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Daniel Weinreich, PhD

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:



BRB 4-002

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-5833


(410) 706-0032

Education and Training

B.S., Bethany College, W. Va. (biology), 1964
Ph.D., University of Utah (Pharmacology), 1970
Postdoctoral training, Neuroscience Department, Beckmann Research Institute, City of Hope National Medical Center, Durate, California (neurochemistry), 1970-1974


 Dr. Weinreich is neuroscientist who has made significant contributions to several areas of neurobiology using electrophysiological techniques.  These areas range from establishing a neurotransmitter role for histamine to immunoregulation of autonomic synaptic transmission.  Currently, we are studying the cellular mechanism of laser light stimulation of peripheral nerves.   The goal of these studies is to understand how optical stimulation detonates action potential in peripheral nerves.  Optical stimulation (OS) provides a promising alternative to electrical stimulation in restoring function to the damaged nervous system, and has been suggested as an alternative technology in the development of neuroprosthetic devices.  Unlike traditional electrical neurostimulation technologies which utilize implanted metal electrodes, OS involves aiming a selected wavelength of near infrared light onto neurons and producing neuronal activation with no material contact with tissue and with outstanding temporal and spatial resolution..

We have developed an in vitro mammalian model system for investigating the cellular mechanisms underlying optical nerve stimulation and for determining optimal conditions for optical stimulation (Katz et al, 2010).   To our knowledge, this report represents the first cellular study of the membrane effects produced by optical nerve stimulation.  We record membrane potential and membrane conductance changes in acutely isolated primary sensory neurons.  With this model system we have observed that 1-20 msec pulses (0.259-1.821 J/cm2) of 1889 nm laser light evoked graded membrane depolarizations that can lead to action potentials.  The laser-evoked depolarizations (LEDs) had rapid onset (msec), but persisted for many 100s of msec.  The isolated neurons have no adhering non-neuronal cells; consequently, LEDs are due to a direct effect of near infrared irradiation of neuronal membranes and not secondary to the release of neuroexcitatory substances from non-neuronal cells.  LEDs were associated with an increased membrane conductance and a reversal potential value of -41 mV indicating that the LEDs are produced by the opening of a membrane ionic channel.  The nature of the ionic channel(s) and the mechanism underlying the long duration of the LEDs remain unresolved.

             Katz EJIIev IK, Krauthamer V, Kim DH, Weinreich, D. Excitation of Primary Afferent Neurons by Near Infrared Light In Vitro.  NeuroReport  21(9): 662-6, 2010.

  Collaborative Research

 We have an on-going collaborative research project with Dr. Javed Mahmood, Division of Translational Radiation Sciences, Department of Radiation Oncology, UMB.  Our project examines the role of the cavernous nerve in radiation-induced erectile dysfunction in rats.  Initial results from this work have recently been accepted for publication.

 Javed Mahmood,Caroline Connors, Allen Alexander, Radmila Pavlovic, SantanuSamanta, HotakaMatsui, Nicholai Sopko, Trinity J. Bivalacqua, Daniel Weinreich, Cheng-Ying Ho, John Eley, Isabel L. Jackson, and Zeljko Vujaskovic (2017) Cavernous Nerve injury by radiation potentiates Erectile Dysfunction. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics (in press).

 In another project area we are working with Dr. Steve Bernstein, Department of Ophthalmology, UMB. Here we study optic nerve inflammation and demyelination in a rodent model of nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy in rats.

 James D. Nicholson Adam C. Puche, Daniel Weinreich, Yan Guo, Bernard J. Slater, Steven L. Bernstein. PGJ2 provides prolonged CNS stroke protection by reducing white matter edema. PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e50021. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050021. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

 Slater, B.J. Vilson, D, Guo, Y., Weinreich, D., Hwang, S. and Bernstein, S.L. (2013) Optic nerve Inflammation and demyelination in a rodent model of nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Dec 5;54(13):7952-61

Recent Trainees:

Postdoctoral Fellows

Nora Laaris, Ph.D. (2003-2007),

Thias Moreira, Ph.D. (2004-2008)

Tony Gover, Ph.D. (2006-2008),


Jessica Swartz (PhD student): Neuroscience  Program

Eric Lancaster (MD/PhD student): Neuroscience Program

Tony Glover (PhD student): Neuroscience Program

Eun Joo Oh, MD (PhD student): Pharmacology Program

Research/Clinical Keywords

Electrophysiology: Current and voltage clamp recording with “sharp” and whole-cell electrodes. extracellular recording and stimulation. Near infrared laser stimulation of peripheral and CNS tissues. Fluroresence measurements of intracellular ions. Neuronal tracing with fluroresence markers. Utilization of caged reagents. Cell culture. Active and passive immunization. Intracellular and extracellular recordings of sympathetic ganglion neurons.

Highlighted Publications

Gover, TD, Moreira THV, Kao JPY, Weinreich D. Calcium Regulation in Individual Peripheral Sensory Nerve Terminals of the rat.  J. Physiology. (Lond).  578:481-90, 2007

Moreira, THV, Santos Cruz, J, Weinreich, D. Angiotensin II increases excitability and inhibits IA in vagal primary sensory neurons.  Neuropeptides, 43(3):193-9, 2009

Swartz, J B and Weinreich, D. Influence of Vagotomy on Monosynaptic Transmission at Second Order Nucleus Tractus Solitarius Synapses. J. Neurophysiology 102 (5): 2846-55, 2009.

Leal-Cardoso, JH, Lahlou, S, Weinreich, D, Caldas Magalhães, PJC. The essential oil of Croton nepetaefoliusselectively blocks histamine-augmented neuronal excitability in guinea-pig celiac ganglion. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 62(8): 1045-53, 2010

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography: