Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology staff profiles

Associate Professor Steve Kerr

PositionAssociate Professor
DepartmentDepartment of Pharmacology and Toxicology
QualificationsBSc (E Carolina) PhD (Wake Forest)
Research summaryNeurotoxicology

Research

Interests: hippocampus, glutamate, brain aging, seizures, AMPA and KA receptors, domoic, kainic, excitotoxins, neuroprotection, cardiac damage, SUDEP (Sudden Death in Epilepsy), fungal toxins.

Toxic algal blooms occur with regularity throughout the world. These seasonal events, characterized by the appearance of known and novel marine neurotoxins (including saxitoxin, brevetoxin and domoic acid), pose a serious hazard to both human and animal health, as well as a threat to commercial shellfish industries. In recent years we have received support from the N.Z. Neurological Foundation and the Cawthron Institute (Nelson NZ) to study the mechanisms by which domoic acid (the active toxin in Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) causes seizures, amnesia, and nerve cell loss.

Studies in our lab involve electrophysiological, anatomical, behavioral and molecular approaches and most of our research is currently aimed at mechanisms of CNS neuroprotection and the supersensitivity of the aged brain to excitotoxic insult. In addition, we have recently undertaken studies of cardiac damage following domoic acid. Results to date indicate that a novel CNS neuroprotective mechanism involves G protein-linked KA receptors which impart 'tolerance' to domoic acid and related excitotoxins. Age-related changes in hippocampal AMPA and KA receptors contribute to excitotoxic damage in the CNS.

Publications

Nayak, P. K., & Kerr, D. S. (2015). Functional preservation of hippocampal CA1 by low-dose GYKI-52466 preconditioning in a rat model of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. Brain Research, 1613, 100-109. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.04.004

Read, M. I., Harrison, J. C., Kerr, D. S., & Sammut, I. A. (2015). Atenolol offers superior protection than clonidine against cardiac injury in kainic acid-induced status epilepticus. British Journal of Pharmacology, 172, 4626-4638. doi: 10.1111/bph.13132

Hellyer, S. D., Selwood, A. I., van Ginkel, R., Munday, R., Sheard, P., Miles, C. O., … Kerr, D. S. (2014). In vitro labelling of muscle type nicotinic receptors using a fluorophore-conjugated pinnatoxin F derivative. Toxicon, 87, 17-25. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2014.05.013

Read, M. I., Andreianova, A. A., Harrison, J. C., Goulton, C. S., Sammut, I. A., & Kerr, D. S. (2014). Cardiac electrographic and morphological changes following status epilepticus: Effect of clonidine. Seizure, 23(1), 55-61. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2013.09.012

Nayak, P. K., & Kerr, D. S. (2013). Low-dose GYKI-52466: Prophylactic preconditioning confers long-term neuroprotection and functional recovery following hypoxic-ischaemic brain injury. Neuroscience, 232, 128-138. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.11.063

Journal - Research Article

Read, M. I., Harrison, J. C., Kerr, D. S., & Sammut, I. A. (2015). Atenolol offers superior protection than clonidine against cardiac injury in kainic acid-induced status epilepticus. British Journal of Pharmacology, 172, 4626-4638. doi: 10.1111/bph.13132

Nayak, P. K., & Kerr, D. S. (2015). Functional preservation of hippocampal CA1 by low-dose GYKI-52466 preconditioning in a rat model of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. Brain Research, 1613, 100-109. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.04.004

Read, M. I., Andreianova, A. A., Harrison, J. C., Goulton, C. S., Sammut, I. A., & Kerr, D. S. (2014). Cardiac electrographic and morphological changes following status epilepticus: Effect of clonidine. Seizure, 23(1), 55-61. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2013.09.012

Hellyer, S. D., Selwood, A. I., van Ginkel, R., Munday, R., Sheard, P., Miles, C. O., … Kerr, D. S. (2014). In vitro labelling of muscle type nicotinic receptors using a fluorophore-conjugated pinnatoxin F derivative. Toxicon, 87, 17-25. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2014.05.013

Nayak, P. K., & Kerr, D. S. (2013). Low-dose GYKI-52466: Prophylactic preconditioning confers long-term neuroprotection and functional recovery following hypoxic-ischaemic brain injury. Neuroscience, 232, 128-138. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.11.063

Nayak, P. K., Zhang, H., & Kerr, D. S. (2013). Determination of 1-(4’-aminophenyl)-4-methyl-7,8-methylene-dioxy-2,3-benzodiazepine by high-performance liquid chromatography—diode array detection in plasma and brain in healthy and hypoxic–ischaemic rats. Neuroscience, 232, 139-150. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.12.001

Hellyer, S. D., Selwood, A. I., Rhodes, L., & Kerr, D. S. (2013). Neuromuscular blocking activity of pinnatoxins E, F and G. Toxicon, 76, 214-220. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2013.10.009

Vranyac-Tramoundanas, A., Harrison, J. C., Sawant, P. M., Kerr, D. S., & Sammut, I. A. (2011). Ischemic cardiomyopathy following seizure induction by domoic acid. American Journal of Pathology, 179(1), 141-154. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.03.017

Hellyer, S. D., Selwood, A., Rhodes, L., & Kerr, D. S. (2011). Marine algal pinnatoxins E and F cause neuromuscular block in an in vitro hemidiaphragm preparation. Toxicon, 58, 693-699. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2011.09.006

Sawant, P. M., Mountfort, D. O., & Kerr, D. S. (2010). Spectral analysis of electrocorticographic activity during pharmacological preconditioning and seizure induction by intrahippocampal domoic acid. Hippocampus, 20(8), 994-1002. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20698

Sawant, P. M., Tyndall, J. D. A., Holland, P. T., Peake, B. M., Mountfort, D. O., & Kerr, D. S. (2010). In vivo seizure induction and affinity studies of domoic acid and isodomoic acids-D, -E and -F. Neuropharmacology, 59, 129-138. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2010.03.019

Goulton, C. S., Patten, A. R., Kerr, J. R., & Kerr, D. S. (2010). Pharmacological preconditioning with GYKI 52466: A prophylactic approach to neuroprotection. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 4, 54. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2010.00054

Sawant, P. M., Holland, P. T., Mountfort, D. O., & Kerr, D. S. (2008). In vivo seizure induction and pharmacological preconditioning by domoic acid and isodomoic acids A, B and C. Neuropharmacology, 55, 1412-1418. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2008.09.001

Vranyac-Tramoundanas, A., Harrison, J. C., Clarkson, A. N., Kapoor, M., Winburn, I. C., Kerr, D. S., & Sammut, I. A. (2008). Domoic acid impairment of cardiac energetics. Toxicological Sciences, 105(2), 395-407. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfn132

Hesp, B. R., Clarkson, A. N., Sawant, P. M., & Kerr, D. S. (2007). Domoic acid preconditioning and seizure induction in young and aged rats. Epilepsy Research, 76, 103-112.

Sawant, P. M., Weare, B. A., Holland, P. T., Selwood, A. I., King, K. L., Mikulski, C. M., … Kerr, D. S. (2007). Isodomoic acids A and C exhibit low KA receptor affinity and reduced in vitro potency relative to domoic acid in region CA1 of rat hippocampus. Toxicon, 50, 627-638.

Brewer, L. D., Porter, N. M., Kerr, D. S., Landfield, P. W., & Thibault, O. (2006). Chronic 1 alpha,25-(OH)(2) vitamin D-3 treatment reduces Ca2+-mediated hippocampal biomarkers of aging. Cell Calcium, 40(3), 277-286.

More publications...