William D. Eldred, PhD

William D. Eldred

Professor of Biology
Graduate Program in Neuroscience, and Program in Molecular Biology,
Cell Biology and Biochemistry
PhD, University of Colorado, 1979
Areas of interest: visual neurobiology
(617) 353-2439

Current Research

My research for the past 15 years has focused on the role of the gaseous neuromodulator nitric oxide (NO) in retinal signal transduction and ocular pathology. We have determined that NO is reciprocally related to many retinal neurotransmitters including GABA, glycine, acetylcholine, and dopamine in that NO modulates their release and they in turn modulate NO production. We have also shown that every cell type in the retina can normally produce NO. Using direct imaging of NO, we have established that in retina and hippocampus that NO is not freely diffusible. We have examined the role that NO plays in the early neuronal cell death seen in diabetic retinopathy. We focused on the role that the signaling peptide adrenomedullin plays in producing the pathological increases in NO found in early diabetic retinopathy. We established and localized all of the biochemical steps in this pathway and we found a pharmacological intervention that inhibits the pathological activation of the adrenomedullin/NO signaling pathway. Since both NO and adrenomedullin are involved in much ocular pathology including glaucoma, ischemia, and uveitis, a better understanding of the adrenomedullin/NO signaling pathways may have broad clinical applicability. More recently we have been focusing on the cellular signaling pathways that are involved in traumatic brain injury using the retina as a model system. We have found a number of neurochemical markers that are modulated by blast in both brain and retina. By using the retina, which is extremely well characterized anatomically, physiologically and neurochemically, we can determine the underlying signaling pathways that are responsible for the pathology. This will allow us to develop both prophylactic and post-blast treatment strategies to reduce the pathology produced by blast in both retina and brain.

Courses Taught

BI 108 Introductory Biology
BI 755 Cellular and Systems Neuroscience

Selected Publications

Blom JJ, Giove T, Favazza T L, . Akula J D, Eldred WD (2012) Inhibition of the adrenomedullin/nitric oxide signaling pathway in early diabetic retinopathy. J. Ocular Biol. Diseases and Informatics 2011, Volume 4, Numbers 1-2, Pages 70-82.

Blom JJ, Giove T, Deshpande M, Eldred WD (2012) Characterization of the nitric oxide signaling pathways in the mouse retina. J Comp Neurol. 2012 May 17. [Epub ahead of print]

Giove TJ, Deshpande MM, Gagen CS, Eldred WD (2009). Increased neuronal nitric oxide synthase activity in retinal neurons in early diabetic retinopathy. Mol Vis. Nov 9;15:2249-58.

Blom JJ, Blute TA, Eldred WD (2009). Functional localization of the nitric oxide/cGMP pathway in the salamander retina. Vis Neurosci 26:275-286.

Giove TJ, Deshpande MM, Eldred WD (2009). Identification of alternate transcripts of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the mouse retina. J Neurosci Res .Epub.

Pong WW, Eldred WD (2009). Interactions of the gaseous neuromodulators nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide in the salamander retina. J Neurosci Res 87:2356-2364.

Cimini, BA, Strang CE, Wotring VE, Keyser KT, Eldred WD (2008). Role of acetylcholine in nitric oxide production in the salamander retina. J. Comp. Neurol. 6, 1952-1963.

Eldred WD, Blute TA (2005). Imaging of nitric oxide in the retina. Vis. Res. 45, 3469-3486.