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Kucenas, Sarah

Sarah Kucenas

Primary Appointment


Contact Information

Dept. of Biology
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4328
Telephone: 434-982-5436

Research Interests

The role of glia in the development, maintenance and regeneration of the nervous system

Research Description

The long-term goal of our research program is to elucidate the roles of peripheral and central glia and glial-glial interactions during nervous system development, maintenance and disease/injury. Using Danio rerio (zebrafish) as a model system (and to a lesser extent, mouse), we combine genetic and pharmacological perturbation, single cell manipulation, laser ablation/axotomy and in vivo, time-lapse imaging to directly and continuously observe glial cell origins, behaviors and interactions in an intact vertebrate.

Selected Publications

Wang Y, Ali M, Wang Y, Kucenas S, Yu G, DETECTION AND TRACKING OF MIGRATING OLIGODENDROCYTE PROGENITOR CELLS FROM IN VIVO FLUORESCENCE TIME-LAPSE IMAGING DATA., 2019; Proceedings. IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging. 2018() 961-964 PMID: 30598726 | PMCID: PMC6310749

Fontenas L, Welsh TG, Piller M, Coughenour P, Gandhi AV, Prober DA, Kucenas S, The Neuromodulator Adenosine Regulates Oligodendrocyte Migration at Motor Exit Point Transition Zones., 2019; Cell reports. 27(1) 115-128.e5 PMID: 30943395 | PMCID: PMC6461400

Fontenas L, Kucenas S, Motor Exit Point (MEP) Glia: Novel Myelinating Glia That Bridge CNS and PNS Myelin., 2018; Frontiers in cellular neuroscience. 12() 333 PMID: 30356886 | PMCID: PMC6190867

Welsh TG, Kucenas S, Purinergic signaling in oligodendrocyte development and function., 2018; Journal of neurochemistry. 145(1) 6-18 PMID: 29377124 | PMCID: PMC5937939

Fontenas L, Kucenas S, Livin' On The Edge: glia shape nervous system transition zones., 2017; Current opinion in neurobiology. 47() 44-51 PMID: 28957729 | PMCID: PMC5732850

Morris AD, Erisir A, Criswell SJ, Kucenas S, Transmission electron microscopy of zebrafish spinal motor nerve roots., 2017; Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 246(11) 956-962 PMID: 28598521 | PMCID: PMC5647212

Morris AD, Lewis GM, Kucenas S, Perineurial Glial Plasticity and the Role of TGF-? in the Development of the Blood-Nerve Barrier., 2017; The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 37(18) 4790-4807 PMID: 28389474 | PMCID: PMC5426569

Smith CJ, Wheeler MA, Marjoram L, Bagnat M, Deppmann CD, Kucenas S, TNFa/TNFR2 signaling is required for glial ensheathment at the dorsal root entry zone., 2017; PLoS genetics. 13(4) e1006712 PMID: 28379965 | PMCID: PMC5397050

Johnson K, Barragan J, Bashiruddin S, Smith CJ, Tyrrell C, Parsons MJ, Doris R, Kucenas S, Downes GB, Velez CM, Schneider C, Sakai C, Pathak N, Anderson K, Stein R, Devoto SH, Mumm JS, Barresi MJ, Gfap-positive radial glial cells are an essential progenitor population for later-born neurons and glia in the zebrafish spinal cord., 2016; Glia. 64(7) 1170-89 PMID: 27100776 | PMCID: PMC4918407

Smith CJ, Johnson K, Welsh TG, Barresi MJ, Kucenas S, Radial glia inhibit peripheral glial infiltration into the spinal cord at motor exit point transition zones., 2016; Glia. 64(7) 1138-53 PMID: 27029762 | PMCID: PMC4910827

