(7): 2585-96, Jul 2000.

Blitz DM., Nusbaum MP.: Distinct functions for cotransmitters mediating motor pattern selection. Journal of Neuroscience 19(16): 6774-83, Aug 15 1999.

Bartos M., Manor Y., Nadim F., Marder E., Nusbaum MP.: Coordination of fast and slow rhythmic neuronal circuits. Journal of Neuroscience 19(15): 6650-60, Aug 1 1999.

Blitz DM., Christie AE., Coleman MJ., Norris BJ., Marder E., Nusbaum MP.: Different proctolin neurons elicit distinct motor patterns from a multifunctional neuronal network. Journal of Neuroscience 19(13): 5449-63, Jul 1 1999.

Marder E., Manor Y., Nadim F., Bartos M., Nusbaum MP.: Frequency control of a slow oscillatory network by a fast rhythmic input: pyloric to gastric mill interactions in the crab stomatogastric nervous system. [Review] [41 refs] Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 860: 226-38, Nov 16 1998.

Nadim F., Manor Y., Nusbaum MP., Marder E.: Frequency regulation of a slow rhythm by a fast periodic input. Journal of Neuroscience 18(13): 5053-67, Jul 1 1998.

Bartos M., Nusbaum MP.: Intercircuit control of motor pattern modulation by presynaptic inhibition. Journal of Neuroscience 17(7): 2247-56, Apr 1 1997.

Christie AE., Lundquist CT., Nassel DR., Nusbaum MP.: Two novel tachykinin-related peptides from the nervous system of the crab Cancer borealis. Journal of Experimental Biology 200 ( Pt 17): 2279-94, Sep 1997.

Blitz DM., Nusbaum MP.: Motor pattern selection via inhibition of parallel pathways. Journal of Neuroscience 17(13): 4965-75, Jul 1 1997.

Norris BJ., Coleman MJ., Nusbaum MP.: Pyloric motor pattern modification by a newly identified projection neuron in the crab stomatogastric nervous system. Journal of Neurophysiology 75(1): 97-108, Jan 1996.

Coleman MJ., Meyrand P., Nusbaum MP.: A switch between two modes of synaptic transmission mediated by presynaptic inhibition. Nature 378(6556): 502-5, Nov 30 1995.

Blitz DM., Christie AE., Marder E., Nusbaum MP.: Distribution and effects of tachykinin-like peptides in the stomatogastric nervous system of the crab, Cancer borealis. Journal of Comparative Neurology 354(2): 282-94, Apr 3 1995.

Coleman MJ., Konstant PH., Rothman BS., Nusbaum MP.: Neuropeptide degradation produces functional inactivation in the crustacean nervous system. Journal of Neuroscience 14(10): 6205-16, Oct 1994.

Nusbaum MP.: Presynaptic control of neurones in pattern-generating networks. [Review] [49 refs] Current Opinion in Neurobiology 4(6): 909-14, Dec 1994.

Norris BJ., Coleman MJ., Nusbaum MP.: Recruitment of a projection neuron determines gastric mill motor pattern selection in the stomatogastric nervous system of the crab, Cancer borealis. Journal of Neurophysiology 72(4): 1451-63, Oct 1994.

Coleman MJ., Nusbaum MP.: Functional consequences of compartmentalization of synaptic input. Journal of Neuroscience 14(11 Pt 1): 6544-52, Nov 1994.

Nusbaum MP., Weimann JM., Golowasch J., Marder E.: Presynaptic control of modulatory fibers by their neural network targets. Journal of Neuroscience 12(7): 2706-14, Jul 1992.

Coleman MJ., Nusbaum MP., Cournil I., Claiborne BJ.: Distribution of modulatory inputs to the stomatogastric ganglion of the crab, Cancer borealis. Journal of Comparative Neurology 325(4): 581-94, Nov 22 1992.

Nusbaum MP., Marder E.: A modulatory proctolin-containing neuron (MPN). II. State-dependent modulation of rhythmic motor activity. Journal of Neuroscience 9(5): 1600-7, May 1989.

Nusbaum MP., Marder E.: A modulatory proctolin-containing neuron (MPN). I. Identification and characterization. Journal of Neuroscience 9(5): 1591-9, May 1989.

