Glenn J. Giesler, Jr., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Neuroscience


Research Interests:

Our laboratory's major interest is in determining the neural mechanisms responsible for conveying information about painful and itch-producing stimuli from the spinal cord to the brain. In recent years, we have been interested in the mechanisms underlying the relief from itch produced by scratching and how morphine induces itching.

In our studies, we use several techniques. Physiologically, we examine the responses of individual neurons that form these projections to painful and itch-producing stimulation of the skin and noxious stimulation of visceral tissues. In addition, we use a number of anterograde and retrograde tracing techniques to examine these projections and immunocytochemical techniques to determine the neurotransmitters, receptors or channels that may be involved.

Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

Lipshetz B, Giesler GJ. Effects of scratching and other counter-stimuli on responses of trigeminothalamic tract neurons to itch-inducing stimuli in rats. J Neurophysiol. 2015 Nov 4;:jn.00326.2015. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26538603

Jansen NA, Giesler GJ Jr. Response characteristics of pruriceptive and nociceptive trigeminoparabrachial tract neurons in the rat. J Neurophysiol. 2015 Jan 1;113(1):58-70.

Moser HR, Giesler GJ Jr. Itch elicited by intradermal injection of serotonin, intracisternal injection of morphine, and their synergistic interactions in rats. Neuroscience. 2014 Aug 22;274:119-27.

Moser HR, Giesler GJ. Characterization of pruriceptive trigeminothalamic tract neurons in rats. J Neurophysiol. 2014 Apr;111(8):1574-89.

Moser, H.M. and Giesler, G.J. 2013 Analgesia and itch resulting from intrathecal morphine: contrasting effects on different populations of trigeminothalamic tract neurons. J. Neurosci. 33:6093-6101.

Davidson, S., Zhang, Khasabov, S.G., Moser, H.R., Honda, C.N., Simone, D.A., Giesler, G.J., Jr. Pruriceptive spinothalamic tract neurons: Physiological properties and projection targets in the primate. Journal of Neurophysiology 2012 Sep;108(6):1711-23. doi: 10.1152/jn.00206.2012. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

Davidson S, Truong H, Giesler GJ Jr. Quantitative analysis of spinothalamic tract neurons in adult and developing mouse. J Comp Neurol. 2010 Aug 15;518(16):3193-204.

Anderson GR, Cao Y, Davidson S, Truong HV, Pravetoni M, Thomas MJ, Wickman K, Giesler GJ Jr, Martemyanov KA. R7BP complexes with RGS9-2 and RGS7 in the striatum differentially control motor learning and locomotor responses to cocaine. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2010 Mar;35(4):1040-50.

Davidson, S., Truong, H., Nakagawa, Y., and Giesler, G.J., Jr. A microinjection technique for targeting regions of embryonic and neonatal mouse brain in vivo. Brain Res. 2010 Jan 11;1307:43-52.

Davidson, S. and Giesler, G.J., Jr. 2010 The multiple pathways for itch and their interactions with pain. Trends in Neuroscience 33:550-558.

Davidson, S., Truong, H.V. and Giesler, G.J., Jr. 2010 A quantitative analysis of spinothalamic tract neurons in adult and developing mouse. J. Comp. Neurol.518: 3193-3204.

Davidson, S., Zhang, X., Khasabov, S.G., Simone, D.A., and Giesler, G.J., Jr. 2009 Relief of itch by scratching: state-dependent inhibition of primate spinothalamic tract neurons. Nat. Neurosci.12: 544-546.

Davidson, S., Zhang, X., Khasabov, S.G., Simone, D.A., and Giesler, G.J., Jr. 2008 Termination zones of functionally characterized spinothalamic tract neurons within the primate posterior thalamus. J. Neurophys. 100: 2026-2037.

Former Graduate Students:

Hannah Moser (Ph.D. 2013, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Rami Burstein (Ph.D.). Assistant Professor, Dept. of Neurobiology, Harvard University.

Kenneth D. Cliffer (Ph.D.). Staff Scientist, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Terrytown, NY.

Steve Davidson (Ph.D. 2009, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Robert Dado (Ph.D. 1992, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

James T. Katter (Ph.D. 1993, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).