LiLian Yuan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience
Synaptic organization, connectivity and persistent activity in the prefrontal cortex
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is essential for working memory and other cognitive functions. PFC operations are thought to arise from both local networks and the integration of inputs from multiple brain regions outside of PFC. These processes are fragile in that they are highly dependent on the neurochemical state and the spatial/temporal properties of synaptic inputs both intrinsic and extrinsic to the PFC. We investigate basic mechanisms that maintain and modulate PFC activity, as well as how they are altered by environmental factors and drugs.
Signaling propagation and integration in neuronal dendrites
Dendrites are highly branched structure and provide the substrate for receiving and integrating incoming information. Increasing amount of evidence indicates that abnormal dendritic morphology and spine density are the most consistent anatomic finding in mental retardation. With the ability to directly measure signals from the dendrites, we focus on various active conductances in dendrites and how they contribute to synaptic integration and neural plasticity.
Alcohol intoxication and dependence
We investigate the roles played by NMDA receptors in various stages of alcohol intoxication and alcoholism. We also actively look for ingestible compounds that alleviate some of the negative symptoms through targeting on NMDA receptors.
(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)
Lockridge A, B Newland, S Printen, LL Yuan (2013). Head movement is an independent and serotonergically mediated behavior in the mouse forced swim and tail suspension tests. In press. Behavioral Brain Research.
Meehan AL, X Yang, LL Yuan, SM Rothman (2012). Levetiracetam has an activity-dependent effect on inhibitory transmission. Epilepsia. 53(3): 469-76
Lockridge A, G Romero, J Harrington, Z Gong, B Newland, A Cameron, LL Yuan (2012). Timing-dependent reduction in ethanol sedation and drinking preference by NMDA receptor co-agonist D-serine. Alcohol. 46(4): 389-400.
Parent M, Yuan LL. Automated detection and analysis of neuronal persistent activity. J Neurosci Methods. 2011 Oct 15;201(2):361-7. Epub 2011 Aug 25.
Meehan AL, X Yang, B McAdams, LL Yuan, SM. Rothman (2011). A New Mechanism for Antiepileptic Drug Action: Vesicular Entry May Mediate the Effects of Levetiracetam. J. Neurophys. doi: 10. 1152/ jn. 00279. 2011
Kong F, J Zhu, J Wu, J Peng, Y Wang, Q Wang, S Fu, LL Yuan, T Li (2011). dbCRID: A Database of Chromosomal Rearrangements in Human Diseases. Nucleic Acids Res 39: D895-900
Hoover B, M Reed, J Su, L Kotilinek, R Penrod, GA Carlson, L Lanier, LL Yuan, K Ashe, D Liao (2010). Tau mislocalization to dendritic spines mediates synaptic dysfunction independently of neurodegeneration. Neuron, 68: 1067-81
Lockridge A, LL Yuan (2010). Spatial learning deficits in mice lacking the Kv4.2 subunit. Hippocampus, DOI: 10.1002/hipo.20877
Lockridge A, J Su, LL Yuan (2010). Abnormal 5-HT modulation of stress behaviors in the Kv4.2 knockout mice. Neuroscience, 170:1086-1097
Zhao C, L Wang, T Netoff, LL Yuan (2010). Dendritic mechanisms controlling the threshold and timing requirement of synaptic plasticity. Hippocampus. DOI: 10.1002/hipo.20748
Parent M, L Wang, J Su, T Netoff, LL Yuan (2010). Identification of the hippocampal input to medial prefrontal cortex in vitro. Cerebral Cortex 20: 393-403
Wang L, LL Yuan (2009). Activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors leads to long-term depression of the hippocampal-mPFC pathway. J. Physiol. 587: 5139-5147
Yuan LL, X Chen (2006). Diversity of potassium channels in neuronal dendrites. Prog. in Neurobiol. 8: 374-89
Chen X*, LL Yuan*, C Zhao, S Birnbaum, A Frick, WE Jung, TL Schwarz, JD Sweatt, D Johnston (2006). ( * Co-first authors) Deletion of Kv4.2 gene eliminates dendritic A-type K+ current and enhances induction of long-term potentiation in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. J. Neurosci. 26: 12143-12151.
Former Graduate Students:
Marc Parent (Ph.D. 2010, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).