• Dr. Lucas Pozzo-Miller completed his university studies in Biology (1986) and earned his Doctorate in Biology (1989), both from the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina. He trained as postdoctoral fellow at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH (1990-1992), and at the former Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, Nutley NJ (1992-1995). Dr. Pozzo-Miller performed summer research at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole MA (1994 Grass Foundation Fellow and 1995 Lakian Foundation Fellow), and was a Senior Staff Fellow at NINDS, NIH, Bethesda MD (1995-1998). Dr. Pozzo-Miller joined the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1998, and is currently Professor of Neurobiology.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2022 Integrated regulation of PKA by fast and slow neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens controls plasticity and stress responsesJournal of Biological Chemistry.  298. 2022
    2022 Periodontal Infection Aggravates C1q-Mediated Microglial Activation and Synapse Pruning in Alzheimer’s MiceFrontiers in Immunology.  13. 2022
    2020 Dysfunction of the corticostriatal pathway in autism spectrum disordersJournal of Neuroscience Research.  98:2130-2147. 2020
    2019 Differences in GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors result in distinct long-term plasticity at ipsilateral versus contralateral cortico-striatal synapseseNeuro.  6. 2019
    2019 Ventral hippocampal projections to the medial prefrontal cortex regulate social memoryeLife.  8. 2019
    2019 Differences in GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors result in opposite long-term plasticity and dopaminergic modulation at ipsilateral vs. contralateral cortico-striatal synapses 2019
    2019 The role of MeCP2 in learning and memoryLearning and Memory.  26:343-350. 2019
    2018 Ventral hippocampal projections to the medial prefrontal cortex regulate social memory 2018
    2018 Loss of Mecp2 causes atypical synaptic and molecular plasticity of parvalbumin-expressing interneurons reflecting rett syndrome–like sensorimotor defectseNeuro.  5. 2018
    2017 Cdk5 is essential for amphetamine to increase dendritic spine density in hippocampal pyramidal neuronsFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.  11. 2017
    2017 EEA1 restores homeostatic synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons from Rett syndrome mice 2017
    2017 The BDNF val-66-met polymorphism affects neuronal morphology and synaptic transmission in cultured hippocampal neurons from rett syndrome miceFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.  11. 2017
    2017 A small-molecule TrkB ligand restores hippocampal synaptic plasticity and object location memory in Rett syndrome miceDisease Models and Mechanisms.  10:837-845. 2017
    2016 The endosome localized Arf-GAP AGAP1 modulates dendritic spine morphology downstream of the neurodevelopmental disorder factor dysbindinFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.  10. 2016
    2016 Perineuronal nets suppress plasticity of excitatory synapses on CA2 pyramidal neurons 2016
    2016 Excitatory synapses are stronger in the hippocampus of Rett syndrome mice due to altered synaptic trafficking of AMPA-type glutamate receptors 2016
    2015 Rett Syndrome: Reaching for Clinical TrialsNeurotherapeutics.  12:631-640. 2015
    2015 Targeted pharmacological treatment of autism spectrum disorders: Fragile X and Rett syndromesFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.  9. 2015
    2015 Excitation/inhibition imbalance and impaired synaptic inhibition in hippocampal area CA3 of Mecp2 knockout mice 2015
    2014 Dendritic spine dysgenesis in autism related disordersNeuroscience Letters.  601:30-40. 2014
    2014 Dendritic spine dysgenesis in Rett syndromeFrontiers in Neuroanatomy.  8:1-8. 2014
    2014 A selective histone deacetylase-6 inhibitor improves BDNF trafficking in hippocampal neurons from Mecp2 knockout mice: Implications for Rett syndromeFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.  8. 2014
    2014 BDNF deregulation in Rett syndromeNeuropharmacology.  76:737-746. 2014
    2013 Insulinotropic treatments exacerbate metabolic syndrome in mice lacking MeCP2 functionHuman Molecular Genetics.  22:2626-2633. 2013
