Ted Abel

Ted Abel
University of Iowa | UI · Iowa Neuroscience Institute and Department of Neuroscience & Pharmacology

PhD

About

315
Publications
67,836
Reads
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22,253
Citations
Citations since 2017
99 Research Items
8339 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
Introduction
Edwin G. (Ted) Abel, Ph.D. is the founding director of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute, an interdisciplinary center at the University of Iowa focused on the causes, treatments, and prevention of diseases that affect the brain and nervous system. He serves as Chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology in the Carver College of Medicine. Dr. Abel is recognized as a pioneer in defining the molecular mechanisms of long-term memory storage, and identifying how these processes go awry in neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. He uses molecular and genetic approaches to define how neural circuits mediate behavior, including identifying the molecular impact of sleep deprivation on neuronal function and revealing epigenetic mechanisms that mediate memory.
Additional affiliations
September 2019 - present
University of Iowa
Position
  • Chair
January 2017 - present
University of Iowa
Position
  • Managing Director
January 1998 - December 2016
University of Pennsylvania
Position
  • Brush Family Professor of Biology
Education
August 1987 - June 1993
Harvard University
Field of study
  • Biochemistry and MolecularBiology
October 1985 - August 1987
Christ's College, University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Biochemistry
August 1981 - June 1985
Swarthmore College
Field of study
  • Chemistry

Publications

Publications (315)
Preprint
Full-text available
Memory consolidation involves discrete patterns of transcriptional events in the hippocampus. Despite the emergence of single-cell transcriptomic profiling techniques, defining learning-responsive gene expression across subregions of the hippocampus has remained challenging. Here, we utilized unbiased spatial sequencing to elucidate transcriptome-w...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sleep deprivation has far-reaching consequences on the brain and behavior, impacting memory, attention, and metabolism. Previous research has focused on gene expression changes in individual brain regions, such as the hippocampus or cortex. Therefore, it is unclear how uniformly or heterogeneously sleep loss affects the brain. Here, we use spatial...
Article
Sleep facilitates memory storage and even brief periods of sleep loss lead to impairments in memory, particularly memories that are hippocampus dependent. In previous studies, we have shown that the deficit in memory seen after sleep loss is accompanied by deficits in synaptic plasticity. Our previous work has also found that sleep deprivation (SD)...
Article
Full-text available
Background Numerous genes are implicated in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD encompasses a wide-range and severity of symptoms and co-occurring conditions; however, the details of how genetic variation contributes to phenotypic differences are unclear. This creates a challenge for translating genetic evidence into clinically useful knowledge. Sl...
Article
Autism with co-occurring exceptional cognitive ability is often accompanied by severe internalizing symptoms and feelings of inadequacy. Whether cognitive ability also translates into greater risk for suicidal ideation is unclear. To investigate this urgent question, we examined two samples of high-ability autistic individuals for factors that were...
Article
Twice-exceptional learners face a unique set of challenges arising from the intersection of extraordinary talent and disability. Neurobiology research has the capacity to complement pedagogical research and provide support for twice-exceptional learners. Very few studies have attempted to specifically address the neurobiological underpinnings of tw...
Preprint
Full-text available
Neuronal activity-dependent transcription directs molecular processes that regulate synaptic plasticity, brain circuit development, behavioral adaptation, and long-term memory. Single cell RNA-sequencing technologies (scRNAseq) are rapidly developing and allow for the interrogation of activity-dependent transcription at cellular resolution. Here, w...
Article
Full-text available
The mechanisms underlying memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) remain unclear, and no effective treatments exist. Fundamental studies have shown that a set of transcriptional regulatory proteins of the nuclear receptor 4a (Nr4a) family serve as molecular switches for long-term memory. Here, we show that Nr4a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sleep facilitates memory storage and even brief periods of sleep loss lead to impairments in memory, particularly memories that are hippocampus dependent. In previous studies, we have shown that the deficit in memory seen after sleep loss is accompanied by deficits in synaptic plasticity. Our previous work has also found that sleep deprivation is a...
