Research Investigator Profile

Anthone Dunah, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Neurology,
    Harvard Medical School
  • Assistant in Neuroscience,
    Massachusetts General Hospital




Research Description

Interactions between dopaminergic and glutamatergic systems in the striatum are thought to underlie the pathology, symptoms as well as adverse effects of long-term treatment of Parkinson’s disease patients with dopaminergic drugs.

Previous studies from our group have revealed that in a rodent model of Parkinson’s disease, the expression, assembly and phosphorylation of NMDA receptors are altered in the striatum. Further work resulted in the discovery of a dopamine receptor-dependent mechanism for the trafficking of striatal NMDA receptors between intracellular and post-synaptic compartments.

The current research focus involves exploring the mechanisms and signaling pathways by which dysregulation of NMDA receptor functions causes parkinsonism and dyskinesias using in vivo and in vitro models. Modification of these molecular pathways may constitute a useful therapeutic target for Parkinson’s disease and dyskinesia, including other basal ganglia disorders where abnormal functions of NMDA receptors in the striatum contribute significantly to the symptoms of the diseases.


Research interests

Synaptic basis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Huntington's

Research techniques

Molecular, Genetic, Immunocytochemistry, Confocal Microscopy, Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy, Biochemical and Pharmacological Techniques, Stereotaxic 6-OHDA Model of PD, Culturing Neurons

Diseases studied

Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases    

Selected publications
  1. Hallett PJ., Spoelgen R., Hyman, BT., Standaert, DG, Dunah, AW. Dopamine D1 activation potentiates striatal NMDA receptors by tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent subunit trafficking. J Neurosci 2006 26 17:4690-700.      
  2. Dunah AW, Hueske E, Wyszynski M, Hoogenraad CC, Jaworski J, Pak DT, Simonetta A, Liu G, Sheng M.  LAR receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases in the development and maintenance of excitatory synapses. Nat Neurosci 2005; 8:458-467.
  3. Dunah AW, Jeong K, Griffin A, Kim Y-M, Standaert DG, Hersch SM, Mouradian MM, Young AB, Tanese N, Krainc D.  Sp1 and TAFII130 transcriptional activity disrupted in Huntington’s disease.  Science 2002; 296:2238-43.
  4. Dunah AW, Standaert DG.  Dopamine D1 receptor dependent trafficking of striatal NMDA glutamate receptors to the postynaptic membrane.  J Neurosci  2001; 21:5546-58. 
  5. Dunah AW, Wang Y-H, Yasuda RP, Kameyama K, Huganir RL, Wolfe BB, Standaert DG. Alterations in subunit expression, composition and phosphorylation of striatal N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors in a rat 6-OHDA model of Parkinson’s disease.  Mol Pharmacol 2000; 57:342-52.
NCBI PubMed link NCBI PubMed publications
E-mail address
Lab mailing address MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease
CNY B114-2325
114 16th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129



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