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University of Connecticut
The main project in my lab concerns the effect of pathological proteins which are over-produced by brains of Alzheimer's patients and found in lesions called plaques. It is not yet known how these peptides of the beta amyloid family cause disuption of neurotransmission and cell death. Recent findings from this lab have identified steps in transmitter release and synapse formation as targets of these Alzheimer's peptides. Both cultured neurons and intact synaptic preparations are used as models to discover the cellular and molecular modes of action of these peptides. Information from these studies may well be useful in devising new therapies for this devastating disease. Other projects in my lab include the role of antihypertensive drugs in causing arrythmia in heart cells and the regulation of blood flow to the eye.
National Science Foundation Young Investigator Research Grant 1991-93;
Donaghue Young Investigator Award; Spring 1993;
Invited Participant in Gordon Research Conference on Synaptic Transmission, Plymouth NH, August 2-7, 1998.
Gray, D.B., G.R. Pilar, P. Eang, R.R. Metzger, E. Klann, and S.D.Meriney (1999) Convergent signal transduction pathways underlying somatostatin inhibition of transmitter release. J.Neurochem. , [in press].
G.R. Pilar , D.B. Gray, and Meriney, S.D. (1996). Membrane delimited and intracellular soluble pathways in the somatostatin modulation of ACh release. Life Sciences 58: 1979-86.
Meriney, S.D., D.B. Gray, and G.R. Pilar (1994). Neuronal Ca current modulation by cGMP dependent protein kinase. Nature 369: 336-339.
Gray, D.B., J. L. Bruses, and G. Pilar (1992). Developmental switch in the pharmacology of Ca channels coupled to acetylcholine release. Neuron 8: 715-724 .
Gray, D.B., N. Manthay, and G. Pilar (1991). Developmental regulation of calcium channels mediating transmitter release in parasympathetic nerve terminals. In: Calcium Entry and Presynaptic Nerve Terminal Function. Eds. E. Stanley and M. Nowycky. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 635: 408-410.
Gray, D.B., D. Zelazny, N. Manthay, and G. Pilar (1990). Endogenous modulation of ACh release by somatostatin and the differential role of calcium channels. J. Neurosci. 10: 2687-2698.