Penn Comprehensive Neuroscience Center

Faculty Members
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David R. Lynch, MD, PhD

Professor of Neurology
Department: Neurology

Contact information
502 Abramson Center
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 2155902242
Fax: 2155903779
Lab: 2155901451
Graduate Group Affiliations
B.S. (Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry)
Yale College, 1981.
M.D. (Neuroscience)
Johns Hopkins University, 1988.
Ph.D. (Neuroscience)
Johns Hopkins University, 1988.
Post-Graduate Training
Intern in Internal Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1988-1989.
Resident in Neurology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1989-1992.
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Departments of Pharmacology and Neurology, Clinical Specialties: Movement Disorders, Neurogenetics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA , 1992-1995.
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Certificate #38654, 1993.
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Description of Research Expertise

NMDA receptors

glutamate, receptor

Molecular biology

Excitotoxicity is a unique pathophysiological mechanism which is involved in cerebral ischemia, secondary damage in neuronal trauma, and neuronal damage from prolonged seizures. The deleterious effects from excitotoxicity result from calcium entry through a specific glutamate receptor, the N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. NMDA receptor antagonists act both as neuroprotective agents against excitotoxicity and as anticonvulsants in animals, but human clinical trials with the most potent agents have been complicated by side effects including psychosis. Much evidence indicates the presence of multiple types of NMDA receptors in the brain, and evidence from our laboratory suggests that different subtypes play different roles in physiological and excitotoxic processes. If one could develop therapeutic agents which are selective for the subtypes involved in excitotoxicity, one could more readily utilize NMDA receptor antagonists for treatment of human diseases.

We use a systematic approach to examine the subtype specific physiological and pharmacological properties of NMDA receptors. NMDA receptors are created in tissue culture expression systems, and their properties are studied biochemically, pharmacologically and physiologically to correlate receptor properties in these systems with such properties in vivo. We have previously shown that different NMDA receptor subtypes have distinct pharmacologies and produce different changes in intracellular calcium. In the near future we will extend these examinations of subtype specific properties to include the modulation of other intracellular messengers such as nitric oxide and examine the effect of such properties on excitotoxicity. Combined with our studies on the pharmacological specificity of NMDA receptor subtypes, this will facilitate the development of therapeutic agents directed to those NMDA receptors which play crucial roles in excitotoxicity.

Selected Publications

Li, Y., Polak, U., Bhalla, A., Rozwadowska, N., Butler, J.S., Lynch, D.R., Dent, S.Y., Napierala, M.: Excision of expanded GAA repeats alleviates the molecular phenotype of Friedreich's ataxia. Molecular Therapy 2015 Notes: in press, doi: 10.1038/mt.2015.41.

Doss, S., Wandinger, K.-P., Hyman, B.T, Panzer, J., Synofzik, M., Dickerson, B., Mollenhauer, B., Scherzer, C., Ivinson, A., Finke, C., Schöls, L., Müller vom Hagen, J., Bittner, D., Priller, J., Spruth, E.,; Paul, F., Meisel, A., Lynch, D., Dirnagl, Q., Endres, M., Teegen, B., Probst, C; Komorowski, L., Stöcker, W., Dalmau, J., Prüss, H.: High prevalence of NMDA receptor IgA/IgM antibodies in different dementia types. Annals of Clinical And Translational Neurology 1(10): 822-32, Oct 2014

Corben, L.A., Lynch, D., Pandolfo, M., Schulz, J.B., Delatycki, M.B.; Clinical Management Guidelines Writing Group. 2014 Dec;9(1):184. : Consensus Clinical Management Guidelines for Friedreich Ataxia Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 9(1): 184, doi: 10.1186/s13023-014-0184-7, December 2014.

Adang,L., Lynch, D. R., Panzer, J.: Pediatric anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis is seasonal. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology 1(11): 921-5, November 2014.

Eric C. Deutsch,Devin Oglesbee, Nathaniel R. Greeley, David R. Lynch : Usefulness of Frataxin Immunoassays for the diagnosis of Friedreich Ataxia. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 85(9): 994-102, Sep; 2014.

H. Lin, F.-C. Hsu1, B. H. Baumann, D. A. Coulter, S. A. Anderson, and D. R. Lynch: Cortical parvalbumin GABAergic deficits with a7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor deletion: Implications for schizophrenia. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 61: 163-75, Jul; 2014 Notes: in press.

Nathaniel R. Greeley, Sean Regner, Steve Willi, David R. Lynch: Cross-sectional analysis of glucose metabolism in Friedreich Ataxia Journal of the Neurological Sciences 342(1-2): 29-35, July 2014.

Delatycki,M.B.,Tai, G., Corben, L.,Yiu, E.M. ,Evans-Galea, M. V , Stephenson,S., Gurrin, L., Allen, K. J., Lynch, D. R., Lockhart, P.J.: HFE p.C282Y heterozygosity is associated with earlier disease onset in Friedreich ataxia. Movement Disorders 29(7): 940-3, Jun 2014.

Lin, H., Hsu,F-C, Baumann, B. H., Coulter, D. A., Lynch, D. R.: Cortical synaptic NMDA receptor deficits in alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene deletion models: Implications for neuropsychiatric diseases Neurobiology of Disease 63: 129-140, Mar 2014.

Gleichman, A.L., Panzer, J.A., Baumann, B., Dalmau, J., Lynch, D.R.: Antigenic and mechanistic characterization of anti-AMPA receptor encephalitis. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology 1(3): 180-189, Mar 2014.

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Last updated: 05/25/2015
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