L. Charles Murrin, PhD

L. Charles Murrin
Research Interests
Representative Publications
Biographical Information
Visit Dr. Murrin's Lab


Durham Research Center #3013
985800 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5800

Phone: 402-559-4552
E-mail: cmurrin@unmc.edu

Keywords: developmental neuroscience, instrumental imaging of receptors and receptor signaling, opioid receptors, adrenergic receptors, receptor localization by autoradiography, angiotensin II receptors, signal transduction, immediate early genes, catecholamine transporters, depression and anti-depressant drug action 

Research Interests:
Molecular regulation of the development of the central nervous system. The major focus of this laboratory is the development of the central nervous system (CNS) and particularly the development of neurotransmitter systems within the CNS. The development of the CNS is a complex process in which billions of cells become organized anatomically, biochemically and physiologically to form a functioning organ system. Our understanding of how this development is controlled and regulated is very limited. The goal of the research in my laboratory is to analyze and better understand this developmental process and its regulation by examining chemically defined neuronal systems. In turn this will help us understand how exposure to drugs can produce changes in development and what the long term consequences of these changes are.
  • The role of norepinephrine and alpha-2 adrenergic receptors in regulating CNS development. Alpha-2 adrenergic receptors are involved in many centrally-mediated functions including pain perception, response to stress, mood regulation and control of heart rate and blood pressure. The pattern of alpha-2 receptor expression during brain development suggests that they play a pivotal role in development of certain CNS regions and we are studying this from the receptor level to the gene level in order to understand this.
  • The regulation of mu opiate receptor expression in developing and adult brain. Mu opiate receptors are acted on by opioid drugs, such as morphine and heroin. During development there is a clear disconnect between mu receptor expression and function. We are examining mu opioid receptor function in developing and adult brain with the hope of gaining insight into both regulation of developmental processes as well as how these receptors mediate dependence and tolerance.
  • Is the response to antidepressant drugs of noradrenergic receptor systems different in adolescent and adult brain. It is known that adolescents suffering from depression do not respond to some drugs that are effective in treating adults. In collaboration with Drs. David Bylund and Jean Deupree, we are examining the response of the brain in adolescents and adults to these drugs in order to understand why this clinical difference exists.
  • Our laboratory is also involved in analysis of the response of angiotensin II receptors to heart failure and treatment of this heart failure with the statins. These studies are done in collaboration with Dr. Irving Zucker in the Department of Integrative and Cellular Physiology.

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Representative publications:
  1. Gorantla S, Makarov E, Roy D, Finke-Dwyer J, Murrin LC, Gendelman HE, Poluektova L. Immunoregulation of a CB2 receptor agonist in a murine model of NeuroAIDS. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2010. 5(3):456-68
  2. Talbot JN, Skifter DA, Bianchi E, Monaghan DT, Toews ML, Murrin LC. Regulation of mu opioid receptor internalization by the scaffold protein RanBPM. Neurosci Lett. 2009 Dec 11;466(3):154-8
  3. Tian C, Murrin LC, Zheng JC. Mitochondrial fragmentation is involved in methamphetamine-induced cell death in rat hippocampal neural progenitor cells. PLoS One. 2009;4(5):e5546
  4. Sanders, J.D., Happe, K.H., Bylund, D.B., Murrin, L.C. Differential effects of neonatal norepinephrine lesions on immediate early gene expression in developing and adult rat brain. Neuroscience 157: 821-32, 2008
  5. Murrin, L.C., Talbot, J.N. RanBPM, a Scaffolding Protein in the Immune and Nervous Systems. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol 2: 290-295, 2007
  6. Murrin, L.C., Sanders, J.D., Bylund, D.B. Comparison of the maturation of the adrenergic and serotonergic neurotransmitter systems in the brain: implications for differential drug effects on juveniles and adults. Biochemical Pharmacology 73: 1225-1236, 2007
  7. Sanders, J.D., Szot, P., Weinshenker, D., Happe, K.H., Bylund, D.B., Murrin, L.C. Analysis of brain adrenergic receptors in dopamine-β-hydroxylase knockout mice. Brain Res. 1109: 45-53, 2006
  8. Sanders, J.D., Happe, H.K., Bylund, D.B., Murrin, L.C. Development of the norepinephrine transporter in the rat CNS. Neuroscience 130: 107-117, 2005
  9. Talbot, J.N., Happe, H.K., Murrin, L.C. Mu Opioid Receptor Coupling to Gi/o Proteins Increases During Postnatal Development in Rat Brain. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 314: 596-602, 2005
  10. Sanders, J.D., Happe, H.K., Murrin, L.C. A transient expression of functional alpha-2 adrenergic receptors in white matter of the developing brain. Synapse 57: 213-222, 2005

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