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Carolyn Houser, Ph.D.

Email Address:
houser@mednet.ucla.edu

Work Address:
Laboratory
CHS
Los Angeles, CA 90095
UNITED STATES

Office
CHS
Los Angeles, CA 90095
UNITED STATES

Lab Number:
310-206-6563
Office Phone Number:
310-206-1567



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Department / Division Affiliations
Professor, Neurobiology
Member, ACCESS Program: Dept. of Neurobiology, Access Neuroscience Home Area, Brain Research Institute, Neuroscience IDP

Bio:

Research Interest: Neurochemical anatomy, neuronal plasticity and development of the CNS

The broad research interests of the laboratory are the neurochemical anatomy and morphological plasticity of the mammalian central nervous system. Research is focused on the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system. GABA is an extremely important neurotransmitter in many brain regions and may also have trophic roles during development of the nervous system. Both the presynaptic neurons that use GABA as a neurotransmitter and the postsynaptic sites at which these neurons exert their influence are being studied. Immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization methods are used to study the localization and regulation of the proteins and mRNAs of two forms of the synthesizing enzyme for GABA, glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) and multiple subtypes of the GABA-A receptor. Interrelationships between the GABA neurons and their receptors are being studied in the normal brain, during development and in experimental conditions in which the GABA system is altered. The brain region of major interest in these studies is the hippocampus.

The goals of a second but related group of studies are to identify the morphological and neurochemical changes that occur in epilepsy. Such changes are being studied in human tissue and in animal models of seizures. These models allow us to identify the changes that occur following an initial insult to the nervous system and then to determine the progression of morphological and neurochemical changes that may lead to the development of increased excitability and spontaneous seizures.

Publications:

