Multiplex Innate Cytokine Signal Analyses of Brain Function

Multiplex Innate Cytokine Signal Analyses of Brain Function

April 26, 2007
Dr. Richard P. Kraig


Cytokines are powerful signaling molecules that are increasingly recognized for their involvement in normal brain function. Our goal is to decipher how innate cytokine changes associated with increased neural activity, such as from learning, make the brain more resilient to disease. This pursuit is complicated by the complex interactive behavior of innate cytokine signaling, which is highly redundant and pleiotropic — multiple cytokines can have the same effect, and a single cytokine can have variable effects. Our approach is to simultaneously measure key signaling protein changes via multiplex bead-based assays using the Bio-Plex suspension array system. We use these data to define critical node signaling sites of the innate cytokine signaling network involved in activity-dependent neuroprotection. The application of this experimental strategy to the brain, which is regionally and cellularly heterogeneous, will be discussed.

About the speaker:
Dr. Richard Kraig, MD, PhD is an authority on the role of glial cells in the brain, the treatment of migraine headaches, and how the brain protects itself from injury. An active researcher, educator, and clinician, Dr. Kraig is the William D. Mabie Professor in Neurosciences at the University of Chicago Medical Center. His laboratory research is focused on examining mechanisms by which the brain naturally protects itself, and how physical, mental, and social activities can lessen the impact of neurological disease.

Dr. Kraig earned his BA in chemistry from Cornell College, his PhD in physiology and biophysics from the University of Iowa, and his MD from New York University. He was an intern at the University of Chicago and did his residency in neurology at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, where he took his first faculty position before joining the University of Chicago faculty in 1988.