Article
Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID), are pervasive, often lifelong disorders, lacking evidence‐based interventions for core symptoms. With no established biological markers, diagnoses are defined by behavioral criteria. Thus, preclinical in vivo animal models of NDDs must be...
Preprint
Full-text available
Autism with co-occurring exceptional cognitive ability is often accompanied by severe internalizing symptoms and feelings of inadequacy. Whether cognitive ability also translates into greater risk for suicidal ideation is unclear. To investigate this urgent question, we examined two samples of high-ability individuals with autism for factors that w...
Article
Sleep disturbances (SD) accompany many neurodevelopmental disorders, suggesting SD is a transdiagnostic process that can account for behavioral deficits and influence underlying neuropathogenesis. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) comprises a complex set of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by challenges in social interaction, communication,...
Article
Full-text available
Extensive research has uncovered diverse forms of synaptic plasticity and an array of molecular signaling mechanisms that act as positive or negative regulators. Specifically, cyclic 3′,5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent signaling pathways are crucially implicated in long-lasting synaptic plasticity. In this study, we examine the ro...
Article
Full-text available
Widespread sleep deprivation is a continuing public health problem in the United States and worldwide affecting adolescents and adults. Acute sleep deprivation results in decrements in spatial memory and cognitive impairments. The hippocampus is vulnerable to acute sleep deprivation with changes in gene expression, cell signaling, and protein synth...
Preprint
Twice-exceptional learners face a unique set of challenges arising from the intersection of extraordinary talent and disability. Neurobiology research has the capacity to complement pedagogical research and provide support for twice-exceptional learners. Very few studies have attempted to specifically address the neurobiological underpinnings of tw...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: High cognitive ability is an almost universally positive prognostic indicator in the context of neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative conditions. However, "twice-exceptional" individuals, those who demonstrate high cognitive ability (gifted) and also exhibit profound cognitive, behavioral, and mental health challen...
Preprint
Full-text available
The mechanisms underlying memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) remain unclear, and no effective treatments exist. Fundamental studies have shown that a set of transcriptional regulatory proteins of the nuclear receptor 4a (Nr4a) family serve as molecular switches for long-term memory. Here, we show that Nr4a...
Preprint
Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on hippocampus-dependent memory, which are thought to depend on cellular plasticity. We previously found that five hours of sleep deprivation robustly decreases dendritic spine density in the CA1 area of the hippocampus in adult male mice. However, recent work by others suggests that sleep deprivation increas...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on hippocampus‐dependent memory, which is thought to depend on cellular plasticity. We previously found that 5 h of sleep deprivation robustly decreases dendritic spine density in the CA1 area of the hippocampus in adult male mice. However, recent work by others suggests that sleep deprivation increases the d...
Article
Full-text available
Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are key players in the formation of neural circuits during development. The γ-protocadherins (γ-Pcdhs), a family of 22 CAMs encoded by the Pcdhg gene cluster, are known to play important roles in dendrite arborization, axon targeting, and synapse development. We showed previously that multiple γ-Pcdhs interact physica...
Preprint
Full-text available
Widespread sleep deprivation is a continuing public health problem in the United States and worldwide affecting adolescents and adults. Acute sleep deprivation results in decrements in spatial memory and cognitive impairments. The hippocampus is vulnerable to acute sleep deprivation with changes in gene expression, cell signaling, and protein synth...
Preprint
Full-text available
Extensive research has uncovered diverse forms of synaptic plasticity and a wide array of molecular signaling mechanisms that act as positive or negative regulators. Specifically, cAMP-dependent signaling pathways have been crucially implicated in long-lasting synaptic plasticity. In this study, we examine the role of POPDC1 (or BVES), a cAMP effec...
Article
Full-text available
Functional imaging studies have found differential neural activation patterns during reward-paradigms in patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to neurotypical controls. However, publications report conflicting results on the directionality and location of these aberrant activations. We here quantitatively summarized relevant fMRI pa...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via the original article.
