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Anat Biegon

Research Interests

  • Brain response to traumatic, ischemic or inflammatory insults
  • Sex differences and gonadal hormone modulation of brain function in health and disease
  • Development and validation of radiopharmaceuticals for non invasive imaging of neurotransmitter and hormone markers in the brain
  • Traumatic bran injury is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity among young (18-24 year old) people in industrialized countries. It is also a major risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease later in life. Brain ischemia (stroke, cardiac arrest, bypass surgery) and inflammation also increase the risk of developing dementia. For reasons that are not understood to date; Alzheimer's disease and inflammatory/autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis are far more common (2-3 fold) in women than in men. Our recent and current studies focus on the 3-way interaction between inflammation, glutamate receptor activation and gonadal hormones in determining the outcome of traumatic, ischemic and inflammatory insults in animal models and human subjects. The techniques used include quantitative in vitro and ex vivo autoradiography, CT, structural MRI and functional MRI. To facilitate further translation of the current animal work to humans, we are developing radiopharmaceuticals for PET imaging of glutamate (NMDA) and estrogen receptors in the human brain.

Selected Publications

  • Logan, J. Pareto, D. Fowler, J. Biegon, A. Kinetic Analysis of [11C] Vorozole Binding in the Human Brain with PET. Molecular Imaging 13:1-12 (2014)
  • Shohami, E. and Biegon, A. Novel approach to the role of NMDA receptors in traumatic brain injury. In: CNS Neurological Disord Drug Targets. 13:567-573 (2014)
  • Kravitz E., Gaisler-Salomon I., Biegon A. Hippocampal Glutamate NMDA receptor loss tracks progression in Alzheimer’s disease: quantitative autoradiography in postmortem human brain. PLoS One 8(11):e81244. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081244 (2013) PMCID: PMC3842934
  • Biegon A., Alia-Klein N., and Fowler J.
    Potential contribution of aromatase inhibition to the effects of nicotine and related compounds on the brain.
    Frontiers in Neuropharmacology in press (2012)
  • Grossman R., Paden C.M., Fry P.A., and Rohdes R.S.
    Persistent region dependent neuroinflammation, NMDA receptor loss and atrophy in an animal model of penetrating brain injury.
    Future Neurology, 7:329-339 (2012).
  • Alia-Klein N., Parvaz M.A., Woicik P.A., Konova A.B., Maloney T., Shumay E., Wang R., Telang F., Biegon A., Wang G.-J., Fowler J.S., Tomasi D., Volkow N.D., and Goldstein R.Z.
    Gene x Disease Interaction on Orbitofrontal Gray Matter in Cocaine Addiction.
    Arch. Gen. Psychiatry, 68:283-294 (2011).  PubMed
  • Dhawan J., Benveniste, H., Luo, Z., Nawrocky, M., Smith, SD, and Biegon A.
    A new look at glutamate and ischemia: NMDA agonist improves long-term functional outcome in rat model of stroke.
    Future Neurology, 6:823-834 (2011).  PubMed
  • Liraz-Zaltsman S., Alexandrovich A.G., Trembovler V., Fishbein I., Yaka R., Shohami E., and Biegon A.
    Regional sensitivity to neuroinflammation: In vivo and in vitro studies.
    Synapse, 65:634-642 (2011).  PubMed
  • Adeleye A., Shohami E., Nachman D., Alexandrovich A., Trembovler V., Yaka R., Shoshan Y., Dhawan J., and Biegon A.
    D-cycloserine improves functional outcome after traumatic brain injury with wide therapeutic window.
    Eur. J. Pharmacol., 629(1-3):25-30 Epub 2009 Dec 1., (2010).  PubMed
  • Biegon A., Kim S.W., Alexoff D.L., Jayne M., Carter P., Hubbard B., King P., Logan J., Muench L., Pareto D., Schlyer D., Shea C., Telang F., Wang G.J., Xu Y., and Fowler J.S.
    Unique distribution of aromatase in the human brain: in vivo studies with PET and [N-methyl-11C]vorozole.
    Synapse, 64(11):801-807 (2010).  PubMed
  • Biegon A., Kim S.W, Logan J., Hooker J.M., Muench L., and Fowler J.S.
    Nicotine Blocks Brain Estrogen Synthase (Aromatase): In Vivo Positron Emission Tomography Studies in Female Baboons.
    Biol. Psychiatry, Feb 24 (2010) [Epub ahead of print] (2010).  PubMed
  • Dhawan J., Benveniste H., Nawrocky M., Smith S.D., and Biegon A.
    Transient focal ischemia results in persistent and widespread neuroinflammation and loss of glutamate NMDA receptors.
    Neuroimage, 51(2):599-605 Epub 2010 Mar 4. (2010).  PubMed
