Picture of Dr. Valerie Verge

Dr. Valerie Verge BSc, PhD Faculty, Anatomy & Cell Biology

About Dr. Valerie Verge

Ph.D. (1990) McGill University
B.Sc. (1980) Concordia University


Nerve Injury and Repair Mechanisms - Role of Neurotrophic Molecules

Neurotrophic molecules are potent regulators of neuronal survival and differentiated phenotype. Current research is aimed at obtaining a greater understanding, at the cellular level, of the role of neurotrophic molecules and their receptors in the maintenance and repair of adult mammalian sensory neurons. The influence of neurotrophins (i.e. nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor or neurotrophin-3) on cytoskeletal, structural, growth/injury-associated and functional genes such as neuropeptides is assessed. Molecular biological, morphometric, histochemical and behavioural approaches are usedto determine the overall impact and therapeutic potential of these molecules.

Selected Publications

  • Verge VM, Andreassen CS, Arnason TG, Andersen H.  Mechanisms of disease: role of neurotrophins in diabetes and diabetic neuropathy.  Handb Clin Neurol. 2014;126:443-60.
  • Ying Z, Misra V, Verge VM.  Sensing nerve injury at the axonal ER: Activated Luman/CREB3 serves as a novel axonally synthesized retrograde regeneration signal.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Nov 11;111(45):16142-7.
  • McLean NA, Popescu BF, Gordon T, Zochodne DW, Verge VM.  Delayed nerve stimulation promotes axon-protective neurofilament phosphorylation, accelerates immune cell clearance and enhances remyelination in vivo in focally demyelinated nerves. PLoS One. 2014 Oct 13;9(10)
  • Pettersson LM, Geremia NM, Ying Z, Verge VM.  Injury-associated PACAP expression in rat sensory and motor neurons is induced by endogenous BDNF.  PLoS One. 2014 Jun 26;9(6).
  • Ying Z, Zhang R, Verge VM, Misra V.  Cloning and Characterization of Rat Luman/CREB3, A Transcription Factor Highly Expressed in Nervous System Tissue.  J Mol Neurosci. 2014 Jun 5. 
  • Nadeau JR, Wilson-Gerwing TD, Verge VM.  Induction of a reactive state in perineuronal satellite glial cells akin to that produced by nerve injury is linked to the level of p75NTR expression in adult sensory neurons.  Glia. 2014 May;62(5):763-77.
  • Zhang R, Rapin N, Ying Z, Shklanka E, Bodnarchuk TW, Verge VM, Misra V.  Zhangfei/CREB-ZF - a potential regulator of the unfolded protein response.  PLoS One. 2013 Oct 14;8(10).
  • Bray GE, Ying Z, Baillie LD, Zhai R, Mulligan SJ, Verge VM.  Extracellular pH and neuronal depolarization serve as dynamic switches to rapidly mobilize trkA to the membrane of adult sensory neurons.  J Neurosci. 2013 May 8;33(19):8202-15.
  • Prosser-Loose EJ, Verge VM, Cayabyab FS, Paterson PG. Protein-energy Malnutrition Alters Hippocampal Plasticity-Associated Protein Expression Following Global Ischemia in the Gerbil. Curr Neurovasc Res. 2010 Oct 1. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Gordon T, Udina E, Verge VM, de Chaves EI.  Brief electrical stimulation accelerates axon regeneration in the peripheral nervous system and promotes sensory axon regeneration in the central nervous system. Motor Control. 2009 Oct;13(4):412-41. Review.
  • Geremia NM, Pettersson LM, Hasmatali JC, Hryciw T, Danielsen N, Schreyer DJ, Verge VM.  Endogenous BDNF regulates induction of intrinsic neuronal growth programs in injured sensory neurons. Exp Neurol. 2010 May;223(1):128-42. Epub 2009 Jul 28.
  • Wilson-Gerwing TD, Johnston JM, Verge VM. p75 neurotrophin receptor is implicated in the ability of neurotrophin-3 to negatively modulate activated ERK1/2 signaling in TrkA-expressing adult sensory neurons. J Comp Neurol. 2009 Sep 1;516(1):49-58.
  • Valderrama X, Rapin N, Verge VM, Misra V.  Zhangfei induces the expression of the nerve growth factor receptor, trkA, in medulloblastoma cells and causes their differentiation or apoptosis. J Neurooncol. 2009 Jan;91(1):7-17. Epub 2008 Aug 22.
