Graduate Studies Faculty

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Charles K. Meshul, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience and Pathology (OHSU)
Research Biologist and Director, Electron Microscopy Facility (VA)
Admin Unit: SOM-Behavioral Neuroscience Department
Phone: 503-220-8262, x56788
Lab Phone: 503-220-8262, x54142
Fax: 503-273-5351
Office: VA: Room 520, Bldg 101
Mail Code: VA: RD-29
Behavioral Neuroscience
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Research Interests:
Parkinson's disease, drugs of abuse, electron/light microscopy, immunocytochemistry, in vivo microdialysis, synaptic plasticity, neuroleptic drugs, treadmill exercise, neuroanatomy, cellular » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Academic Term Available Winter 2014 Yes Spring 2014 Yes Fall 2015 Yes Summer 2015 Yes Fall 2014 Yes Spring 2015 Yes Winter 2015 Yes Summer 2016 Yes Fall 2016 Yes Winter 2016 Yes Spring 2016 Yes Summer 2017 Yes Fall 2017 Yes Winter 2017 Yes Spring 2017 Yes
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Meshul might be available as a mentor for 2016-2017. Dr. Meshul is not available as a mentor for 2013-2014. Dr. Meshul is not available as a mentor for 2014-2015. Dr. Meshul might be available as a mentor for 2015-2016.

Research Interests

My laboratory is mainly involved in investigating electron microscopic/immunocytochemical changes in synapses within the brain following various drug treatment procedures or lesions of the nigrostriatal pathway, as a model for Parkinson’s disease (PD), and correlating these findings with functional/protein changes using in vivo microdialysis/westerns and motor behaviors in mice. Using a new progressive mouse model of PD developed in my lab, by administering increased doses of the toxin, MPTP, we have found that exposure of mice to a socially enriched environment can, after the initiation of the loss of dopamine, slow down or block the neurochemical and motor behavioral deficits due to continued treatment with MPTP. We are currently investigating 1.) the therapeutic affects of exercise in this same progressive MPTP model of PD in both young and aged mice, 2.) the effect of MPTP in a double floxed line of mice (lox-P-Vgat; lox-P-Vglut2) in which either the motor cortex is activated or the subthalamic nucleus is inactivated by infusion of AAV-cre. Either treatment results in neuroprotection from dopamine loss in the striatum and substantia nigira, and 3.) the effect of a flavinoid derivative, which specifically activates the brain derived neurotrophic factor receptor, TrkB, on blocking the further loss of dopamine during continued MPTP treatment.


B.A. (1973) University of California, Los Angeles
Ph.D. (1982) University of Illinois Medical Center

Selected Recent Publications 

Walker RH, Davies G, Koch RJ, Haack AK, Moore C, Meshul CK: Effects of zona incerta lesions upon striatal neurochemistry and behavioural asymmetry in 6OHDA-lesioned rats. J Neuroscience Research, 88:2964-2975 (2010).

Goldberg NRS, Haack AK, Meshul CK:  Enriched environment promotes similar neuronal and behavioral recovery in a young and aged mouse model of Parkinson’s disease. Neuroscience, 172:433-452 (2011).

Smith BA, Goldberg NRS, Meshul CK:  Effects of treadmill exercise on behavioral recovery and neural changes in the substantia nigra and striatum of the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-lesioned mouse.  Brain Research, 1386:70-80(2011).

Goldberg NRS, Haack AK, Lim NS, Janson OK, Meshul CK: Dopaminergic and behavioral correlates of progressive lesioning of the nigrostriatal pathway with MPTP.  Neuroscience, 180:256-271 (2011).

Goldberg NRS, Meshul CK: Effect of intermittent washout periods on progressive lesioning of the nigrostriatal pathway with MPTP. Neuroscience, 182:203-7(2011).

Goldberg NRS, Hampton T, McCue S, Kale A, Meshul CK: Profiling changes in gait dynamics due to progressive 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced nigrostriatal lesioning. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 89:1698-706(2011).

Goldberg NRS, Fields V, Pflibsen L, Salvatore MF, Meshul CK: Social enrichment attenuates nigrostriatal lesioning and reverses motor impairment in a progressive 1-methyl-2-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of Parkinson’s disease. Neurobiology of Disease, 45:1051-1067 (2012).

Walker RH, Moore C, DaviesG, Dirling LB, Koch RJ, Meshul CK:  Effects of subthalamic nucleus lesions and stimulation upon corticostriatal afferents in the 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rat. PLoS One, 7(3):e32919 (2012).

Mao P, Meshul CK, Thuillier P, Reddy PH:  Neurotransmitter CART as a therapeutic candidate for Parkinson’s disease.  Pharmaceuticals, 6:108-123 (2013).

Spinelli KJ, Taylor JK, Osterberg VR, Churchill MJ, Pollock E, Moore C, Meshul CK, Unni VK:  Alpha-synuclein aggregation begins at presynaptic terminals. Journal of Neuroscience, 34:2037-50, 2014.