Michael C. Levin, M.D.

Michael C. Levin, M.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Neurology
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
855 Monroe Avenue, Room 415
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-2243
Fax: (901) 448-7440
Email: Michael C. Levin


  • M.D. Institution: The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University
  • Postdoctoral: National Institutes of Health, Neuroimmunology Branch


Research Interests

This laboratory studies the relationship between viruses and immune-associated diseases of the human central nervous system, particularly multiple sclerosis (MS). Specifically, they study how patients infected with HTLV-1 (human T - lymphotropic virus type I) develop HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP), a demyelinating disease with similarities to MS. Current experiments focus on two major areas. First, identifying a novel auto-antibody response in HAM/TSP patients that may identify a human protein with similarities to viral proteins, an area of study known as molecular mimicry. Second, experiments are designed to identify abnormal expression of RNA using single cell analysis of abnormal areas of brain from MS and HAM/TSP patients. By identifying what cells produce in the central nervous system they hope to develop novel therapeutic strategies to help treat patients with these diseases.

Representative Publications

  • Andersson L, Drevinge C, Mardani I, Dalen KT, Ståhlman M, Klevstig M, Lundqvist A, Haugen F, Adiels M, Fogelstrand P, Asin-Cayuela J, Hultén LM, Levin M, Ehrenborg E, Lee YK, Kimmel AR, Borén J, Levin MC. Deficiency in perilipin 5 reduces mitochondrial function and membrane depolarization in mouse hearts. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2017 Oct;91(Pt A):9-13. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2017.07.021. Epub 2017 Aug 12. PubMed PMID: 28811250.
  • Salapa HE, Lee S, Shin Y, Levin MC. Contribution of the Degeneration of the Neuro-Axonal Unit to the Pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis. Brain Sci. 2017 Jun 18;7(6). pii: E69. doi: 10.3390/brainsci7060069. Review. PubMed PMID: 28629158; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5483642.
  • Ekstrand M, Widell E, Hammar A, Akyürek LM, Johansson M, Fagerberg B, Bergström G, Levin MC, Fogelstrand P, Borén J, Levin M. Depletion of ATP and glucose in advanced human atherosclerotic plaques. PLoS One. 2017 Jun 1;12(6):e0178877. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178877. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28570702; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5453577.
  • Levin MC, Lee S, Gardner LA, Shin Y, Douglas JN, Salapa H. Autoantibodies to heterogeneous nuclear ribonuclear protein A1 (hnRNPA1) cause altered 'ribostasis' and neurodegeneration; the legacy of HAM/TSP as a model of progressive multiple sclerosis. J Neuroimmunol. 2017 Mar 15;304:56-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2016.07.005. Epub 2016 Jul 17. Review. PubMed PMID: 27449854.
  • Douglas JN, Gardner LA, Salapa HE, Lalor SJ, Lee S, Segal BM, Sawchenko PE, Levin MC. Antibodies to the RNA-binding protein hnRNP A1 contribute to neurodegeneration in a model of central nervous system autoimmune inflammatory disease. J Neuroinflammation. 2016 Jul 8;13(1):178. doi: 10.1186/s12974-016-0647-y. PubMed PMID: 27391474; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4938923.
  • Drevinge C, Dalen KT, Mannila MN, Täng MS, Ståhlman M, Klevstig M, Lundqvist A, Mardani I, Haugen F, Fogelstrand P, Adiels M, Asin-Cayuela J, Ekestam C, Gådin JR, Lee YK, Nebb H, Svedlund S, Johansson BR, Hultén LM, Romeo S, Redfors B, Omerovic E, Levin M, Gan LM, Eriksson P, Andersson L, Ehrenborg E, Kimmel AR, Borén J, Levin MC. Perilipin 5 is protective in the ischemic heart. Int J Cardiol. 2016 Sep 15;219:446-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2016.06.037. Epub 2016 Jun 16. PubMed PMID: 27376234.

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