Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at Ohio University

Zinc Homeostasis in the Central Nervous System
The Role of Zinc in Alzheimer's Disease

Principal Investigator: Robert A. Colvin, Ph.D.

Neuroscience Program & Molecular and Cellular Biology Program
Department of Biological Sciences
Ohio University

Our current research is focused on 1) delineating the molecular pathways of zinc influx and efflux in neurons, 2) understanding the subcellular compartmentalization of zinc in neurons, 3) the role changes in zinc homeostasis in the mechanisms underlying the neurodegeneration that occurs in a variety of disorders such as cerebral ischemia and Alzheimer's Disease. The laboratory has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Alzheimer's Disease Association, American Federation for Aging Research, and the American Heart Association.

Areas of Active Investigation:

Ion homeostasis and mechanisms of neurodegeneration.


Recent publications:

Colvin, R.A., Holmes, W.R., Fontaine, C.P., and Maret, W. Cytosolic zinc buffering and muffling: Their role in intracellular zinc homeostasis. Metallomics 2: 306-317, 2010. View PDF

Qin, Y., Thomas, D., Fontaine, C.P., and Colvin, R.A. Silencing of ZnT1 reduces Zn2+ efflux in cultured cortical neurons. Neurosci Letters 450:206-210, 2009. View PDF

Qin, Y., Thomas, D., Fontaine, C.P., and Colvin, R.A. Mechanisms of Zn2+ efflux in cultured cortical neurons. J Neurochem 107:1304-1313, 2008. View PDF

Colvin, R.A., Bush, A.I., Volitakis, I., Fontaine, C.P., Thomas, D., Kikuchi, K., and Holmes, W.R. Insights into Zn2+ homeostasis in neurons from experimental and modeling studies. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 294:C726-C742, 2008.View PDF

Lin, W., Mohandas, B., Fontaine, C.P., and Colvin, R.A. Release of intracellular Zn2+ in cultured neurons after brief exposure to low concentrations of exogenous nitric oxide. Biometals 20:891-901, 2007.View PDF

Colvin, R.A., Laskowski, M., and Fontaine, C.P. Zinquin identifies subcellular compartmentalization of zinc in cortical neurons. Relation to the trafficking of zinc and the mitochondrial compartment. Brain Research 1085(1), 1-10 2006.View PDF

Colvin, R.A., Fontaine, C.P., Thomas, D., Hirano, T., Nagano, T., and Kikuchi, K. Evidence for pH dependent Zn2+ influx in K562 erythroleukemia cells. Studies using ZnAF-2F fluorescence and 65Zn2+ uptake Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 442:222-228, 2005.View PDF

Balaji, R.V. and Colvin, R.A. A proton-dependent zinc uptake in PC12 cells. Neurochemical Research 30:171-176, 2005.View PDF

Mohandas, B. And Colvin, R.A. The role of zinc in Alzheimer's disease In: Recent Research Developments in Physiology Vol. 2, S.G. Pandalai ed. Research Signpost, Kerala, India, pp 225-245, 2004.

Colvin, R.A., Fontaine, C.P., Laskowski, M., and Thomas, D. Zn2+ transporters and Zn2+ homeostasis in neurons. European Journal of Pharmacology 479:171-185, 2003. View PDF

Colvin, R.A. pH dependence and compartmentalization of zinc transport across the plasma membrane of rat cortical neurons. American Journal of Cell Physiology 282, C317-C329, 2002. View PDF

Colvin, R.A., Davis, N. Nipper R.W., Carter, P.A. Evidence for a zinc/proton antiporter in rat brain. Neurochemistry International 36:539-547, 2000. View PDF

Colvin, R.A., Davis, N., Nipper, R.W., Carter, P.A. Zinc transport in the brain: Routes of zinc influx and efflux in neurons. Journal of Nutrition 130:1484S-1487S, 2000.View PDF

Wang, Y., Chen X., Colvin, R.A. Expression of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger ameliorates ionomycin-induced cell death. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 276:93-96, 2000.View PDF. View correction to paper

Colvin, R.A. Zinc inhibits Ca2+ transport by rat brain Na+/Ca2+ exchanger. Neuroreport 9:3091-3096 (1998).

Colvin, R.A. Characterization of a plasma membrane zinc transporter in rat brain. Neuroscience Letters 247:147-150 (1998).View PDF

Wu, A., Derrico, C.A., Hatem, L., Colvin, R.A. Alzheimer's amyloid-beta peptide inhibits sodium/calcium exchange measured in rat and human brain plasma membrane vesicles. Neuroscience 80:675-684 (1997).View PDF

Wang, C., Davis, N., Colvin, R.A. Genistein inhibits Na+/Ca2+ exchange activity in primary rat cortical neuron cultures. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 233:86-90 (1997). View PDF.

Yu, L. and Colvin, R.A. Regional differences in expression of transcripts for Na+/Ca2+ exchanger isoforms in rat brain. Molecular Brain Research 50:285-292 (1997). View PDF.

Bellush, L.L., Wright, A.M., Walker, J., Kopchick, J., Colvin, R.A. Caloric restriction and spatial learning in old mice. Physiology and Behavior 60:541-547 (1996).View PDF

Colvin, R.A., Walker, J.P., Schummers J., Davis N. Aging does not affect steady stdoes not affect steady state expression of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger in rat brain. Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology 16:11-19 (1996).

Past publications


The Neuroscience Program At Ohio University

Molecular and Cellular Biology Program

The Biological Sciences Department Home Page

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Lab Personnel (L to R). Brian Patt, Dustin Thomas, Wendy Joaquin, Mike Longstreth, Charles Fontaine, Yan Qin, Wei Lin, Bhavna Mohandas, Robert Colvin.


This web page created by Jeff Thuma