Reese S. Scroggs, Ph.D.

Reese S. Scroggs, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
855 Monroe Avenue, Suite 515
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-7470
Fax: (901) 448-7193
Lab: 306 Link Building
Email: Reese S. Scroggs


  • Ph.D. Institution: University of Illinois, Chicago, Department of Pharmacological Sciences

Research Interests

This lab is studying how serotonin (5HT), released from varicosities over large areas of the brain and spinal cord, could have differential effects on various neural pathways. For example 5HT secreted into the spinal cord can selectively suppress pain transmission from the periphery to the CNS, leaving reflex and proprioception pathways intact. In many areas, 5HT is distributed as a diffuse gradient rather than being localized at discrete synapses. Thus, individual neurons may depend on local mechanisms to synthesize signals necessary for the proper functioning of the neural circuits in which they participate. Such local mechanisms may include expression of different 5HT receptor subtypes coupled to different ion channels. Then the effects of 5HT release on a neuron's excitability would vary depending on which 5HT receptor subtype(s) it expressed.

Presently the lab is studying ion channel coupling to 5HT receptor subtypes in subpopulations of acutely isolated adult rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, using the whole cell patch clamp technique and single channel recordings. Subpopulations of DRG neurons have been detected based on variations in the expression of a battery of ion currents and sensitivity to capsaicin. We are also developing other methods to differentiate between DRG neurons based on where they terminate in the spinal cord and which peripheral tissue they innervate, using fluorescent tracers and antibodies against different membrane surface antigens.

Representative Publications

  • Scroggs RS. The distribution of low-threshold TTX-resistant Na⁺ currents in rat trigeminal ganglion cells. Neuroscience. 2012 Oct 11;222:205-14. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.07.012. Epub 2012 Jul 16. PubMed PMID: 22800565.
  • Scroggs RS. Up-regulation of low-threshold tetrodotoxin-resistant Na+ current via activation of a cyclic AMP/protein kinase A pathway in nociceptor-like rat dorsal root ganglion cells. Neuroscience. 2011 Jul 14;186:13-20. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.04.046. Epub 2011 Apr 28. PubMed PMID: 21549179.
  • Tripathi PK, Cardenas CG, Cardenas CA, Scroggs RS. Up-regulation of tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium currents by prostaglandin E₂ in type-4 rat dorsal root ganglion cells. Neuroscience. 2011 Jun 30;185:14-26. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.04.015. Epub 2011 Apr 20. PubMed PMID: 21530616; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3112009.
  • Nelson MT, Milescu LS, Todorovic SM, Scroggs RS. A modeling study of T-type Ca2+ channel gating and modulation by L-cysteine in rat nociceptors. Biophys J. 2010 Jan 20;98(2):197-206. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2009.10.007. PubMed PMID: 20338841; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2808491.
  • Scroggs RS. Serotonin upregulates low- and high-threshold tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium channels in the same subpopulation of rat nociceptors. Neuroscience. 2010 Feb 17;165(4):1293-300. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.11.042. Epub 2009 Nov 22. PubMed PMID: 19932889.
  • Scroggs RS. Evidence of a physiological role for use-dependent inactivation of NaV1.8 sodium channels. J Physiol. 2008 Feb 15;586(4):923. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2008.150821. PubMed PMID: 18287386; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2375632.

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