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Oshri Avraham

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Assistant Professor

When thinking of cells in the nervous system, most people first consider neurons. Yet diverse non-neuronal cells called glia, represent at least half of cells in the human nervous system. Although glia have been historically understudied compared to neurons, it is clear now that proper nervous system function depends on the coordinated activity between neurons and glia. The long-term goal of our research is to understand the genetic, cellular, and molecular mechanisms that govern glial cell biology and to dissect how neuron and glia interactions contribute to nervous system development and function. Nervous system diagramWe are particularly interested in peripheral glia that reside in different locations throughout the body and play a vital role in many central homeostatic processes and during development. All glial cells of the peripheral nervous system derive from the neural crest, a transitory structure of the vertebrate embryo, and include predominantly myelinating and non-myelinating Schwann cells, Satellite glia, terminal and enteric glia, as well as other unresolved subtypes with localized functions.

Dysfunction of peripheral glia has been linked to many pathologies, including neurodegenerative diseases, chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, and chronic pain syndrome. Yet, we know very little about the underlying molecular mechanisms, which stem mostly from our inability to study peripheral glia in a cell-specific manner. The lab combines developmental biology and molecular neuroscience to develop new evolution-based genetic tools in which we utilize highly conserved enhancer elements to lineage trace distinct glial populations in the developing embryo. This study will lay the foundations for future in-depth mechanistic studies of peripheral glial populations in health and in disease.

Photos peripheral gliaMolecular profiling of glia cells

Lab website

Avraham O, Le J, Leahy K, Li T, Zhao G, Cavalli V Analysis of neuronal injury transcriptional response identifies CTCF and YY1 as co-operating factors regulating axon regeneration. Front. Mol. Neurosci., 23 August 2022

Avraham O, Chamessian A, Feng R, Yang L, Halevi AE, Moore AM, Gereau RW 4th, Cavalli V Profiling the molecular signature of satellite glial cells at the single cell level reveals high similarities between rodents and humans.Pain. 2022 Mar 31.PMID: 35503034

Avraham O, Deng PY, Maschi D, Klyachko VA, Cavalli V Disrupted Association of Sensory Neurons With Enveloping Satellite Glial Cells in Fragile X Mouse Model. Front Mol Neurosci. 2022 Jan 4.PMID: 35058748

Deng PY, Avraham O, Cavalli V, Klyachko VA Hyperexcitability of Sensory Neurons in Fragile X Mouse Model. Front Mol Neurosci. 2021 Dec 22. PMID: 35002623

Avraham O, Feng R, Ewan EE, Rustenhoven J, Zhao G, Cavalli V. Profiling sensory neuron microenvironment after peripheral and central axon injury reveals key pathways for neural repair. Elife. 2021 Sep 29. PMID: 34586065

Trier AM, Mack MR, Fredman A, Tamari M, Ver Heul AM, Zhao Y, Guo CJ, Avraham O, Ford ZK, Oetjen LK, Feng J, Dehner C, Coble D, Badic A, Joshita S, Kubo M, Gereau RW 4th, Alexander-Brett J, Cavalli V, Davidson S, Hu H, Liu Q, Kim BS. IL-33 signaling in sensory neurons promotes dry skin itch. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2021 Sep 21.PMID: 34560104

Spears LD, Adak S, Dong G, Wei X, Spyropoulos G, Zhang Q, Yin L, Feng C, Hu D, Lodhi IJ, Hsu FF, Rajagopal R, Noguchi KK, Halabi CM, Brier L, Bice AR, Lananna BV, Musiek ES, Avraham O, Cavalli V, Holth JK, Holtzman DM, Wozniak DF, Culver JP, Semenkovich CF.J Endothelial ether lipids link the vasculature to blood pressure, behavior, and neurodegeneration. Lipid Res.2021 Apr 21.PMID: 33894211

Ewan EE, Avraham O, Carlin D, Gonçalves TM, Zhao G, Cavalli V. Ascending dorsal column sensory neurons respond to spinal cord injury and downregulate genes related to lipid metabolism. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan PMID: 33431991

Avraham O, Deng PY, Jones S, Kuruvilla R, Semenkovich CF, Klyachko VA, Cavalli V. Satellite glial cells promote regenerative growth in sensory neurons. Nat Commun. 2020 Sep 29.PMID: 32994417

Nitzan E*, Avraham O*, Kahane N, Ofek S, Kumar D, Kalcheim C. Dynamics of BMP and Hes1/Hairy1 signaling in the dorsal neural tube underlies the transition from neural crest to definitive roof plate. BMC Biol. 2016 Mar 24.PMID: 27012662

Hadas Y, Etlin A, Falk H, Avraham O, Kobiler O, Panet A, Lev-Tov A, Klar A. A 'tool box' for deciphering neuronal circuits in the developing chick spinal cord. Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Oct 29;.PMID: 25147209

Avraham O, Hadas Y, Vald L, Hong S, Song MR, Klar A Motor and dorsal root ganglion axons serve as choice points for the ipsilateral turning of dI3 axons. J Neurosci. 2010 Nov 17. PMID: 21084609’

Avraham O, Zisman S, Hadas Y, Vald L, Klar A. Deciphering axonal pathways of genetically defined groups of neurons in the chick neural tube utilizing in ovo electroporation. J Vis Exp. 2010 May 2.PMID: 20440258

Avraham O, Hadas Y, Vald L, Zisman S, Schejter A, Visel A, Klar A Transcriptional control of axonal guidance and sorting in dorsal interneurons by the Lim-HD proteins Lhx9 and Lhx1. Neural Dev. 2009 Jun 19.PMID: 19545367

Zisman S, Marom K, Avraham O, Rinsky-Halivni L, Gai U, Kligun G, Tzarfaty-Majar V, Suzuki T, Klar A Proteolysis and membrane capture of F-spondin generates combinatorial guidance cues from a single molecule. J Cell Biol. 2007 Sep 24.PMID: 17875744

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Head of the Department: Dr. Dennis Kyle