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Morris Benveniste

Faculty RankProfessor
InstitutionMorehouse School of Medicine
Address720 Westveiw Drive, SW
Atlanta GA 30310
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    Modulation of Synaptic and Extra-Synaptic Plasticity

    Long term changes in rapid electrical signaling between neurons (plasticity) may be a mode of memory storage within our brains. Memory acquisition, retention and learning is influenced by various neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions. My laboratory is focused on elucidating functional changes in signaling and circuitry in different parts of the brain as a result of normal aging, or as a result of neuropsychiatric disease such as depression or neurological disease such as epilepsy. We use electrophysiological techniques combined with optogenetics and mouse models to measure changes in postsynaptic potentials as well as action potentials in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The hippocampus is associated with spatial and temporal learning and memory, while the prefrontal cortex is involved in higher brain function including facets of memory and attention. Among the projects currently running in the laboratory are:

    Cognitive Impairment in Epilepsy - What changes in circuitry occur in the hippocampus as a result of generation of an epileptic state? What effect does generation of the epileptic brain have on the ability to induce long-term plastic changes in communication between neurons?

    Cognitive Impairment in Depression - Lack of Serotonin is associated with a clinically depressed state, as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) can be used as anti-depressants. How does serotonin affect neuronal communication? Is the ability to cause long term changes in plasticity influenced by serotonin?

    Cognitive Impairment in Alzheimers Disease - Amyloid Beta is a protein associated with the pathophysiology of Alzheimers Disease. Various animal models exist to mimic the human pathology. One of the hallmark features of Alzheimers Disease is the inability to acquire new memories. What causes Alzheimers Disease to express itself behaviorally later in life? We are testing one such model to determine if circuitry changes associated with memory acquisition coincide with behavioral testing of memory over the lifespan of the animal.

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    S11NS055883     (BENVENISTE, MORRIS J.)Aug 15, 2007 - Jun 30, 2014
    Influence of NMDA Receptors on EPSP Summation in Normal and Epileptic Rats
    Role: Principal Investigator

    SC1AG046907     (BENVENISTE, MORRIS J.)Jul 15, 2013 - May 31, 2019
    Changes in E-S Plasticity in Aging
    Role: Principal Investigator

