Megan C. Wright

Associate Professor, Biology

Boyer 220 1 (267) 620-4827 On sabbatical during the Academic Year 2017-18

Research Summary

Dr. Wright’s general research interests are related to how glial cells and neurons communicate following injury, during development and in association with certain disease states. Using a variety of approaches including standard biochemical and molecular assays, in vitro models, and in vivo rodent models, Dr. Wright studies how Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system and astrocytes in the central nervous contribute to nervous system disease and functional recovery following injury.

Peer-reviewed Primary Manuscripts (*indicates Arcadia University students)

Li K, Javed E, Scura D, Hala TJ, Seetharam S, Falnikar A, Richard JP, Chorath A, Maragakis NJ, Wright MC, Lepore AC. Human iPS cell-derived astrocyte transplants preserve respiratory function after spinal cord injury. Exp Neurol. 2015 Jul 26;271:479-492

Martin, M*., Li, K, Wright, MC, Lepore, AC. Functional and morphological assessment of diaphragm innervation by phrenic motor neurons. J of Visual Experiments. 2015 May 25; 99.

Li K, Hala TJ, Seetharam S, Poulsen DJ, Wright MC, Lepore AC. GLT1 overexpression in SOD1G93A mouse cervical spinal cord does not preserve diaphragm function or extend disease. Neurobiol Dis. 2015 June.

Li K, Javed E, Hala TJ, Sannie D, Regan KA, Maragakis NJ, Wright MC, Poulsen DJ, Lepore AC. Transplantation of Glial Progenitors That Overexpress Glutamate Transporter GLT1 Preserves Diaphragm Function Following Cervical SCI. Mol Ther. 2015 Mar;23(3):533-48

Li K, Nicaise C, Sannie D, Hala TJ, Javed E, *Parker JL, Putatunda R, Regan KA, Suain V, Brion JP, Rhoderick F, Wright MC, Poulsen DJ, Lepore AC. Overexpression of the astrocyte glutamate transporter GLT1 exacerbates phrenic motor neuron degeneration, diaphragm compromise, and forelimb motor dysfunction following cervical contusion spinal cord injury. J Neurosci. 2014 May 28;34(22):7622-38.

Wright MC, Mi R, Connor E, Reed N, Vyas A, Alspalter M, Coppola G, Geschwind DH, Brushart TM, Höke A. Novel roles for osteopontin and clusterin in peripheral motor and sensory axon regeneration. J Neurosci. 2014 Jan 29;34(5):1689-700.

Brushart TM, Aspalter M, Griffin JW, Redett R, Hameed H, Zhou C, Wright MC, Vyas A, Höke A. Schwann cell phenotype is regulated by axon modality and central-peripheral location, and persists in vitro. Exp Neurol. 2013 May 21;247C:272-281.

C Nicaise, D Frank, T Hala, M Authelet, R Pochet, JP Brion, MC Wright and AC Lepore. Early phrenic motor neuron loss and transient respiratory abnormalities following unilateral cervical spinal cord contusion. Journal of Neurotrauma. J Neurotrauma. 2013 Jun 15;30(12):1092-9.

Nicaise C, Putatunda R, Hala TJ, Regan KA, Frank DM, Brion JP, Leroy K, Pochet R, Wright MC, Lepore AC. Degeneration of Phrenic Motor Neurons Induces Long-Term Diaphragm Deficits following Mid-Cervical Spinal Contusion in Mice. Journal of Neurotrauma. 2012 Dec 10;29(18):2748-60

Nicaise C, Hala TJ, Frank DM, *Parker JL, Authelet M, Leroy K, Brion JP, Wright MC, Lepore AC. Phrenic motor neuron degeneration compromises phrenic axonal circuitry and diaphragm activity in a unilateral cervical contusion model of spinal cord injury. Experimental Neurology. 2012 Jun;235(2):539-52


MC Wright, A Kim, YJ Son. Subcutaneous administration of muscarinic antagonists and triple-immunostaining of the Levator auris longus muscle in mice. The Journal of Visual Experiments. 2011;(55). pii: 3124

AC Lepore, C Tolmie, J O’Donnell, MC Wright, C Dejea, B Rauck, A Hoke, AR Ignagni, RP Onders and NJ Maragakis, Peripheral Hyperstimulation Alters Site of Disease Onset and Course in SOD1G93A Rats. Neurobiology of Disease. 2010 Sep;39(3):252-64.

MC Wright, S Potluri, X Wang, E Dentcheva, D Gautam, A Tessler, J Wess, and YJ Son. Distinct muscarinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes contribute to stability and growth, but not compensatory plasticity, of neuromuscular synapses. The Journal of Neuroscience. 2009 Nov 25;29(47):14942-55.

* Image from manuscript selected for cover image

MC Wright, WJ Cho, YJ Son.  Distinct patterns of motor nerve terminal sprouting induced by ciliary neurotrophic factor vs. botulinum toxin.  Journal of Comparative Neurology. 2007; Sep 1;504(1):1-16.

                        * Image from manuscript selected for cover image

MC Wright, YJ  Son.  Ciliary neurotrophic factor is not required for terminal sprouting and compensatory reinnervation of neuromuscular synapses: re-evaluation of CNTF null mice. Experimental Neurology 2007;Jun;205(2):437-48.