Zhang N, Wei W, Mody I, Houser CR. Altered localization of GABA(A) receptor subunits on dentate granule cell dendrites influences tonic and phasic inhibition in a mouse model of epilepsy. J Neurosci 2007; 27(28): 7520-31.
Houser CR. Interneurons of the dentate gyrus: An overview of cell types, terminal fields and neurochemical identity. Prog Brain Res 2007; 163: 217-811.
Glykys J, Peng Z, Chandra D, Homanics GE, Houser CR, Mody I. A new naturally occurring GABA(A) receptor subunit partnership with high sensitivity to ethanol. Nat Neurosci 2007; 10(1): 40-8.
Liang J, Zhang N, Cagetti E, Houser CR, Olsen RW, Spigelman I. Chronic intermittent ethanol-induced switch of ethanol actions from extrasynaptic to synaptic hippocampal GABAA receptors. J Neurosci 2006; 26(6): 1749-58.
Chandra D, Jia F, Liang J, Peng Z, Suryanarayanan A, Werner DF, Spigelman I, Houser CR, Olsen RW, Harrison NL, Homanics GE. GABAA receptor alpha 4 subunits mediate extrasynaptic inhibition in thalamus and dentate gyrus and the action of gaboxadol. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2006; 103(41): 15230-5.
Swartz BE, Houser CR, Tomiyasu U, Walsh GO, DeSalles A, Rich JR, Delgado-Escueta A. Hippocampal cell loss in posttraumatic human epilepsy. Epilepsia 2006; 47(8): 1373-82.
Farrar C, Houser CR, Clarke S. Activation of the PI3K/Akt signal transduction pathway and increased levels of insulin receptor in protein repair-deficient mice. Aging Cell 2005; 4(1): 1-12.
Farrar CE, Huang CS, Clarke SG, Houser CR. Increased cell proliferation and granule cell number in the dentate gyrus of protein repair-deficient mice. J Comp Neurol 2005; 493(4): 527-37.
Peng Z, Houser CR. Temporal patterns of fos expression in the dentate gyrus after spontaneous seizures in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy. J Neurosci 2005; 25(31): 7210-20.
Peng Z, Huang CS, Stell BM, Mody I, Houser CR. Altered expression of the delta subunit of the GABAA receptor in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy. J Neurosci 2004; 24(39): 8629-39.
Houser CR, Esclapez M. Downregulation of the alpha5 subunit of the GABA(A) receptor in the pilocarpine model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Hippocampus 2003; 13(5): 633-45.
Wei W, Zhang N, Peng Z, Houser CR, Mody I. Perisynaptic localization of delta subunit-containing GABA(A) receptors and their activation by GABA spillover in the mouse dentate gyrus. J Neurosci 2003; 23(33): 10650-61.
Peng Z, Hauer B, Mihalek RM, Homanics GE, Sieghart W, Olsen RW, Houser CR. GABA(A) receptor changes in delta subunit-deficient mice: altered expression of alpha4 and gamma2 subunits in the forebrain. J Comp Neurol 2002; 446(2): 179-97.
Houser CR, Esclapez M, Zhang N. GABA neurons of the hippocampal formation: Localization, vulnerability and plasticity. GABA in the Nervous System: The View at Fifty Years 2000; 337-56.
Dupuy-Davies S, Houser CR. Evidence for changing positions of GABA neurons in the developing rat dentate gyrus. Hippocampus. 1999; 9(2): 186-99.
Houser CR. Neuronal loss and synaptic reorganization in temporal lobe epilepsy. Adv Neurol 1999; 79: 743-61.
Houser, CR, Dupuy, ST, Zhang N. Prominent expression of glutamate decarboxylase during early hippocampal development. Childhood Epilepsies and Brain Development 1999; pp.13-24.
Zhang N, Houser CR. Ultrastructural localization of dynorphin in the dentate gyrus in human temporal lobe epilepsy: a study of reorganized mossy fiber synapses. J Comp Neurol 1999; 405(4): 472-90.
Esclapez M, Houser CR. Up-regulation of GAD65 and GAD67 in remaining hippocampal GABA neurons in a model of temporal lobe epilepsy. J Comp Neurol 1999; 412(3): 488-505.
Dupuy ST, Houser CR. Developmental changes in GABA neurons of the rat dentate gyrus: an in situ hybridization and birthdating study. J Comp Neurol. 1997; 389(3): 402-18.
Houser CR, Esclapez, M. Vulnerability and plasticity of the GABA system in the pilocarpine model of spontaneous recurrent seizures. Epilepsy Res. 1996; 26(1): 207-18.
Esclapez, M, Chang D, Houser CR. Subpopulations of GABA neurons in the dentate gyrus express high levels of the alpha1 subunit of the GABA-A receptor. Hippocampus 1996; 6: 225-238.
Dupuy ST, Houser CR. Prominent expression of two forms of glutamate decarboxylase in the embryonic and early postnatal rat hippocampal formation. J Neurosci. 1996; 16(21): 6919-32.
Esclapez M, Houser CR. Somatostatin neurons are a subpopulation of GABA neurons in the rat dentate gyrus: Evidence from co-localization of pre-prosomatostatin and glutamate decarboxylase mRNAs. Neuroscience 1995; 64: 339-355.
Houser CR, Esclapez M. Localization of mRNAs encoding two forms of glutamic acid decarboxylase in the rat hippocampal formation. Hippocampus. 1994; 4(5): 530-45.
Esclapez M, Tillakaratne NJ, Kaufman DL, Tobin AJ, Houser CR. Comparative localization of two forms of glutamic acid decarboxylase and their mRNAs in rat brain supports the concept of functional differences between the forms. J Neurosci. 1994; 14(3 Pt 2): 1834-55.
Obenaus A, Esclapez M, Houser CR. Loss of glutamate decarboxylase mRNA-containing neurons in the rat dentate gyrus following pilocarpine-induced seizures. J Neurosci. 1993; 13(10): 4470-85.
Esclapez M, Tillakaratne NJ, Tobin AJ, Houser CR. Comparative localization of mRNAs encoding two forms of glutamic acid decarboxylase with nonradioactive in situ hybridization methods. J Comp Neurol. 1993; 331(3): 339-62.
Houser CR GABA neurons in seizure disorders: A review of immunocytochemical studies. Neurochem Res 1991; 16: 295-308.
Kafman DL, Houser CR, Tocin AJ Two forms of the gamma-aminobutyric acid synthetic enzyme glutamate decarboxylase have distinct intraneuronal distributions and cofactor interactions. J Neurochem 1991; 56: 720-723.
Houser, CR Granule cell dispersion in the dentate gyrus of humans with temporal lobe epilepsy. Brain Res 1990; 535: 195-204.
Houser CR, Miyashiro JE, Swartz BE, Walsh GO, Rich JR, Delgado-Escueta AV. Altered patterns of dynorphin immunoreactivity suggest mossy fiber reorganization in human hippocampal epilepsy. J Neurosci. 1990; 10(1): 267-82.
Houser Carolyn R, Zhang Nianhui, Peng Zechun, Huang Christine S, Cetina Yliana Neuroanatomical clues to altered neuronal activity in epilepsy: from ultrastructure to signaling pathways of dentate granule cells. Epilepsia. 2012; 53 Suppl 1(50): 67-77.
Soussi Rabia, Zhang Nianhui, Tahtakran Siroun, Houser Carolyn R, Esclapez Monique Heterogeneity of the supramammillary-hippocampal pathways: evidence for a unique GABAergic neurotransmitter phenotype and regional differences. The European journal of neuroscience. 2010; 32(5): 771-85.
Peng Zechun, Zhang Nianhui, Wei Weizheng, Huang Christine S, Cetina Yliana, Otis Thomas S, Houser Carolyn R A reorganized GABAergic circuit in a model of epilepsy: evidence from optogenetic labeling and stimulation of somatostatin interneurons. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2013; 33(36): 14392-405.
Li Yi, Peng Zechun, Xiao Bo, Houser Carolyn R Activation of ERK by spontaneous seizures in neural progenitors of the dentate gyrus in a mouse model of epilepsy. Experimental neurology. 2010; 224(1): 133-45.
Mathews Paul J, Lee Ka Hung, Peng Zechun, Houser Carolyn R, Otis Thomas S Effects of climbing fiber driven inhibition on Purkinje neuron spiking. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2012; 32(50): 17988-97.
Wyeth Megan S, Zhang Nianhui, Mody Istvan, Houser Carolyn R Selective reduction of cholecystokinin-positive basket cell innervation in a model of temporal lobe epilepsy. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2010; 30(26): 8993-9006.
Houser Carolyn R, Zhang Nianhui, Peng Zechun, Huang Christine S, Cetina Yliana Neuroanatomical clues to altered neuronal activity in epilepsy: from ultrastructure to signaling pathways of dentate granule cells. Epilepsia. 2012; 53 Suppl 1(50): 67-77.