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Senior Investigator

Ted B. Usdin, M.D., Ph.D.

Laboratory of Genetics
Building 35 Room 1B-215
35 Convent Drive
Bethesda MD 20892-3728
Office: (301) 402-6976

Fax: (301) 435-5465

Dr. Usdin received his B.A. degree from Johns Hopkins University. He received M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Medical Scientist Training Program at Washington University in St. Louis. His graduate work with Gerald Fischbach focused on the identification of factors responsible for neuromuscular junction development. Dr. Usdin completed a residency in psychiatry at Stanford University and then in 1990 joined the Laboratory of Cell Biology in NIMH. In 1997 he became an Investigator in the Laboratory of Genetics in NIMH. Dr. Usdin's laboratory is exploring the biological role of tuberoinfundibular peptide, a new neuropeptide that his group recently discovered.

Neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, together with their receptors and transporters, are molecules responsible for communication between neurons. These molecules provide accessible sites for studying modulation of neuronal circuits, and are the targets for many drugs. Our work over the last several years lead to the discovery and identification of several neurotransmitter transporters and receptors, and characterization of their genes. Projects in my laboratory are aimed at opening new areas for exploration of neurobiological function, understanding the biological functions of newly discovered genes, and asking whether they contribute to disease pathology or whether they are potential sites for therapeutic intervention.

A recent project in the laboratory started with our discovery of a receptor that we named the parathyroid hormone 2 (PTH2) receptor. This receptor is activated by parathyroid hormone, but its anatomical distribution and functional differences between the receptor isolated from several species lead us to look for an another endogenous peptide that might be its physiological ligand. We recently purified a previously unknown polypeptide, TIP39, from the hypothalamus based on selective activation of the PTH2 receptor. A number of projects in the laboratory are now aimed at elucidating the physiological role of this new peptide-receptor system. These include testing specific hypotheses for its function that are derived from our mapping of their anatomical distributions. Testing TIP39 and the PTH2 receptor as modulators of pain perception and pituitary hormone secretion are ongoing projects. We use a wide range of approaches and techniques including molecular cloning, protein purification, functional neuroanatomy, molecular pharmacology, whole animal behavior and pharmacology, generation of transgenic mice, and cDNA microarrays.

Localization of TIP39 and the PTH2 receptor. 

localization of TIP39 and the PTH2 receptor(click for explanation)

Neurons synthesizing tuberoinfundibular peptide of 39 residues (TIP39) are concentrated in the caudal thalamus and the ventrolateral brainstem (figure reproduced from Usdin, T. B., A. Dobolyi, H. Ueda and M. Palkovits (2003). Emerging functions for tuberoinfundibular peptide of 39 residues. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 14: 14-19.)

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  • Arpad Dobolyi, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Catherine Faber
    Post baccalaureate Fellow

  • Jonathan Kuo, M.S.
    Research Assistant

  • Mark Paciga, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Timothy Riordan
    Research Assistant

  • Jing Wang, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow

  • 1) LaBuda, C. J., A. Dobolyi, and T.B. Usdin. (2004)
  • Tuberoinfundibular Peptide of 39 Residues Produces Anxiolytic and Antidepressant Actions.
  • NeuroReport, 15, 881-885.
  • 2) Dobolyi, A. M. Palkovits, I. Bodnar, and T. B. Usdin (2003)
  • Neurons containing tuberoinfundibular peptide of 39 residues projecto to limbic, endocrine, auditory and spinal areas in rat.
  • Neuroscience , 22, 1093-1105.
  • 3) Dobolyi, A., M. Palkovits, and T. B. Usdin (2003)
  • Expression and distribution of tuberoinfundibular peptide of 39 residues in the rat central nervous system
  • Journal of Comparative Neurology, 455, 547-566
  • 4) Dobolyi, A., H. Ueda, H. Uchida, M. Palkovits, and T. B. Usdin (2002)
  • Anatomical and Physiological Evidence for Involvement of Tuberoinfundibular Peptide of 39 Residues in Nociception
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 99, 1651-1656
  • 5) Wang, T., M. Palkovits, M. Rusnak, E. Mezey, and T. B. Usdin (2000)
  • Distribution of Parathyroid Hormone 2 Receptor-like Immunoreactivity and Messenger Ribonucleic Acid in the Rat Nervous System
  • Neuroscience, 100, 629-649
  • 6) Hoare, S. R., J. A. Clark, and T. B. Usdin (2000)
  • Molecular determinants of tuberoinfundibular peptide of 39 residues (TIP39) selectivity for the parathyroid hormone (PTH) 2 receptor: N-terminal truncation of TIP39 reverses PTH2 receptor/PTH1 receptor binding selectivity
  • Journal of Biological Chemistry, 275, 27274-27283
  • 7) Usdin, T. B., S. R. J. Hoare, T. Wang, E Mezey and J. A. Kowalak (1999)
  • TIP39: a new neuropeptide and PTH2-recepor agonist from hypothalamus
  • Nature Neuroscience, 2, 941-943
  • 8) Usdin, T. B., C. Gruber, and T. I. Bonner (1995)
  • Identification and functional expression of a receptor selectively recognizing parathyroid hormone, the PTH2 receptor.
  • Journal of Biological Chemistry , 270, 15455-15458
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