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Judith B. Grinspan, Ph.D.

Research Professor of Neurology
Mahoney Institute for Neurological Science, University of Pennsylvania
Institute for Regenerative Medicine-program in nervous system development and repair, University of Pennsylvania
Department: Neurology

Contact information
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
516D Abramson Center
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 590-2094
Fax: (215) 590-3709
Lab: (215) 590-5179
Graduate Group Affiliations
A.B. (Biology)
Vassar College , 1974.
M.S. (Pathology)
Hahnemann University (now Drexel University), 1977.
Ph.D. (Biology)
University of Pennsylvania, 1984.
Post-Graduate Training
Teaching Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, 1977-1979.
Predoctoral Fellow, Wistar Institute (NIH Training Grant), 1979-1984.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (NIH Training Grant), 1984-1986.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society Research Postdoctoral Fellow, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 1986-1989.
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> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
Our lab studies factors that control the maturation of oligodendrocytes, the myelinating cells of the central nervous system, from stem cells through to myelination.

Key words: oligodendrocytes, myelin, growth factors, programmed cell death, oxidative stress.

Description of Research
In the central nervous system, oligodendrocytes synthesize myelin as an extension of their plasma membranes. This myelin wraps axons and allows rapid and efficient conduction of nervous impulses. Destruction of myelin through injury, such as birth injury leading to cerebral palsy, or disease, such as multiple sclerosis, causes extreme loss of function. Oligodendrocyte precursors and stem cells remain in the CNS following the pathology and are potentially capable of forming mature oligodendrocytes and then myelin. However, their maturation is severely limited. Possible reasons for this include the inhibitors present in the area that impede maturation and astrogliosis in which astrocytes form physical and chemical barriers to regeneration. Our goal is to identify factors in the CNS that promote or inhibit the development of mature oligodendrocytes both during development and disease. On going areas of investigation in the lab include: The role and interactions of dorsal signaling factors, bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and Wnts, in the development of oligodendrocytes and myelination. -The fate of oligodendrocyte maturation and myelination following hypoxic/ischemic injury in the central nervous system. The role of BMPs in oxidative stress following birth injury or demyelination in the adult. Rotation projects for 2012-2013: 1) The role of BMP in a model of dysmyelinating disease. 2) The role of intermediates such as NF-kB and Nrf-2 in oxidative stress during oligodendrocyte maturation. 3)The role of dorsal signaling factors and reactive oxygen species in oligodendrocyte:neuronal co-cultures. 3)The effect of antri-retroviral therapy on oligodendrocyte maturation.

Lab personnel:
Micah Romer research assistant
Brigid Jensen graduate student
Wade Mayes graduate student
Allison Zanno neonatology fellow

Selected Publications

Reid, M.V., Murray, K. A., Marsh, E.D., Golden, J. A., Simmons, R.A., Grinspan, J. B.: Delayed myelination in an intrauterine growth retardation model is mediated by oxidative stress upregulating BMP4. Journal of Neuropathology Experimental Neurology 71(7): 640-653, 2012.

Feigenson, K., Reid, M., See, J., Crenshaw, E.B. III, Grinspan, J. B. : Canonical Wnt signaling requires the BMP pathway to inhibit oligodendrocyte maturation. ASN NEURO 3: 147-158, 2011.

French, H. M., Reid, M., Mamontov, P., Simmons, R. A., Grinspan, J. B.: Oxidative stress disrupts oligodendrocyte maturation. Journal of Neuroscience Research 87: 3076-3087, 2009.

Feigenson, K., Reid, M., See, J., Crenshaw E.B. III, Grinspan, J. B.: Wnt signaling is sufficient to perturb oligodendrocyte maturation. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 42: 255-265, 2009.

See, J. and Grinspan, J. B.: Sending mixed signals: bone morphogenetic proteins in myelination and demyelination. Journal of Neuropathology Experimental Neurology 68: 595-604, 2009.

Ara, J., See, J., Mamontov, P., Hahn, A., Bannerman, P. Pleasure, D., Grinspan, J.B.: Bone morphogenetic proteins 4, 6, and7 are upregulated in mouse spinal cord during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Journal of Neuroscience Research 86: 125-135, 2008.

Marek, R., Caruso, M. ,Rostami, A.M., Grinspan, J.B., Das Sarma, J.: CD11b magnetic cell sorting: a fast and effective method of concurrent isolation of high purity viable astrocytes and microglia from neonatal mouse brain tissue. J Neuroscience Methods 175: 108-118, 2008.

See, J., Mamontov, P., Ahn K., Wine-Lee, L., Crenshaw III, E.B., Grinspan, J. B.: BMP mutant mice exhibit glial cell maturation defects. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 35: 171-182, 2007.

Huang, Y., Grinspan, J.B, , Abrams, C. K., Scherer, S. S.: Pannexin 1 is expressed by neurons and glia but does not form functional gap junctions. Glia 55: 46-56, 2007.

See, J., Zhang, X., Eraydin, N. Mun, S.B., Mamontov, P., Golden, J. Grinspan, J.B.: Oligodendrocyte maturation is inhibited by bone morphogenetic protein. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 26: 481-492, 2004.

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Last updated: 01/29/2018
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