Biological Science Faculty Member
Dr. Paul Q. Trombley
Ph.D., University of Oregon, 1990
Graduate Faculty Status
Research and Professional Interests:
The primary research goal of our laboratory is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate neuronal excitability and the efficacy of synaptic transmission. Our experimental approach uses primary neuronal culture, brain slices, and patch-clamp electrophysiology, in combination with molecular biology and histological techniques, to examine modulation of a wide variety of ion channels, neurotransmitter receptors, and synaptic circuits. We recently explored the roles of kainate and AMPA receptors in modulating excitatory and/or inhibitory circuits in the olfactory bulb (OB), the site of the first synaptic relay in the olfactory system. Currently, we are characterizing the cellular identity and membrane properties of dopaminergic neurons in the OB and determining how these properties influence the processing of odor information. Another project involves determining the cellular and molecular bases of circadian rhythms in the OB, including how electrical synapses formed by gap junctions and the rhythmic expression of monoamine neurotransmitters (e.g., dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and melatonin) contribute to the rhythmic regulation of olfactory synaptic circuits. We have also been investigating the role of synaptically released zinc as a neuromodulator, including zinc’s functions in circuits of the OB, hippocampus, and hypothalamus.
Glia, which include astrocytes, are the brain’s most abundant cell type. Although increasing evidence suggests that glial cells also play an active role in synaptic transmission via the release of various gliotransmitters (e.g., glutamate, D-serine, glycine, ATP), the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Another recent goal of my research is to characterize the type and quantities of gliotransmitters secreted from astrocytes involved in gliotransmission. This experimental approach involves the development of a microfluidic platform that can house cultured astrocytes to enable real-time measurements of gliotransmitters and intracellular calcium released in response to various stimuli (e.g., K+, ATP, or glutamate receptor agonists). As dopamine and gliotransmission have both been implicated in drugs of abuse, our long-term plan is to co-culture astrocytes with dopaminergic neurons, so we can extend the study of drug effects on gliotransmission to downstream effects on dopaminergic neuron activation and secretion. Data from these studies may shed light on treatments for addiction.
Blakemore, L.J. and P.Q, Trombley 2019. Mechanisms of zinc modulation of olfactory bulb AMPA receptors. Neuroscience 410:160-175.
Blakemore, L.J., J.T. Corthell, P.Q. Trombley. 2018. Kainate Receptors Play a Role in Modulating Synaptic Transmission in the Olfactory Bulb. Neuroscience 391:25-49.
Blakemore, L.J. and P.Q. Trombley. 2017. Zinc as a Neuromodulator in the Central Nervous System with a Focus on the Olfactory Bulb. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience Sep 21; 11:297 doi: 10.3389/fncel.2017.00297.
Korshunov, K.S., L.J. Blakemore, P.Q. Trombley. 2017. Dopamine: A modulator of circadian rhythms in the central nervous system. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience Apr 3; 11:91. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2017.00091
Corthell, J.T., J. Olcese, P.Q. Trombley. 2014. Melatonin in the mammalian olfactory bulb. Neuroscience 261:74-84.
Corthell, J.T., A.M. Stathopoulos, C.C. Watson, R. Bertram, P.Q. Trombley. 2013. Olfactory bulb monoamine concentrations vary with time of day. Neuroscience 247:234-41
Blakemore, L.J., E. Tomat, S.J. Lippard, P.Q. Trombley. 2013. Zinc released from olfactory bulb glomeruli by patterned electrical stimulation of the olfactory nerve. Metallomics 5:208-13
Corthell, J. T., D. A. Fadool, and P. Q. Trombley. 2012, Diurnal rhythms in connexin and AMPA receptor expression in the rat olfactory bulb. Neuroscience 222:38–48.
Trombley, P. Q., L. J. Blakemore, and B. J. Hill. 2011. Zinc modulation of glycine receptors. Neuroscience 186:32–38.
Davila, N. G., T. A. Houpt, and P. Q. Trombley. 2007. Expression and function of kainate receptors in the rat olfactory bulb. Synapse 61:320–334.
Blakemore, L. J., C. W. Levenson, and P. Q. Trombley. 2006. Neuropeptide Y modulates excitatory synaptic transmission in the olfactory bulb. Neuroscience 138:663–674.
Blakemore, L. J., M. Resasco, M. A. Mercado, and P. Q. Trombley. 2006. Evidence for calcium-permeable AMPA receptors in the olfactory bulb. American journal of Physiology—Cell Physiology 290:C925–C935.
Horning, M. S., B. Kwon, L. J. Blakemore, C. M. Spencer, M. Goltz, T. A. Houpt, and P. Q. Trombley. 2004. AMPA receptor subunit expression in rat olfactory bulb. Neuroscience Letters 372:230–234.
Blakemore, L. J., and P. Q. Trombley. 2004. Diverse modulation of olfactory bulb AMPA receptors by zinc. NeuroReport 15:919–923.
Blakemore, L. J., and P. Q. Trombley. 2003. Kinetic variability of AMPA receptors among olfactory bulb neurons in culture. NeuroReport 14:965–970.
Davila, N. G., L. J. Blakemore, and P. Q. Trombley. 2003. Dopamine modulates synaptic transmission between rat olfactory bulb neurons in culture. Journal of Neurophysiology 90:395–404.