Dezhi Liao, Ph.D./MD

Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience

E-MAIL: liaox020@umn.edu

Research Interests:

Plasticity of dendritic spines, which are mostly excitatory glutamatergic synapses, plays important roles in learning and memory.  Addiction is believed to be a pathological form of learning.  Our studies reveal that MORs modulate the stability of dendritic spines.  We are focusing on the molecular and cellular mechanism underlying opioid addiction, particularly opioid-induced changes in the morphology and function of dendritic spines.


Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

Liao D, Miller EC, Teravskis PJ. Tau acts as a mediator for Alzheimer's disease-related synaptic deficits. Eur J Neurosci. 2014 Apr;39(7):1202-13.

Miller EC, Teravskis PJ, Dummer BW, Zhao X, Huganir RL, Liao D. Tau phosphorylation and tau mislocalization mediate soluble Aβ oligomer-induced AMPA glutamate receptor signaling deficits. Eur J Neurosci. 2014 Apr;39(7):1214-24.

Lou X, Zhang J, Liu S, Xu N, Liao DJ. The other side of the coin: the tumor-suppressive aspect of oncogenes and the oncogenic aspect of tumor-suppressive genes, such as those along the CCND-CDK4/6-RB axis. Cell Cycle. 2014;13(11):1677-93.

Eric C. Miller, Peter J. Teravskis, Benjamin W. Dummer, Xiaohui Zhao, Richard L. Huganir, and Dezhi Liao (2014).  Tau phosphorylation and tau mislocalization mediate soluble Aβ oligomer-induced AMPA glutamate receptor signaling deficits.  European Journal of Neuroscience, in press (see Appendix C).

Dezhi Liao, Eric C. Miller, and Peter J. Teravskis (2014).  Tau Acts as a Mediator for Alzheimer's Disease-Related Synaptic Deficits.  European Journal of Neuroscience, in press (see Appendix C).

Miller EC, Zhang L, Dummer BW, Cariveau DR, Loh H, Law PY, Liao D (2012).  Differential modulation of drug-induced structural and functional plasticity of dendritic spines.  Mol Pharmacol. 82, 333-343.

Hoover BR, Reed MN, Su J, Penrod RD, Kotilinek LA, Grant MK, Pitstick R, Carlson GA, Lanier LM, Yuan LL, Ashe KH, Liao D. Tau mislocalization to dendritic spines mediates synaptic dysfunction independently of neurodegeneration. Neuron. 2010 Dec 22;68(6):1067-81.

Angel Y.F. Kam, Dezhi Liao, Horace H. Loh and Ping-Yee Law (2010) Morphine induces AMPA receptor internalization via calcineurin-dependent dephosphorylation of GluR1 subunit.  Journal of Neuroscience 30, 15304-15316.

Lin H, Higgins P, Loh HH, Law PY, Liao D. Bidirectional effects of fentanyl on dendritic spines and AMPA receptors depend upon the internalization of mu opioid receptors. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2009 Aug;34(9):2097-111. Epub 2009 Mar 18.

Liao D, Grigoriants OO, Wang W, Wiens K, Loh HH, Law PY. Distinct effects of individual opioids on the morphology of spines depend upon the internalization of mu opioid receptors. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2007 Jul;35(3):456-69.

Liao D, Grigoriants OO, Loh HH, Law PY. Agonist-dependent postsynaptic effects of opioids on miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents in cultured hippocampal neurons. J Neurophysiol. 2007 Feb;97(2):1485-94.


Former Graduate Students:

Katie Wiens (Ph.D. 2006, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Eric Miller (Ph.D. 2013,Neurscience, University of Minnesota).