  • Hirshler Y.K., Polat U., and Biegon A.
    Intracranial electrode implantation produces regional neuroinflammation and memory deficits in rats.
    Exp. Neurol., 222(1):42-50 Epub 2009 Dec 21.,(2010).  PubMed
  • Hoffmann C., Grossman R., Bokov I., Lipitz S., and Biegon A.
    Effect of cytomegalovirus infection on temporal lobe development in utero: quantitative MRI studies.
    Eur Neuropsychopharmacol, 20(12):848-854 Epub 2010 Sep 15., (2010).  PubMed
  • Liraz-Zaltsman S., Alexandrovich A.G., Trembovler V., Fishbein I., Yaka R., Shohami E., and Biegon A.
    Regional sensitivity to neuroinflammation: In vivo and in vitro studies.
    Synapse, [Epub ahead of print] (2010).  PubMed
  • Schumann J., Alexandrovich G.A., Biegon A., and Yaka R.
    Inhibition of NR2B phosphorylation restores alterations in NMDA Receptor Expression and Improves Functional Recovery following Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice.
    Journal of Neurotrauma, 25(8): 945-957, (2008).  PubMed
  • Biegon A., Gibbs A., Alvarado M., Ono M., and Taylor S.
    In vitro and In vivo characterization of [3H]CNS-5161-a use dependent ligand for the N-Methyl-d-Aspartate receptor in rat brain.
    Synapse, 61(8):577-86 (2007).  PubMed
  • Frumberg D.B., Fernando M.S., Lee D.E., Biegon A., and Schiffer W.K.
    Metabolic and behavioral deficits following a routine surgical procedure in rats.
    Brain Res., 1144:209-218 (2007).  PubMed
  • Yaka R., Biegon A., Grigoriadis N., Simeonidou C., Grigoriadis S., Alexandrovich A.G., Matzner H., Schumann J., Trembovler V., Tsenter J. and Shohami E.
    D-cycloserine improves functional recovery and reinstates long-term potentiation (LTP) in a mouse model of closed head injury.
    FASEB J, 21(9):2033-2041 (2007).  PubMed
  • Biegon A., Fry P.A., Paden C.M., Alexandrovich A., Tsenter J., and Shohami E.
    Dynamic changes in NMDA receptors after closed head injury in mice: Implications for treatment of neurological and cognitive deficits.
    PNAS, 101(14):5117-5122 (2004).  PubMed
  • Pareto D., Alvarado M., Hanrahan S.M. and Biegon A.
    In vivo occupancy of female rat Brain estrogen receptors by17beta-estradiol and tamoxifen.
    NeuroImage, 23(3):1161-1167 (2004).  PubMed
  • Farin A., Deutsch R., Biegon A. and Marshall L.F.
    Gender Differences in Severe Head Injury: Women 50 and Younger More Susceptible to Brain Swelling.
    J. Neurosurg. 98:32-36 (2003).  PubMed
  • Grossman R., Shohami E., Alexandrovich A., Yatsiv I., Kloog A. and Biegon A.
    Increase in Peripheral Benzodiazepine Receptors and Loss of Glutamate NMDA receptors in a mouse model of closed head injury: A Quantitative auto- radiographic study.
    NeuroImage 20:1971- 1981(2003).  PubMed
  • Biegon A., Alvarado M., Budinger T.F., Grossman R., Hensley K., West M.S., Kotake Y., Ono M. and Floyd R.A.
    Region Selective Effects of Neuroinflammation and Antioxidant Treatment on Peripheral Benzodiazepine Receptors and NMDA Receptors in the Rat Brain.
    J. Neurochem. 82:1-11 (2002).  PubMed
  • Knoller N., Levi L. Israel Z., Razon N., Reichental E., Rappaport Z., and Biegon A.
    Dexanabinol (HU-211) in the treatment of severe closed head injury: A randomized placebo-controlled phase II clinical trial.
    Critical Care Medicine 30:548-554 (2002).  PubMed
  • Biegon A. and Kerman I.
    Autoradiographic Study of Pre- and Post-natal Distribution of Cannabinoid Receptors in Human Brain.
    Neuroimage, 14:1463-1468 (2001).  PubMed
  • Biegon A., Mathis C. and Jagust W.
    Autoradiography as a tool for PET/SPECT tracer selection and assessment . In: Quantifiaction of Brain function using PET; Myers, R., Cunningham, V.J., Bailey, D. L. and Jones, T.; Eds.
    Academic Press p.26-33 (1996).
  • Biegon A. and Volkow N.D.
    Localization and characterization of drug binding sites in the human brain: Methodological considerations. In: Sites of drug action in the Human Brain; Biegon, A. and Volkow, N. Eds.
    CRC press, pp. 65-74 (1995).
  • Biegon A. and Volkow ND. (Eds)
    Sites of Drug Action In the Human Brain.
    CRC Press, Boca Raton (1995).
  • Biegon A.
    Serotonin, acetylcholine and beta-adrenoceptors. In: Receptors in the Human brain. Paxinos and Mendelsohn, eds.
    Academic Press, 149-167 (1991).
  • Biegon A.
    Quantitative Autoradiography and Histochemistry of Neurochemicals in the Human Brain Postmortem. In: Brain Imaging: Techniques and Applications.
    Ellis Horwood Ltd. Chichister, UK pp. 130-143 (1989).