Stuart Thompson

Stuart Thompson
Neurobiology, Signal Transduction

(831) 655-6223

Website: Thompson Lab

Stuart ThompsonStuart Thompson is investigating signal transduction mechanisms in neurons with the goal of better understanding how neurons process information. A number of methods are used to study ion channel function and the dynamics of intracellular second messenger signals. These include macroscopic and signal channel patch clamp, confocal and two-photon microscopy and biochemical and molecular methods. An area of particular interest concerns the regulation of neurogenesis in the brain of adult zebrafish. The goal is to understand the signals that regulate progenitor cell proliferation, cell migration, and differentiation into mature neurons. The zebrafish is a superb model for these studies because new neurons are added constantly as the fish grows thus providing abundant material for in vitro and in vivo studies. A second area of study concerns the signal cascades initiated by G-protein coupled receptors. The transmitter acetylcholine acting at muscarinic receptors initiates cascades of events leading to intracellular calcium waves, calcium oscillations, nitric oxide production, cGMP production and very specific regulations of ion channel function. The challenge is to determine how the various signals work together to produce a coordinated cellular response. The third area of particular interest involves the homeostatic regulation of intracellular metal ions such as zinc, iron, mercury, etc. Heavy metal ions are essential for some life processes but when concentrations are even moderately elevated cells die. This necessitates strict regulation of metal ions in the cytoplasm as well as regulation of ion influx at the cell membrane. Thompson and his collaborators are studying a novel group of ion channels that appear to play a central role in metal ion homeostasis. 

Previous members of Professor Thompson's research group have joined the faculties of Stanford University, Princeton, The University of California at Los Angeles, The University of California at San Diego, The University of Pittsburgh, Morehouse College, the University of Utah, the University of Vermont and the Beckman Research Institute at the City of Hope.

Selected Publications

Shiels, H., S.H. Thompson and B.A. Block. 2007. The effect of temperature on cellular Ca2+ flux in ventricular myocytes from bluefin tuna, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A Molecular & Integrative Physiology. 148(Suppl.1):S149.

Reilly, C.R.L. and S.H. Thompson. 2007. Temperature effects on low-light vision in juvenile rockfish (Genus Sebastes) and consequences for habitat utilization. Journal of Comparative Physiology A Neuroethology Sensory Neural and Behavioral Physiology. 193(9):943-953.

Coates, M.M., A. Garm, J.C. Theobald, T.C. Tehobald, S.H. Thompson, and D.E. Nisson. 2006. The spectral sensitivity of the lens eyes of a box jellyfish, Tripedalia cystophora (Conant). Journal of Experimental Biology. 209(19):3758-3765.

Thompson, S and W.H. Watson. 2005. Central pattern generator for swimming in Melibe. Journal of Experimental Biology. 208(7):1347-1361.

Patton C, Thompson S, Epel D. 2004. Some precautions in using chelators to buffer metals in biological solutions. Cell Calcium. 35:427-31.

Watson, W.H. and S. Thompson. 2002. Neural correlates of swimming behavior in Melibe leonina. Biological Bulletin. 203(2):152-160.

Coates, M.M., S.H. Thompson, and D.E. Nilsson. 2001. The image forming capabilities of the camera-type eyes of a box jelly, Tripedalia cystophora. American Zoologist. 41(6):1640-1640.

Jones, B.R. and S.H. Thompson. 2001. Mechanism of postinhibitory rebound in molluscan neurons. American Zoologist. 41(4):1036-1048.

McFarlane, M.B., D.J. Cripe, and S.H. Thompson. 2000. Larval growth and development of cultured Pacific bonito. Journal of Fish Biology. 57(1):134-144.

Kuo, R.C., G.T. Baxter, S.H. Thompson, S.A. Stricker, C. Patton, J. Bonaventura, and D. Epel. 2000. NO is a necessary and sufficient requirement of egg activation at fertilization. Nature. 406:633-636.

Thompson, S.H. and A.A. Alousi. 1998. The muscarinic Ca response: positive feedback involving cGMP and CNG channels. FASEB Journal. 12(4):A439.

McFarlane, M.B., C. Reilly, D.J. Cripe, E.R. Hsu, L.M. Nevin, L. M. and S.H. Thompson. 1998. Development of swimming behavior in larval pacific bonito (Sarda chiliensis). Society for Neuroscience Abstracts. 24(1/2):188.

Coggan, J.S. and S.H. Thompson. 1997. Cholinergic modulation of the Ca-2+ response to bradykinin in neuroblastoma cells. American Journal of Physiology. 273(2 PART 1):C612-C617.

Thompson, S.H. 1997. Cyclic GMP-gated channels in a sympathetic neuron cell line. Journal of General Physiology. 110(2):155-164.

Mathes, C. and S.H. Thompson. 1996. The nitric oxide-cGMP pathway couples muscarinic receptors to the activation of Ca-2+ influx. Journal of Neuroscience. 16(5):1702-1709.

Harrington, M.A. and S.H. Thompson. 1996. Activation of the nitric oxide-cGMP pathway is required for refilling intracellular Ca-2+ stores in a sympathetic neuron cell line. Cell Calcium. 19(5):399-407.

Wang, S.S-H., A.A. Adawia and S.H. Thompson. 1995. The lifetime of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate in single cells. Journal of General Physiology. 105(1):149-171. Mathes, C. and S.H. Thompson. 1995. The relationship between depletion of intracellular Ca-2+ stores and activation of Ca-2+ current by muscarinic receptors in neuroblastoma cells. Journal of General Physiology. 106(5):975-993.

Thompson, S.H., C. Mathes and A.A. Alousi. 1995. Calcium requirement for cGMP production during muscarinic activation of N1E-115 neuroblastoma cells. American Journal of Physiology. 269(4 PART 1):C979-C985.

Coggan, J.S. and S.H. Thompson. 1995. Intracellular calcium signals in response to bradykinin in individual neuroblastoma cells. American Journal of Physiology. 269(4 PART 1):C841-C848.

Wang, S.S-H. and S.H. Thompson. 1995. Local positive feedback by calcium in the propagation of intracellular calcium waves. Biophysical Journal. 69(5):1683-1697.