Albee Messing, VMD, PhD

Portrait of Albee Messing, VMD, PhD
Comparative Biosciences
715 Waisman
1500 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 263-9191
Focus Groups: 
VMD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Research Summary: 
Alexander disease; developmental neuropathology; molecular neurobiology
Research Detail: 

Research in my laboratory is directed at understanding developmental and pathologic aspects of glial cell biology in the nervous system of the mouse, with a particular focus on astrocytes and their major intermediate filament protein, GFAP. Our main strategies involve genetic manipulation of glial gene expression using transgenic techniques, and gene targeting in embryonic stem cells. Current projects are focused on the role of GFAP mutations and GFAP excess in the pathogenesis of Alexander disease, and dissecting the beneficial and harmful aspects of various aspects of the resulting stress response. A major effort is devoted to devising novel therapeutic strategies for treatment of this disorder, and identifying biomarkers to permit monitoring severity or progression of the disease.

Selected Publications: 
Jany, P.L., Hagemann, T.L., & Messing, A. (2013). GFAP expression as an indicator of disease severity in mouse models of Alexander disease. ASN Neuro, 5, art:e00109.doi:10.1042
Messing, A., Brenner, M., Feany, M.B., Nedergaard, M., &Goldman, J.E. (2012). Alexander disease. Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 5017-5023.
Messing, A. Li, R., Naidu, S., Taylor, J.P., Silverman, L., Flint, D., van der Knaap, M.S., & Brenner, M. (2012). Archetypal and New Families with Alexander Disease and Novel Mutations in GFAP. Archives of Neurology, 69, 208-214.
Hagemann, T.L., Jobe, E.M., & Messing, A. (2012). Genetic ablation of Nrf2/antioxidant response pathway in Alexander disease mice reduces hippocampal gliosis but does not impact survival. PLoS ONE, 7, e37304.
Lapash Daniels, C.M., Austin, E., Rockney, D., Jacka, E., Hagemann, T.L., Johnson, D., Johnson, J.A., & Messing, A. (2012). Beneficial effects of Nrf2 overexpression in a mouse model of Alexander disease. Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 10507-10515
Messing A, Li R, Naidu S, Taylor JP, Silverman L, Flint D, van der Knaap MS, Brenner M. Archetypal and new families with Alexander disease and novel mutations in GFAP. Arch Neurol 69, 208-214. PMID:21987397
Cho W, Brenner M, Peters N, Messing A. (2010). Drug screening to identify suppressors of GFAP expression. Hum Mol Genet 19, 3169-3178. PMC2908470 PMID: 20538881
Messing, A., LaPash Daniels, C.M., & Hagemann TL. (2010). Strategies for treatment in Alexander disease. Neurotherapeutics, 7, 507-515.
Hagemann, T.L., Boelens, W., Wawrousek, E., & Messing, A. (2009). Suppression of GFAP toxicity by αB-crystallin in mouse models of Alexander disease. Human Molecular Genetics 18, 1190-1199.
Cho, W., Hagemann, T.L., Johnson, D.A., Johnson, J.A., & Messing, A. Dual transgenic reporter mice as a tool for monitoring expression of GFAP. Journal of Neurochemistry (in press)