Article
Full-text available
A central goal of neuroscience research is to understand how experiences modify brain circuits to guide future adaptive behavior. In response to environmental stimuli, neural circuit activity engages gene regulatory mechanisms within each cell. This activity-dependent gene expression is governed, in part, by epigenetic processes that can produce pe...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, especially adolescents and young adults interact frequently via social media and digital communication. Mimicking an online communication platform where participants could initiate short conversations with two computerized interlocutors, the Verbal Interaction Social Threat Task (VISTTA) was used to induce feelings of social reject...
Article
The molecular and intracellular signaling processes that control sleep and wake states remain largely unknown. A consistent observation is that the cyclic-AMP response element binding protein (CREB), an activity-dependent transcription factor, is differentially activated during sleep and wakefulness. CREB is phosphorylated by the cyclic AMP/protein...
Article
Full-text available
Activity-dependent local protein synthesis is critical for synapse-specific, persistent plasticity. Abnormalities in local protein synthesis have been implicated in psychiatric disorders. We have recently identified the translin/trax microRNA-degrading enzyme as a novel mediator of protein synthesis at activated synapses. Additionally, translin kno...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep deprivation is a global health problem adversely affecting health as well as causing decrements in learning and performance. Sleep deprivation induces significant changes in gene transcription in many brain regions, with the hippocampus particularly susceptible to acute sleep deprivation. However, less is known about the impacts of sleep depr...
Article
PCDH10 is a gene associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is involved in the growth of thalamocortical projections and dendritic spine elimination. Previously, we characterized Pcdh10 haploinsufficient mice (Pcdh10+/- mice) and found male-specific social deficits and dark phase hypoactivity. Pcdh10+/- males exhibit increased dendritic spine den...
Article
Full-text available
Background CREB-dependent transcription necessary for long-term memory is driven by interactions with CREB-binding protein (CBP), a multi-domain protein that binds numerous transcription factors potentially affecting expression of thousands of genes. Identifying specific domain functions for multi-domain proteins is essential to understand processe...
Preprint
Full-text available
The molecular and intracellular signaling processes that control sleep and wake states remain largely unknown. A consistent observation is that the cyclic-AMP response element binding protein (CREB), an activity-dependent transcription factor, is differentially activated during sleep and wakefulness. CREB is phosphorylated by the cyclic AMP/protein...
Article
The microdeletion of copy number variant 16p11.2 is one of the most common genetic mutations associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Here, we describe our comprehensive behavioral phenotyping of the 16p11.2 deletion line developed by Alea Mills on a C57BL/6J and 129S1/SvImJ F1 background (Delm). Male...
Article
Full-text available
Midbrain dopaminergic (DA) axons make long longitudinal projections towards the striatum. Despite the importance of DA striatal innervation, processes involved in establishment of DA axonal connectivity remain largely unknown. Here we demonstrate a striatal-specific requirement of transcriptional regulator Nolz1 in establishing DA circuitry formati...
Preprint
Full-text available
CREB-dependent transcription necessary for long-term memory is driven by interactions with CREB-binding protein (CBP), a multi-domain protein that binds numerous transcription factors. Identifying specific domain functions for multi-action proteins is essential to understand processes necessary for healthy living including cognitive function and a...
Article
Full-text available
16p11.2 deletion is one of the most common gene copy variations that increases the susceptibility to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. This syndrome leads to developmental delays, including speech impairment and delays in expressive language and communication skills. To study developmental impairment of vocal communication associated w...
Preprint
Full-text available
PCDH10 is a gene associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is involved in the growth of thalamocortical projections and dendritic spine elimination. Previously, we characterized mice Pcdh10 haploinsufficient mice (Pcdh10 +/− mice) and found male-specific social deficits that are rescued by N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) partial agonist d-...
