Andrea J. Elberger, Ph.D.

Andrea J. Elberger, Ph.D.

Professor - Retired

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
855 Monroe Avenue, Suite 515
Memphis, TN 38163
Email: Andrea J. Elberger



  • Ph.D. Institution: State University of New York at Stony Brook, Department of Psychology
  • Postdoctoral: University of Pennsylvania, Department of Anatomy

Research Interests

Studies of the interaction of the corpus callosum and visual system during development have shown that the corpus callosum has a role in the development of many different visual functions. Simple functions such as eye alignment, depth perception, visuomotor coordination and visual field organization, as well as more complex visual functions such as spatial resolution and binocular interactions, are altered by neonatal corpus callosum section. However, there is a specific time interval during which the interaction between the corpus callosum and the developing visual system seems to take place. This interval, or critical period, is limited to the first postnatal month. Morphological studies have illustrated that callosal connections during development are plastic with respect to alterations in visual input. Not all callosal connections are required for normal visual development to occur.

Several different projects are currently under investigation in the laboratory. One major project deals with determination of the distribution and extent of corpus callosum cell bodies and dendrites at different stages of development in different mammalian species. Another major project involves the determination of the neurotransmitters used by callosal cells and by cells presynaptic and postsynaptic to callosal cells. A parallel project investigates of the development of thalamocortical/corticothalamic pathways and their relationship to the developing corpus callosum. These analyses are related to the mechanism by which the corpus callosum has a critical role in the development and/or maintenance of a normal visual system. The morphological studies are being performed at both light (epifluorescence, brightfield, confocal laser scanning) and electron microscopic levels and the results will be integrated via computer reconstruction of callosal and visual cortical microcircuitry.

Representative Publications

  • Guley NH, Rogers JT, Del Mar NA, Deng Y, Islam RM, D'Surney L, Ferrell J, Deng B, Hines-Beard J, Bu W, Ren H, Elberger AJ, Marchetta JG, Rex TS, Honig MG, Reiner A. A Novel Closed-Head Model of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Using Focal Primary Overpressure Blast to the Cranium in Mice. J Neurotrauma. 2016 Feb 15;33(4):403-22. doi: 10.1089/neu.2015.3886. Epub 2015 Dec 17. PubMed PMID: 26414413; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4761824.
  • Reiner A, Heldt SA, Presley CS, Guley NH, Elberger AJ, Deng Y, D'Surney L, Rogers JT, Ferrell J, Bu W, Del Mar N, Honig MG, Gurley SN, Moore BM 2nd. Motor, visual and emotional deficits in mice after closed-head mild traumatic brain injury are alleviated by the novel CB2 inverse agonist SMM-189. Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Dec 31;16(1):758-87. doi: 10.3390/ijms16010758. PubMed PMID: 25561230; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4307274.
  • Heldt SA, Elberger AJ, Deng Y, Guley NH, Del Mar N, Rogers J, Choi GW, Ferrell J, Rex TS, Honig MG, Reiner A. A novel closed-head model of mild traumatic brain injury caused by primary overpressure blast to the cranium produces sustained emotional deficits in mice. Front Neurol. 2014 Jan 22;5:2. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2014.00002. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 24478749; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3898331.
  • Gurley SN, Abidi AH, Allison P, Guan P, Duntsch C, Robertson JH, Kosanke SD, Keir ST, Bigner DD, Elberger AJ, Moore BM 2nd. Mechanism of anti-glioma activity and in vivo efficacy of the cannabinoid ligand KM-233. J Neurooncol. 2012 Nov;110(2):163-77. doi: 10.1007/s11060-012-0958-5. Epub 2012 Aug 9. PubMed PMID: 22875710.
  • Du X, Elberger AJ, Matthews DB, Hamre KM. Heterozygous deletion of NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor alters ethanol-related behaviors and regional expression of NR2 subunits in the brain. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2012 Jan-Feb;34(1):177-86. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Sep 14. PubMed PMID: 21945132.
  • Livy DJ, Elberger AJ. Alcohol exposure during the first two trimesters-equivalent alters the development of corpus callosum projection neurons in the rat. Alcohol. 2008 Jun;42(4):285-93. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2008.04.002. Epub 2008 May 12. PubMed PMID: 18468834; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2683683.

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