Wheeler MA, Smith CJ, Ottolini M, Barker BS, Purohit AM, Grippo RM, Gaykema RP, Spano AJ, Beenhakker MP, Kucenas S, Patel MK, Deppmann CD, G?ler AD, Genetically targeted magnetic control of the nervous system., 2016; Nature neuroscience. 19(5) 756-761 PMID: 26950006 | PMCID: PMC4846560

Kucenas S, Adventures in wonderland., 2015; PLoS genetics. 11(4) e1005086 PMID: 25880320 | PMCID: PMC4399905

Kucenas S, Perineurial Glia., 2015; Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology. 7(6) PMID: 25818566 |

Smith CJ, Morris AD, Welsh TG, Kucenas S, Contact-mediated inhibition between oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and motor exit point glia establishes the spinal cord transition zone., 2014; PLoS biology. 12(9) e1001961 PMID: 25268888 | PMCID: PMC4181976

Lewis GM, Kucenas S, Perineurial glia are essential for motor axon regrowth following nerve injury., 2014; The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 34(38) 12762-77 PMID: 25232113 | PMCID: PMC4166161

Clark JK, O'keefe A, Mastracci TL, Sussel L, Matise MP, Kucenas S, Mammalian Nkx2.2+ perineurial glia are essential for motor nerve development., 2014; Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 243(9) 1116-29 PMID: 24979729 | PMCID: PMC4180512

Binari LA, Lewis GM, Kucenas S, Perineurial glia require Notch signaling during motor nerve development but not regeneration., 2013; The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 33(10) 4241-52 PMID: 23467342 | PMCID: PMC3668856

Lewis GM, Kucenas S, Motor nerve transection and time-lapse imaging of glial cell behaviors in live zebrafish., 2013; Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. (76) PMID: 23852039 |

Takada N, Kucenas S, Appel B, Sox10 is necessary for oligodendrocyte survival following axon wrapping., 2010; Glia. 58(8) 996-1006 PMID: 20229602 | PMCID: PMC3639140

Watanabe MA, Kucenas S, Bowman TA, Ruhlman M, Knuepfer MM, Angiotensin II and CRF receptors in the central nucleus of the amygdala mediate hemodynamic response variability to cocaine in conscious rats., 2009; Brain research. 1309() 53-65 PMID: 19879859 | PMCID: PMC2821715

Kucenas S, Wang WD, Knapik EW, Appel B, A selective glial barrier at motor axon exit points prevents oligodendrocyte migration from the spinal cord., 2009; The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 29(48) 15187-94 PMID: 19955371 | PMCID: PMC2837368

Kucenas S, Cox JA, Soto F, Lamora A, Voigt MM, Ectodermal P2X receptor function plays a pivotal role in craniofacial development of the zebrafish., 2009; Purinergic signalling. 5(3) 395-407 PMID: 19529983 | PMCID: PMC2717322

Kucenas S, Snell H, Appel B, nkx2.2a promotes specification and differentiation of a myelinating subset of oligodendrocyte lineage cells in zebrafish., 2009; Neuron glia biology. 4(2) 71-81 PMID: 19737431 | PMCID: PMC2821284

Kucenas S, Takada N, Park HC, Woodruff E, Broadie K, Appel B, CNS-derived glia ensheath peripheral nerves and mediate motor root development., 2008; Nature neuroscience. 11(2) 143-51 PMID: 18176560 | PMCID: PMC2657597

Kucenas S, Soto F, Cox JA, Voigt MM, Selective labeling of central and peripheral sensory neurons in the developing zebrafish using P2X(3) receptor subunit transgenes., 2006; Neuroscience. 138(2) 641-52 PMID: 16413125 |

Cox JA, Kucenas S, Voigt MM, Molecular characterization and embryonic expression of the family of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit genes in the zebrafish., 2005; Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 234(3) 756-66 PMID: 16123982 |

Kucenas S, Li Z, Cox JA, Egan TM, Voigt MM, Molecular characterization of the zebrafish P2X receptor subunit gene family., 2003; Neuroscience. 121(4) 935-45 PMID: 14580944 |