Article
Introduction Insufficient sleep is a hallmark of modern society, and sleep deprivation (SD) is a risk factor for neurodegenerative and cardiometabolic disorders. The interactions of aging with systemic and local metabolic alterations induced by sleep deprivation are essentially unexplored. In this study, we demonstrate a shared metabolic imprint of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Activity-dependent local protein synthesis is critical for synapse-specific, persistent plasticity. Abnormalities in local protein synthesis have been implicated in psychiatric disorders. We have recently identified the translin/trax microRNA-degrading enzyme as a novel mediator of protein synthesis at activated synapses. Additionally, mice lacking...
Preprint
Full-text available
Activity-dependent local protein synthesis is critical for synapse-specific, persistent plasticity. Abnormalities in local protein synthesis have been implicated in psychiatric disorders. We have recently identified the translin/trax microRNA-degrading enzyme as a novel mediator of protein synthesis at activated synapses. Additionally, mice lacking...
Preprint
Full-text available
Activity-dependent local protein synthesis is critical for synapse-specific, persistent plasticity. Abnormalities in local protein synthesis have been implicated in psychiatric disorders. We have recently identified the translin/trax microRNA-degrading enzyme as a novel mediator of protein synthesis at activated synapses. Additionally, translin kno...
Article
A fundamental question is how memory is stored for several weeks and even longer. A long-lasting increase in gene transcription has been suggested to mediate such long-term memory storage. Here, we used contextual fear conditioning in mice to search for lasting transcription that may contribute to long-term memory storage. Our study focussed on hip...
Article
Full-text available
Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. As BDNF regulates axonal and dendritic growth, altered BDNF levels in schizophrenia patients might underlie changes in structural connectivity that have been identified by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We investigated a possible correlation bet...
Article
Long-term memory depends on the control of activity-dependent neuronal gene expression, which is regulated by epigenetic modifications. The epigenetic modification of histones is orchestrated by the opposing activities of two classes of regulatory complexes: permissive co-activators and silencing co-repressors. Much work has focused on co-activator...
Article
Social affiliative behaviors -- engagement in positive (i.e. non-aggressive) social approach and reciprocal social interactions with a conspecific -- comprise a construct within the NIMH RDoC Social Processes Domain. Affiliative behaviors are disrupted in multiple human neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism, schizophreni...
Article
Normal aging is accompanied by cognitive and memory impairments that negatively impact quality of life for the growing elderly population. Hippocampal function is most vulnerable to the deleterious effects of aging, and deficits in hippocampus-dependent memories are common amongst aged individuals. Moreover, signaling networks such as the cAMP/PKA/...
Article
Full-text available
The exact neurobiological underpinnings of gender identity (i.e., the subjective perception of oneself belonging to a certain gender) still remain unknown. Combining both resting-state functional connectivity and behavioral data, we examined gender identity in cisgender and transgender persons using a data-driven machine learning strategy. Intrinsi...
Article
Social affiliative behavior is an important component of everyday life in many species and is likely to be disrupted in disabling ways in various neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Therefore, determining the mechanisms involved in these processes is crucial. A link between N‐methyl‐D‐aspartate (NMDA) receptor function and social beh...
Article
Age-associated cognitive impairments affect an individual's quality of life and are a growing problem in society. Therefore, therapeutic strategies to treat age-related cognitive decline are needed to enhance the quality of life among the elderly. Activation of the Nr4a family of transcription factors has been closely linked to memory formation and...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, digital communication and social media have taken an indispensable role in human society. Social interactions are no longer bound to real-life encounters, but more often happen from behind a screen. Mimicking an online communication platform, we developed a new, fMRI compatible, social threat paradigm to investigate sex differences...
Article
Full-text available
The challenges and critical importance of keeping our thinking about neuropsychiatric disorders mechanisms and classifications up-to-date have prompted a dynamic discourse as to the value, appropriateness, and reliability of the animal models we use and the outcomes we measure. At a time when most major pharmaceutical companies are disbanding their...