Kristan WB., Wittenberg G., Nusbaum MP., Stern-Tomlinson W.: Multifunctional interneurons in behavioral circuits of the medicinal leech. [Review] [30 refs] Experientia 44(5): 383-9, May 15 1988.

Goldberg D., Nusbaum MP., Marder E.: Substance P-like immunoreactivity in the stomatogastric nervous systems of the crab Cancer borealis and the lobsters Panulirus interruptus and Homarus americanus. Cell & Tissue Research 252(3): 515-22, Jun 1988.

Nusbaum MP., Friesen WO., Kristan WB., Pearce RA.: Neural mechanisms generating the leech swimming rhythm: swim-initiator neurons excite the network of swim oscillator neurons. Journal of Comparative Physiology A-Sensory Neural & Behavioral Physiology 161(3): 355-66, Aug 1987.

Bekoff A., Nusbaum MP., Sabichi AL., Clifford M.: Neural control of limb coordination. I. Comparison of hatching and walking motor output patterns in normal and deafferented chicks. Journal of Neuroscience 7(8): 2320-30, Aug 1987.

Marder E., Calabrese RL., Nusbaum MP., Trimmer B.: Distribution and partial characterization of FMRFamide-like peptides in the stomatogastric nervous systems of the rock crab, Cancer borealis, and the spiny lobster, Panulirus interruptus. Journal of Comparative Neurology 259(1): 150-63, May 1 1987.

Stern-Tomlinson W., Nusbaum MP., Perez LE., Kristan WB.: A kinematic study of crawling behavior in the leech, Hirudo medicinalis. Journal of Comparative Physiology A-Sensory Neural & Behavioral Physiology 158(4): 593-603, Apr 1986.

Nusbaum MP.: Synaptic basis of swim initiation in the leech. III. Synaptic effects of serotonin-containing interneurones (cells 21 and 61) on swim CPG neurones (cells 18 and 208). Journal of Experimental Biology 122: 303-21, May 1986.

Nusbaum MP., Kristan WB.: Swim initiation in the leech by serotonin-containing interneurones, cells 21 and 61. Journal of Experimental Biology 122: 277-302, May 1986.

Cline HT., Nusbaum MP., Kristan WB.: Identified GABAergic inhibitory motor neurons in the leech central nervous system take up GABA. Brain Research 348(2): 359-62, Dec 2 1985.

Kristan WB., Nusbaum MP.: The dual role of serotonin in leech swimming. Journal de Physiologie 78(8): 743-7, 1982-83.

Nusbaum MP, Marder E: A novel neuronal role for a crustacean red pigment concentrating hormone-like peptide: neuromodulation of the pyloric rhythm in the crab, Cancer borealis. Journal of Experimental Biology 135: 165-181 1988.

Nusbaum MP, Calabrese RL: Lobsters with alot of nerve. New Scientist 137: 24-28, 1993.

Kristan WB Jr., Wittenberg G, Nusbaum MP, Stern-Tomlinson W: Multifunctional interneurons in behavioral circuits of the medicinal leech. 44: 383-389 1988.

Marder E, Nusbaum MP: Peptidergic modulation of the motor pattern generators in the stomatogastric ganglion. Perspectives in Neural Systems and Behavior. Carew TC, Kelley D (eds.). Alan R. Liss, Inc. Page: 73-91, 1989.

Harris-Warrick R, Nagy F, Nusbaum MP: Neuromodulation of stomatogastric networks by identified neurons and transmitters. Dynamic Biological Networks: The Stomatogastric Nervous System. Harris-Warrick RH, Marder E, Moulins M, Selverston AI (eds.). MIT Press, Boston, Page: 87-137, 1992.

Nusbaum MP, El Manira A, Rossignol S, Gossard J-P: Presynaptic mechanisms in pattern generating circuits. Neurons, Networks and Motor Behavior. Stein PSG, Stuart DG, Grillner S, Selverston AI (eds.). MIT Press, Boston, Page: 237-153 1997.