    2013 MeCP2 Regulates the Synaptic Expression of a Dysbindin-BLOC-1 Network Component in Mouse Brain and Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived NeuronsPLoS One.  8. 2013
    2013 A novel DNA-binding feature of MeCP2 contributes to rett syndromeFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.  7. 2013
    2013 The effect of Rho-associated kinase inhibition on the ocular penetration of timolol maleate 2013
    2013 Evaluation of current pharmacological treatment options in the management of Rett syndrome: from the present to future therapeutic alternatives.Current Clinical Pharmacology.  8:358-369. 2013
    2013 Hyperforin modulates dendritic spine morphology in hippocampal pyramidal neurons by activating Ca2+-permeable TRPC6 channels 2013
    2013 Recent progress in Rett syndrome and MECP2 dysfunction: Assessment of potential treatment optionsFuture Neurology.  8:21-28. 2013
    2012 Preclinical research in Rett syndrome: Setting the foundation for translational successDisease Models and Mechanisms.  5:733-745. 2012
    2012 Activity-dependent BDNF release and TRPC signaling is impaired in hippocampal neurons of Mecp2 mutant mice 2012
    2012 HDAC activity is required for BDNF to increase quantal neurotransmitter release and dendritic spine density in CA1 pyramidal neurons 2012
    2012 Beyond Widespread Mecp2 Deletions to Model Rett Syndrome: Conditional Spatio-Temporal Knockout, Single-Point Mutations and Transgenic Rescue Mice.Autism - Open Access.  2012:5. 2012
    2012 Divergent roles of p75NTR and Trk receptors in BDNF's effects on dendritic spine density and morphologyNeural Plasticity.  2012. 2012
    2012 Hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons of Mecp2 mutant mice show a dendritic spine phenotype only in the presymptomatic stageNeural Plasticity.  2012. 2012
    2012 Intracellular Ca2+ stores and Ca2+ influx are both required for BDNF to rapidly increase quantal vesicular transmitter releaseNeural Plasticity.  2012. 2012
    2012 Multiple approaches to investigate the transport and activity-dependent release of BDNF and their application in neurogenetic disordersNeural Plasticity.  2012. 2012
    2011 Network hyperexcitability in hippocampal slices from Mecp2 mutant mice revealed by voltage-sensitive dye imagingJournal of Neurophysiology.  105:1768-1784. 2011
    2011 Experimental models of rett syndrome based on Mecp2 dysfunctionExperimental Biology and Medicine.  236:3-19. 2011
    2010 Dietary flavonoid quercetin stimulates vasorelaxation in aortic vesselsFree Radical Biology and Medicine.  49:339-347. 2010
    2010 Activity-dependent release of endogenous BDNF from mossy fibers evokes a TRPC3 current and Ca2+ elevations in CA3 pyramidal neuronsJournal of Neurophysiology.  103:2846-2856. 2010
    2009 Dendritic spine pathologies in hippocampal pyramidal neurons from Rett syndrome brain and after expression of Rett-associated MECP2 mutationsNeurobiology of Disease.  35:219-233. 2009
    2009 GABA vesicles at synapses: Are there 2 distinct pools? 2009
    2009 Bdnf overexpression in hippocampal neurons prevents dendritic atrophy caused by Rett-associated MECP2 mutationsNeurobiology of Disease.  34:199-211. 2009
    2009 Modulation of dendritic spine development and plasticity by BDNF and vesicular trafficking: Fundamental roles in neurodevelopmental disorders associated with mental retardation and autismJournal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders.  1:185-196. 2009
    2008 GABAergic synapse maturation: Evidence of the instructive role of activity-dependent BDNF release 2008
    2008 The actions of BDNF on dendritic spine density and morphology in organotypic slice cultures depend on the presence of serum in culture mediaJournal of Neuroscience Methods.  169:182-190. 2008
    2008 Kainate modulates presynaptic GABA release from two vesicle pools 2008
    2007 BDNF induces calcium elevations associated with IBDNF, a nonselective cationic current mediated by TRPC channelsJournal of Neurophysiology.  98:2476-2482. 2007
    2007 Kinase activity is not required for αCaMKII-dependent presynaptic plasticity at CA3-CA1 synapsesNature Neuroscience.  10:1125-1127. 2007
    2007 The neuronal Arf GAP centaurin α1 modulates dendritic differentiationJournal of Cell Science.  120:2683-2693. 2007
    2007 TRPC3 channels are necessary for brain-derived neurotrophic factor to activate a nonselective cationic current and to induce dendritic spine formation 2007
