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  Home > VBS Faculty > Alvin J. Beitz

Alvin J. Beitz

Al Beitz

e-mail: beitz001@umn.edu


205 Veterinary Science Building
1971 Commonwealth Avenue
University of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN 55108


B.S., Gannon University
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Post-Doctoral, Harvard Medical School

Research Interests
Dr. Beitz's laboratory has several lines of ongoing research. One of the current projects focuses on identifying factors secreted by tumors that cause cancer pain in animals and humans (the neurochemical and molecular basis of cancer pain). His laboratory has been involved with developing several animal models of cancer pain. We are also interested in the mechanisms underlying tumor metastasis focusing on bone metastasis and metastasis of pancreatic tumors. Microperfusion studies are underway to identify the substances secreted by tumors. Once the substances are identified tumor cells are transfected with siRNA constructs to knockdown these substances in order to determine the role they play in tumor-induced pain and/or tumor metastasis. A second major research project in the lab focuses on investigating the basis for gender differences observed in certain pain syndromes. A number of pain syndromes are more common in females than males and this project attempts to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for these sex differences. We are also investigating the mechanisms that underlie the development of pain in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. Finally, work is being done to determine the neural mechanisms responsible for acupuncture’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.

Selected Publications
(For a comprehensive list of  Dr. Beitz's recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)  

Moon JY, Roh DH, Yoon SY, Kang SY, Choi SR, Kwon SG, Choi HS, Han HJ, Beitz AJ, Lee JH. (2013) Sigma-1 receptor-mediated increase in spinal p38 MAPK phosphorylation leads to the induction of mechanical allodynia in mice and neuropathic rats. Exp Neurol. 247:383-91. PMID: 23333567.

Roh DH, Seo MS, Choi HS, Park SB, Han HJ, Beitz AJ, Kang KS, Lee JH. (2013) Transplantation of human umbilical cord blood or amniotic epithelial stem cells alleviates mechanical allodynia after spinal cord injury in rats. Cell Transplant. 22(9):1577-90. PMID: 23294734.

Choi SR, Roh DH, Yoon SY, Kang SY, Moon JY, Kwon SG, Choi HS, Han HJ, Beitz AJ, Oh SB, Lee JH. (2013) Spinal sigma-1 receptors activate NADPH oxidase 2 leading to the induction of pain hypersensitivity in mice and mechanical allodynia in neuropathic rats. Pharmacol Res. 74:56-67. PMID:23732704

Akgün E, Javed MI, Lunzer MM, Smeester BA, Beitz, AJ and Portoghese PS (2013) Opioid mu agonist/mGluR5 antagonist bivalent ligands produce potent antinociception in mice with inflammatory pain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jul 9;110(28):11595-9.

Kang SY, Roh DH, Kim HY, Kang SY, Han HJ, Beitz AJ, Lee JH. (2013) Blockade of adrenal medulla-derived epinephrine potentiates bee venom-induced antinociception in the mouse formalin test: involvement of peripheral beta-adrenoceptors. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine vol. 2013, Article ID 809062, 9 pages, doi:10.1155/2013/809062.

Smeester BA, Al-Gizawiy M and Beitz, AJ (2012) Effects of Different Electroacupuncture Scheduling Regimens on Murine Bone Tumor-Induced Hyperalgesia: Sex Differences and Role of Inflammation, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2012, Article ID 671386, 16 pages. doi:10.1155/2012/671386. PMID: 23320035

Seo HS, Roh DH, Kwon SG, Yoon SY, Kang SY, Moon JY, Choi SR, Beitz AJ, Lee JH. (2011) Acidic pH facilitates peripheral αβmeATP-mediated nociception in rats: differential roles of P2X, P2Y, ASIC and TRPV1 receptors in ATP-induced mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia. Neuropharmacology. 60(4):580-6. PMID: 21172361

Roh DH, Choi SR, Yoon SY, Kang SY, Moon JY, Kwon SG, Han HJ, Beitz AJ, Lee JH. (2011) Spinal nNOS activation mediates sigma-1 receptor-induced mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity in mice: involvement of PKC-dependent NR1 phosphorylation. Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Mar 10. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01316.x. [Epub ahead of print]] PMID: 21391983

Wacnik, PW, Pacharinsak, C, Beitz, AJ (2011) Animal Models of Cancer Pain. In Chao Ma and Jun-Ming Zhang (eds.), Animal Models of Pain, Neuromethods, vol. 49, 117-145; Springer.

Roh DH, Yoon SY, Seo HS, Kang SY, Han HJ, Beitz AJ, Lee JH. (2010) Intrathecal injection of carbenoxolone, a gap junction decoupler, attenuates the induction of below-level neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury in rats. Exp Neurol. 224(1):123-32. PMID: 20226782

Roh DH, Yoon SY, Seo HS, Kang SY, Moon JY, Song S, Beitz AJ, Lee JH. (2010) Sigma-1 receptor-induced increase in murine spinal NR1 phosphorylation is mediated by the PKC-alpha and epsilon, but not the PKC-zeta isoforms. Neurosci Lett. 477(2):95-9. PMID: 20600171.

Schiller, KA, Zillhardt, MR, Alley J, Borjesson DL, Beitz, AJ, Mauro, LJ. (2009) Secretion of MCP-1 and other paracrine factors in a novel tumor-bone co-culture model. BMC Cancer 9:45. PMID: 19192289
Pacharinsak, C and Beitz, A.J. (2008) Animal Models of Cancer Pain (review). Comparative Medicine 58:220-233.

Lynch, JL, Gallus, NJ, Ericson ME, Beitz AJ (2008) Analysis of nociception, sex and peripheral nerve innervation in the TMEV animal model of multiple sclerosis. Pain 136 (3):293-304.

Lynch, JL, Alley, JF, Wellman L, Beitz AJ (2008) Decreased spinal cord opioid receptor expression and antinociception in a TMEV mouse model of multiple sclerosis. Brain Research 1191:180-91. 

Current Funding:
1. NIH/NCI (R01-CA84233), Title: Cancer Pain: Nerve/Tumor Interactions; Beitz, Principal Investigator; $1,831,189 (total costs 09/07-07/12), project period12/01/1999 –    07/31/2012.

2. NIH (R01HD052074), Title: GABAergic Dysfunction in Autism. Fatemi, Principal Investigator,; Beitz, Coinvestigator.. $1,511,395 (total costs) Project period: 08/15/2007 –    05/31/2012.

3. NIH; Neuroscience Training Program, Beitz, Trainer, (T. Ebner, P.I.), $70,000/yr, 7/1/09-6/30/13.

4. NIH (NIDA) Psychoneuroimmunology Training Program, Beitz, Coinvestigator (T. Molitor, P.I.), $2.939,585, 7/1/09-6/30 

5. NIH (NIDA) Psychoneuroimmunology Training Program, Beitz, Coinvestigator (T. Molitor, P.I.), $2,939,585, 7/1/06-6/30/09.

6. NIH; Neuroscience Training Program, Beitz, Trainer, (T. Ebner, P.I.), $70,000/yr, 7/1/04-6/30/08.



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