Christie AE, Stein W, Quinlan JE, Beenhakker MP, Marder E, Nusbaum MP : Actions of a histaminergic/peptidergic projection neuron on rhythmic motor patterns in the stomatogastric nervous system of the crab Cancer borealis. Journal of Comparative Neurology 469: 153-69, 2004.

Beenhakker MP, Nusbaum MP : Mechanosensory activation of a motor circuit by coactivation of two projection neurons. J Neurosci 24, 2004 Notes: In Press.

Wood DE, Manor Y, Nadim F, Nusbaum MP : Inter-circuit control via rhythmic regulation of projection neuron activity. J Neurosci 2004 Notes: In Press.

Beenhakker MP, Blitz DM, Nusbaum MP : Long-lasting activation of rhythmic neuronal activity by a novel mechanosensory system in the crustacean stomatogastric nervous system. Journal of Neurophysiology 91: 78-91, 2004.

Nusbaum MP : Regulating peptidergic modulation of rhythmically active neural circuits. Brain Behavior and Evolution 60: 378-87, 2002.

Wood DE, Nusbaum MP : Extracellular peptidase activity tunes motor pattern modulation. J Neurosci 22: 4185-95, 2002.

Nusbaum MP, Beenhakker MP: A small-systems approach to motor pattern generation. Nature 417: 343-50, 2002.

Nusbaum MP, Blitz DM, Swensen AM, Wood DE, Marder E : The roles of cotransmission in neural network modulation. Trends Neurosci 24: 146-54, 2001.

Saideman Shari R, Blitz Dawn M, Nusbaum Michael P: Convergent motor patterns from divergent circuits. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 27(25): 6664-74, Jun 2007.

Kirby Matthew S, Nusbaum Michael P: Central nervous system projections to and from the commissural ganglion of the crab Cancer borealis. Cell and tissue research 328(3): 625-37, Jun 2007.

Saideman Shari R, Ma Mingming, Kutz-Naber Kimberly K, Cook Aaron, Torfs Pieter, Schoofs Liliane, Li Lingjun, Nusbaum Michael P: Modulation of rhythmic motor activity by pyrokinin peptides. Journal of neurophysiology 97(1): 579-95, Jan 2007.

Saideman Shari R, Christie Andrew E, Torfs Pieter, Huybrechts Jurgen, Schoofs Liliane, Nusbaum Michael P: Actions of kinin peptides in the stomatogastric ganglion of the crab Cancer borealis. The Journal of experimental biology 209(Pt 18): 3664-76, Sep 2006.

Beenhakker Mark P, DeLong Nicholas D, Saideman Shari R, Nadim Farzan, Nusbaum Michael P: Proprioceptor regulation of motor circuit activity by presynaptic inhibition of a modulatory projection neuron. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 25(38): 8794-806, Sep 2005.

Blitz Dawn M, Beenhakker Mark P, Nusbaum Michael P: Different sensory systems share projection neurons but elicit distinct motor patterns. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 24(50): 11381-90, Dec 2004.

Wood Debra E, Manor Yair, Nadim Farzan, Nusbaum Michael P: Intercircuit control via rhythmic regulation of projection neuron activity. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 24(34): 7455-63, Aug 2004.

Beenhakker Mark P, Nusbaum Michael P: Mechanosensory activation of a motor circuit by coactivation of two projection neurons. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 24(30): 6741-50, Jul 2004.

Nusbaum Michael P, Contreras Diego: Sensorimotor gating: startle submits to presynaptic inhibition. Current biology : CB 14(6): R247-9, Mar 2004.

Christie Andrew E, Stein Wolfgang, Quinlan John E, Beenhakker Mark P, Marder Eve, Nusbaum Michael P: Actions of a histaminergic/peptidergic projection neuron on rhythmic motor patterns in the stomatogastric nervous system of the crab Cancer borealis. The Journal of comparative neurology 469(2): 153-69, Feb 2004.

Beenhakker Mark P, Blitz Dawn M, Nusbaum Michael P: Long-lasting activation of rhythmic neuronal activity by a novel mechanosensory system in the crustacean stomatogastric nervous system. Journal of neurophysiology 91(1): 78-91, Jan 2004.

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Last updated: 11/21/2013
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