    2007 Transient receptor potential channels as novel effectors of brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling: Potential implications for Rett syndromePharmacology and Therapeutics.  113:394-409. 2007
    2006 BDNF enhances dendritic Ca2+ signals evoked by coincident EPSPs and back-propagating action potentials in CA1 pyramidal neuronsBrain Research.  1104:45-54. 2006
    2006 BDNF increases release probability and the size of a rapidly recycling vesicle pool within rat hippocampal excitatory synapses 2006
    2005 Modulation of presynaptic plasticity and learning by the H-ras/extracellular signal-regulated kinase/synapsin I signaling pathway 2005
    2004 ERK1/2 Activation Is Necessary for BDNF to Increase Dendritic Spine Density in Hippocampal CA1 Pyramidal NeuronsLearning and Memory.  11:172-178. 2004
    2003 Miniature synaptic transmission and BDNF modulate dendritic spine growth and form in rat CA1 neurones 2003
    2003 Synaptically driven Ca2+ release in hippocampal neurons (multiple letters)Journal of Neurophysiology.  90:3579-3580. 2003
    2002 Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II clusters in adult rat hippocampal slicesNeuroscience.  115:435-440. 2002
    2002 Correlated calcium uptake and release by mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum of CA3 hippocampal dendrites after afferent synaptic stimulation 2002
    2002 The role of neurotrophins in neurotransmitter release 2002
    2002 From acquisition to consolidation: On the role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling in hippocampal-dependent learningLearning and Memory.  9:224-237. 2002
    2002 Modulation of neuronal calcium signaling by neurotrophic factorsInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience.  20:199-207. 2002
    2001 Protein Synthesis-dependent and -independent Regulation of Hippocampal Synapses by Brain-derived Neurotrophic FactorJournal of Biological Chemistry.  276:37585-37593. 2001
    2001 Glutamate-induced transient modification of the postsynaptic density 2001
    2001 BDNF enhances quantal neurotransmitter release and increases the number of docked vesicles at the active zones of hippocampal excitatory synapses 2001
    2000 Microheterogeneity of calcium signalling in dendrites 2000
    1999 Correlated measurements of free and total intracellular calcium concentration in central nervous system neuronsMicroscopy Research and Technique.  46:370-379. 1999
    1999 Correlated measurements of free and total intracellular calcium concentration in central nervous system neurons.Microscopy Research and Technique.  46:370-379. 1999
    1999 Calexcitin interaction with neuronal ryanodine receptorsBiochemical Journal.  341:423-433. 1999
    1999 Impairments in high-frequency transmission, synaptic vesicle docking, and synaptic protein distribution in the hippocampus of BDNF knockout mice 1999
    1999 Calcium signals in long-term potentiation and long-term depressionCanadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology.  77:722-734. 1999
    1999 Estradiol increases spine density and NMDA-dependent Ca2+ transients in spines of CA1 pyramidal neurons from hippocampal slicesJournal of Neurophysiology.  81:1404-1411. 1999
    1998 The first-order giant neurons of the giant fiber system in the squid: Electrophysiological and ultrastructural observationsJournal of Neurocytology.  27:419-429. 1998
    1998 Presynaptic modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity by brain- derived neurotrophic factor in the developing hippocampus 1998
    1997 Activity-dependent calcium sequestration in dendrites of hippocampal neurons in brain slices 1997
    1996 Regulation of synaptic responses to high-frequency stimulation and LTP by neurotrophins in the hippocampusNature.  381:706-709. 1996
    1996 Ca2+ release from intracellular stores induced by afferent stimulation of CA3 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slicesJournal of Neurophysiology.  76:554-562. 1996
    1995 Spontaneous and evoked glutamate signalling influences Fos-lacZ expression and pyramidal cell death in hippocampal slice cultures from transgenic ratsBrain Research.  34:197-208. 1995
    1995 G protein-coupled receptors mediate a fast excitatory postsynaptic current in CA3 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slices 1995
    1995 Micromolar Ca2+ transients in dendritic spines of hippocampal pyramidal neurons in brain sliceNeuron.  14:1223-1231. 1995