Article
Although numerous epigenetic modifications have been associated with addiction, little work has explored the turnover of histone variants. Uniquely, the H3.3 variant incorporates stably and preferentially into chromatin independently of DNA replication at active sites of transcription and transcription factor binding. Thus, genomic regions associat...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous neuroimaging studies have revealed structural brain abnormalities in schizophrenia patients. There is emerging evidence that dysfunctional nerve growth factor (NGF) signaling may contribute to structural brain alterations found in these patients. In this pilot study, we investigated whether there was a correlation between NGF serum levels...
Article
Genome-wide association and whole exome sequencing studies from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) patient populations have implicated numerous risk factor genes whose mutation or deletion results in significantly increased incidence of ASD. Behavioral studies of monogenic mutant mouse models of ASD-associated genes have been useful for identifying abe...
Article
Full-text available
Hyperpolarization‐activated and cyclic nucleotide‐gated (HCN) channels mediate the Ih current in the murine hippocampus. Disruption of the Ih current by knockout of HCN1, HCN2 or TRIP8b has been shown to affect physiological processes such as synaptic integration and maintenance of resting membrane potentials as well as several behaviors in mice, i...
Article
Full-text available
RNAscope® technology provided by Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD) allows the detection and evaluation of coinciding mRNA expression profiles in the same or adjacent cells in unprecedented quantitative detail using multicolor fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). While already extensively used in thinly sectioned material of various pathological...
Preprint
Full-text available
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are neurodevelopmental conditions that are influenced by genetic factors and encompass a wide-range and severity of symptoms. The details of how genetic variation contributes to variable symptomatology are unclear, creating a major challenge for translating vast amounts of data into clinically-useful information. To...
Article
Stress is a precipitating agent in neuropsychiatric disease and initiates relapse to drug-seeking behavior in addicted patients. Targeting the stress system in protracted abstinence from drugs of abuse with anxiolytics may be an effective treatment modality for substance use disorders. α2A-adrenergic receptors (α2A-ARs) in extended amygdala structu...
Article
Translin-associated protein X (TSNAX), also called trax, was first identified as a protein that interacts with translin. Subsequent studies demonstrated that these proteins form a heteromeric RNase complex that mediates degradation of microRNAs, a pivotal finding that has stimulated interest in understanding the role of translin and trax in cell si...
Article
Full-text available
Neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ASD and ADHD, affect males about three to four times more often than females. 16p11.2 hemideletion is a copy number variation that is highly associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Previous work from our lab has shown that a mouse model of 16p11.2 hemideletion (del/+) exhibits male-specific behavioral phe...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of review: Neurodevelopmental disorders disproportionately affect males. The mechanisms underlying male vulnerability or female protection are not known and remain understudied. Determining the processes involved is crucial to understanding the etiology and advancing treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders. Here, we review current findin...
Article
Full-text available
Neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, are highly male biased, but the underpinnings of this are unknown. Striatal dysfunction has been strongly implicated in the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders, raising the question of whether there are sex differences in how the striatum is impacted by genetic risk fact...
Article
Metaplasticity refers to the ability of experience to alter synaptic plasticity, or modulate the strength of neuronal connections. Sleep deprivation has been shown to have a negative impact on synaptic plasticity, but it is unknown whether sleep deprivation also influences processes of metaplasticity. Therefore, we tested whether 5 h of total sleep...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep and sleep loss have a profound impact on hippocampal function, leading to memory impairments. Modifications in the strength of synaptic connections directly influences neuronal communication, which is vital for normal brain function, as well as the processing and storage of information. In a recently published study, we found that as little a...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep deprivation disrupts the lives of millions of people every day and has a profound impact on the molecular biology of the brain. These effects begin as changes within a neuron, at the DNA and RNA level, and result in alterations in neuronal plasticity and dysregulation of many cognitive functions including learning and memory. The epigenome pl...
Article
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder that is associated with genetic risk factors. Most human disease-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are not located in genes but rather are in regulatory regions that control gene expres