    R25NS117365     (BENVENISTE, MORRIS J.)Jul 1, 2020 - Jun 30, 2025
    The BS/MS Program in Neuroscience at the Atlanta University Consortium
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse Bibliographic 
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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    Newest   |   Oldest   |   Most Cited   |   Most Discussed   |   Timeline   |   Field Summary   |   Plain Text
    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Owen B, Bichler E, Benveniste M. Excitatory synaptic transmission in hippocampal area CA1 is enhanced then reduced as chronic epilepsy progresses. Neurobiol Dis. 2021 Mar 20; 154:105343. PMID: 33753293.
      Citations:    Fields:    
    2. Morel C, Sherrin T, Kennedy NJ, Forest KH, Avcioglu Barutcu S, Robles M, Carpenter-Hyland E, Alfulaij N, Standen CL, Nichols RA, Benveniste M, Davis RJ, Todorovic C. JIP1-Mediated JNK Activation Negatively Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Spatial Memory. J Neurosci. 2018 04 11; 38(15):3708-3728. PMID: 29540552.
      Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    3. Carpenter-Hyland E, Bichler EK, Smith M, Sloviter RS, Benveniste M. Epileptic pilocarpine-treated rats exhibit aberrant hippocampal EPSP-spike potentiation but retain long-term potentiation. Physiol Rep. 2017 Nov; 5(21). PMID: 29138358.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    4. Weeks AM, Harms JE, Partin KM, Benveniste M. Functional insight into development of positive allosteric modulators of AMPA receptors. Neuropharmacology. 2014 Oct; 85:57-66. PMID: 24878241.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    5. Harms JE, Benveniste M, Kessler M, Stone LM, Arai AC, Partin KM. A charge-inverting mutation in the "linker" region of a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors alters agonist binding and gating kinetics independently of allosteric modulators. J Biol Chem. 2014 Apr 11; 289(15):10702-10714. PMID: 24550387.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    6. Inagaki A, Frank CA, Usachev YM, Benveniste M, Lee A. Pharmacological correction of gating defects in the voltage-gated Ca(v)2.1 Ca²? channel due to a familial hemiplegic migraine mutation. Neuron. 2014 Jan 08; 81(1):91-102. PMID: 24411734.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    7. Ehlen JC, Jefferson F, Brager AJ, Benveniste M, Paul KN. Period-amplitude analysis reveals wake-dependent changes in the electroencephalogram during sleep deprivation. Sleep. 2013 Nov 01; 36(11):1723-35. PMID: 24179307.
      Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    8. Harms JE, Benveniste M, Maclean JK, Partin KM, Jamieson C. Functional analysis of a novel positive allosteric modulator of AMPA receptors derived from a structure-based drug design strategy. Neuropharmacology. 2013 Jan; 64:45-52. PMID: 22735771.
      Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    9. Young A, Machacek DW, Dhara SK, Macleish PR, Benveniste M, Dodla MC, Sturkie CD, Stice SL. Ion channels and ionotropic receptors in human embryonic stem cell derived neural progenitors. Neuroscience. 2011 Sep 29; 192:793-805. PMID: 21672611.
      Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    10. Timm DE, Benveniste M, Weeks AM, Nisenbaum ES, Partin KM. Structural and functional analysis of two new positive allosteric modulators of GluA2 desensitization and deactivation. Mol Pharmacol. 2011 Aug; 80(2):267-80. PMID: 21543522.
      Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    11. Karbat I, Ilan N, Zhang JZ, Cohen L, Kahn R, Benveniste M, Scheuer T, Catterall WA, Gordon D, Gurevitz M. Partial agonist and antagonist activities of a mutant scorpion beta-toxin on sodium channels. J Biol Chem. 2010 Oct 01; 285(40):30531-8. PMID: 20682774.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    12. Benveniste M, Wilhelm J, Dingledine RJ, Mott DD. Subunit-dependent modulation of kainate receptors by muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. Brain Res. 2010 Sep 17; 1352:61-9. PMID: 20655886.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    13. Mott DD, Rojas A, Fisher JL, Dingledine RJ, Benveniste M. Subunit-specific desensitization of heteromeric kainate receptors. J Physiol. 2010 Feb 15; 588(Pt 4):683-700. PMID: 20026616.
      Citations: 20     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    14. Kreiner L, Christel CJ, Benveniste M, Schwaller B, Lee A. Compensatory regulation of Cav2.1 Ca2+ channels in cerebellar Purkinje neurons lacking parvalbumin and calbindin D-28k. J Neurophysiol. 2010 Jan; 103(1):371-81. PMID: 19906882.
      Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    15. Mott DD, Benveniste M, Dingledine RJ. pH-dependent inhibition of kainate receptors by zinc. J Neurosci. 2008 Feb 13; 28(7):1659-71. PMID: 18272686.
      Citations: 23     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    16. Cohen L, Troub Y, Turkov M, Gilles N, Ilan N, Benveniste M, Gordon D, Gurevitz M. Mammalian skeletal muscle voltage-gated sodium channels are affected by scorpion depressant "insect-selective" toxins when preconditioned. Mol Pharmacol. 2007 Nov; 72(5):1220-7. PMID: 17720763.
      Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    17. Basile AS, Janowsky A, Golembiowska K, Kowalska M, Tam E, Benveniste M, Popik P, Nikiforuk A, Krawczyk M, Nowak G, Krieter PA, Lippa AS, Skolnick P, Koustova E. Characterization of the antinociceptive actions of bicifadine in models of acute, persistent, and chronic pain. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2007 Jun; 321(3):1208-25. PMID: 17325229.
      Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    18. Singer-Lahat D, Sheinin A, Chikvashvili D, Tsuk S, Greitzer D, Friedrich R, Feinshreiber L, Ashery U, Benveniste M, Levitan ES, Lotan I. K+ channel facilitation of exocytosis by dynamic interaction with syntaxin. J Neurosci. 2007 Feb 14; 27(7):1651-8. PMID: 17301173.
      Citations: 25     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    19. Benveniste M, Dingledine R. Limiting stroke-induced damage by targeting an acid channel. N Engl J Med. 2005 Jan 06; 352(1):85-6. PMID: 15635119.
      Citations: 16     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    20. Cohen L, Karbat I, Gilles N, Ilan N, Benveniste M, Gordon D, Gurevitz M. Common features in the functional surface of scorpion beta-toxins and elements that confer specificity for insect and mammalian voltage-gated sodium channels. J Biol Chem. 2005 Feb 11; 280(6):5045-53. PMID: 15569679.
      Citations: 26     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    21. Gordon D, Ilan N, Zilberberg N, Gilles N, Urbach D, Cohen L, Karbat I, Froy O, Gaathon A, Kallen RG, Benveniste M, Gurevitz M. An 'Old World' scorpion beta-toxin that recognizes both insect and mammalian sodium channels. Eur J Biochem. 2003 Jun; 270(12):2663-70. PMID: 12787033.
      Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    22. Segev R, Benveniste M, Shapira Y, Ben-Jacob E. Formation of electrically active clusterized neural networks. Phys Rev Lett. 2003 Apr 25; 90(16):168101. PMID: 12732015.
      Citations: 17     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    23. Nahum-Levy R, Tam E, Shavit S, Benveniste M. Glutamate but not glycine agonist affinity for NMDA receptors is influenced by small cations. J Neurosci. 2002 Apr 01; 22(7):2550-60. PMID: 11923420.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    24. Segev R, Benveniste M, Hulata E, Cohen N, Palevski A, Kapon E, Shapira Y, Ben-Jacob E. Long term behavior of lithographically prepared in vitro neuronal networks. Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Mar 18; 88(11):118102. PMID: 11909430.
      Citations: 45     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    25. Sheinin A, Nahum-Levy R, Shavit S, Benveniste M. Specificity of putative partial agonist, 1-aminocyclopropanecarboxylic acid, for rat N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits. Neurosci Lett. 2002 Jan 11; 317(2):77-80. PMID: 11755244.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    26. Sheinin A, Shavit S, Benveniste M. Subunit specificity and mechanism of action of NMDA partial agonist D-cycloserine. Neuropharmacology. 2001 Aug; 41(2):151-8. PMID: 11489451.
      Citations: 57     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    27. Segev R, Shapira Y, Benveniste M, Ben-Jacob E. Observations and modeling of synchronized bursting in two-dimensional neural networks. Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2001 Jul; 64(1 Pt 1):011920. PMID: 11461301.
      Citations: 24     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    28. Nahum-Levy R, Lipinski D, Shavit S, Benveniste M. Desensitization of NMDA receptor channels is modulated by glutamate agonists. Biophys J. 2001 May; 80(5):2152-66. PMID: 11325718.
      Citations: 18     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    29. Hulata E, Segev R, Shapira Y, Benveniste M, Ben-Jacob E. Detection and sorting of neural spikes using wavelet packets. Phys Rev Lett. 2000 Nov 20; 85(21):4637-40. PMID: 11082615.
      Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    30. Nahum-Levy R, Fossom LH, Skolnick P, Benveniste M. Putative partial agonist 1-aminocyclopropanecarboxylic acid acts concurrently as a glycine-site agonist and a glutamate-site antagonist at N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. Mol Pharmacol. 1999 Dec; 56(6):1207-18. PMID: 10570048.
      Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    31. Bähring R, Bowie D, Benveniste M, Mayer ML. Permeation and block of rat GluR6 glutamate receptor channels by internal and external polyamines. J Physiol. 1997 Aug 01; 502 ( Pt 3):575-89. PMID: 9279810.
      Citations: 46     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    32. Popik P, Layer RT, Fossom LH, Benveniste M, Geter-Douglass B, Witkin JM, Skolnick P. NMDA antagonist properties of the putative antiaddictive drug, ibogaine. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1995 Nov; 275(2):753-60. PMID: 7473163.
      Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    33. Benveniste M, Mayer ML. Multiple effects of spermine on N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor responses of rat cultured hippocampal neurones. J Physiol. 1993 May; 464:131-63. PMID: 8229795.
      Citations: 35     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    34. Benveniste M, Mayer ML. Effect of extracellular pH on the potency of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor competitive antagonists. Mol Pharmacol. 1992 Oct; 42(4):679-86. PMID: 1435743.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    35. Mayer ML, Benveniste M, Patneau DK, Vyklicky L. Pharmacologic properties of NMDA receptors. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1992 May 11; 648:194-204. PMID: 1386202.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    36. Benveniste M, Mayer ML. Structure-activity analysis of binding kinetics for NMDA receptor competitive antagonists: the influence of conformational restriction. Br J Pharmacol. 1991 Sep; 104(1):207-21. PMID: 1686203.
      Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    37. Benveniste M, Mayer ML. Kinetic analysis of antagonist action at N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptors. Two binding sites each for glutamate and glycine. Biophys J. 1991 Mar; 59(3):560-73. PMID: 1710938.
      Citations: 62     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    38. Benveniste M, Clements J, Vyklický L, Mayer ML. A kinetic analysis of the modulation of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptors by glycine in mouse cultured hippocampal neurones. J Physiol. 1990 Sep; 428:333-57. PMID: 2146385.
      Citations: 64     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    39. Vyklický L, Benveniste M, Mayer ML. Modulation of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor desensitization by glycine in mouse cultured hippocampal neurones. J Physiol. 1990 Sep; 428:313-31. PMID: 2172523.
      Citations: 56     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    40. Bellelli A, Ippoliti R, Brunori M, Kam Z, Benveniste M, Emmanuel F, Turpin E, Alfsen A, Frénoy JP. Binding and internalization of ricin labelled with fluorescein isothiocyanate. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1990 Jun 15; 169(2):602-9. PMID: 2113381.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    41. Benveniste M, Mienville JM, Sernagor E, Mayer ML. Concentration-jump experiments with NMDA antagonists in mouse cultured hippocampal neurons. J Neurophysiol. 1990 Jun; 63(6):1373-84. PMID: 1972740.
      Citations: 18     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    42. Benveniste M, Schlessinger J, Kam Z. Characterization of internalization and endosome formation of epidermal growth factor in transfected NIH-3T3 cells by computerized image-intensified three-dimensional fluorescence microscopy. J Cell Biol. 1989 Nov; 109(5):2105-15. PMID: 2808521.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    43. Benveniste M, Livneh E, Schlessinger J, Kam Z. Overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor in NIH-3T3-transfected cells slows its lateral diffusion and rate of endocytosis. J Cell Biol. 1988 Jun; 106(6):1903-9. PMID: 3133376.
      Citations: 13     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    44. Livneh E, Benveniste M, Prywes R, Felder S, Kam Z, Schlessinger J. Large deletions in the cytoplasmic kinase domain of the epidermal growth factor receptor do not affect its laternal mobility. J Cell Biol. 1986 Aug; 103(2):327-31. PMID: 3015981.
      Citations: 33     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
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