    1994 Calcium signaling in dendritic spines of hippocampal neuronsDevelopmental Neurobiology.  25:234-242. 1994
    1994 Spontaneous pyramidal cell death in organotypic slice cultures from rat hippocampus is prevented by glutamate receptor antagonistsNeuroscience.  63:471-487. 1994
    1993 Cytoplasmic structure in organotypic cultures of rat hippocampus prepared by rapid freezing and freeze‐substitution fixation 1993
    1993 Optical imaging of cytosolic calcium, electrophysiology, and ultrastructure in pyramidal neurons of organotypic slice cultures from rat hippocampusNeuroImage.  1:109-120. 1993
    1992 Postnatal development of the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus: neurons and synapsesCellular and Molecular Neurobiology.  12:121-129. 1992
    1991 Stereological analysis of the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus. II. Hormone-induced changes in the synaptogenic patternBrain Research.  61:189-196. 1991
    1990 Long-term potentiation-induced synaptic changes in hippocampal dentate gyrus of rats with an inborn low or high learning capacityBrain Research.  537:293-297. 1990


    Year Title Altmetric
    2014 Dysfunction of the methyl-CpG-binding protein MeCP2 in rett syndrome.  43-69. 2014
    2007 Activity-dependent structural plasticity of dendritic spines.  695-719. 2007
    2005 On the role of neurotrophins in dendritic calcium signaling implications for hippocampal transsynaptic plasticity.  185-200. 2005

    Principal Investigator On

  • A New Approach for Treating Rett Syndrome: Restoration of Interneuron Function by BDNF  awarded by International Rett Syndrome Foundation
  • Actions of BDNF on Ca2+ Signals in Hippocampal Neurons  awarded by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH/DHHS
  • Analogs of (1-3)IGF-1 (Glypromate) for the Improvement of Hippocampal Dysfunction in Female Mecp2 Heterozygous Mice: A Preclinical Trial for Rett Syndrome  awarded by RETTSYNDROME.ORG
  • Cortical Spread of Hippocampal Hyperactivity in Rett Syndrome  awarded by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH/DHHS
  • Exploring Nonsense Suppression as a Treatment for Rett Syndrome  awarded by RETTSYNDROME.ORG
  • Hippocampal Network Excitability in MECP2 Deficient Mice: a Voltage-Sensitive Dye Study  awarded by Rett Syndrome Research Foundation
  • IGF-1 and TrkB Agonists as BDNF Mimetics for the Reversal of Dendritic Spine Pathologies and Network Hyperexcitability in the Hippocampus of Mecp2 Mutant Mice  awarded by International Rett Syndrome Foundation
  • Inhibitory Interneuron Dysfunction in Network Activity in Female Mecp2 Mice  awarded by Rett Syndrome Research Foundation
  • Investigating Astrocytes and Neurons in a Rat Model of Rett Syndrome  awarded by RETTSYNDROME.ORG
  • MeCP2 Modulation of BDNF Signaling: Shared Mechanisms of Rett and Autism  awarded by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH/DHHS
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity in Mecp2 KO Neurons  awarded by RETTSYNDROME.ORG
  • REU Site: Summer Program in Neuroscience  awarded by NSF - National Science Foundation
  • Restoring GABA Inhibition in ASD by Turning a Kinase-Regulated CI-Rheostat  awarded by Yale University
  • Reversing BDNF Impairments in Rett Mice with TRPC Channel Activators  awarded by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/NIH/DHHS
  • Role of The Hippocampal-mPFC Pathway in Social Memory Deficits in Autism  awarded by National Institute of Mental Health/NIH/DHHS
  • TRPC3-Mediated Membrane Currents as Biosensors of Endogenous BDNF Release: Is BDNF Release Impaired in MECP2 Knockout Mice?  awarded by Rett Syndrome Research Foundation
  • Testing Whether the BDNF Loop Mimetic LM22A-4 Improves Hippocampal Function in Female Mecp2 Heterozygous Mice  awarded by RETT SYNDROME RESEARCH TRUST
  • The Role of CHD7 in ACC Neurons  awarded by MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA
  • TrkB.T1 Signaling in Astrocytes  awarded by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • UAB Mental Retardation Research Center - Core C  awarded by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/NIH/DHHS
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Biology, National University of Cordoba 1989
  • Master of Science in Biology, National University of Cordoba 1986
  • Full Name

  • Lucas Pozzo-Miller