  • Wilson-Gerwing TD, Stucky CL, McComb GW, Verge VM.  Neurotrophin-3 significantly reduces sodium channel expression linked to neuropathic pain states. Exp Neurol. 2008 Oct;213(2):303-14. Epub 2008 Jun 14.
  • Webber CA, Xu Y, Vanneste KJ, Martinez JA, Verge VM, Zochodne DW.  Guiding adult Mammalian sensory axons during regeneration.   J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2008 Mar;67(3):212-22.
  • Geremia NM, Gordon T, Brushart TM, Al-Majed AA, Verge VM.  Electrical stimulation promotes sensory neuron regeneration and growth-associated gene expression. Exp Neurol. 2007 Jun;205(2):347-59. Epub 2007 Feb 21.
  • Wilson-Gerwing TD and Verge VMK (2006) Neurotrophin-3 attenuates galanin expression in the chronic constriction injury model of neuropathic pain. Neuroscience 141(4): 2075-85.
  • Geremia NM Gordon T, Brushart  T,  A.A. Al-Majed AA and Verge VMK (2006)  Brief electrical stimulation promotes sensory neuron regeneration of sensory neurons. In revision, J Exp Neurol.
  • Brushart TM, Jari R, Verge V, Rohde C, Gordon T (2005) Electrical stimulation restores the specificity of sensory axon regeneration. Exp Neurol. 194(1):221-9.
  • Wilson-Gerwing TD, Dmyterko M, Johnston JM, Zochodne DW, and Verge VMK (2005) Neurotrophin-3 prevents and reverses thermal hyperalgesia associated with neuropathic pain and attenuates TRPV1 (VR-1) expression in adult sensory neurons. J Neurosci 25(3):758-67.
  • Li , XQ, Verge, VMK, Johnston, JM and Zochodne DW (2004) Unexpected CGRP peptide sequestration and expression within regenerating sensory axons and uninjured neighbour neurons. Journal Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 63(10):1092-103.
  • Pettersson, LME, Heine, T, Verge VMK, Sundler F and Danielsen N (2004) PACAP mRNA is expressed in rat spinal cord neurons. J Comp Neurol 471:85-96.
  • Gratto KA and Verge VMK, 2003.  Neurotrophin-3 downregulates  trkA mRNA , NGF  high-affinity binding sites and associated phenotype in adult DRG neurons.  Eur J Neurosci, 18:1535
  • H. Jongsma Wallin, LME Pettersson, VMK Verge and N. Danielsen, 2003.  Effect of anti-NGF treatment on PACAP expression in adult sensory neurons after adjuvant induced inflammation. Neuroscience 120(2): 325-31
  • D.W. Zochodne, V.M.K. Verge, C. Cheng, A. Hoke, C. Jolley, K. Thomsen,  I. Rubin and M. Lauritzen, 2000.  Nitric oxide synthase activity and expression in experimental diabetic neuropathy.  J Neuropath Exp Neurol 59(9): 798-807.
  • L.A. Karchewski, F. Kim, J. Johnston, R.M. McKnight and V.M.K. Verge, 1999.  Anatomical evidence supporting the potential for modulation by multiple neurotrophins in the majority of adult lumbar sensory neurons.  Journal of Comparative Neurology, 413: 327-341.
  •  L.H. Zinman, G. Lawrence, W. Wang, V.M. Verge, K.E. Dow, D.H. Maurice, P.M. Richardson and R.J. Riopelle, 1998.  Collaborative and reciprocal effect of ciliary neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor on the neuronal phenotype of human neuroblastoma cells.  Journal of Neurochemistry, 70(4); 1411-1420
  •  B.H.J. Juurlink, J.R. Doucette, R.M. Devon and V.M.K. Verge, 1997.  Cell biology and pathology of myelin:  Evolving biological concepts and therapeutic approaches.  The Neuroscientist, 3(1):16-20.
  •  V.M.K. Verge, K.A. Gratto, L.A. Karchewski and P.M. Richardson, 1996.  Neurotrophins and nerve injury in the adult.  Proceedings of the Royal Society Discussion Meeting on Neurotrophins and Sensory Neurons:  Role in development, maintenance and injury.  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 351:423-430.
  • Karchewski, LA, Gratto, KA, Wetmore, C and Verge, VMK (2002) Dynamic patterns of BDNF  expression in injured sensory neurons: differential modulation by NGF and NT-3.  Eur J Neurosci. 16(8):1449-62.
  •  Karimi-Abdolrezaee, S, Verge, VMK and Schreyer, DJ (2002)  Developmental downregulation of GAP-43 expression and timing of target contact in rat corticospinal neurons. Exp Neurol 176(2):390-401.
  • H. Jongsma, N. Danielsen, J.M. Johnston, K.A. Gratto, L.A. Karchewski, & V.M.K. Verge, 2001.  Exogenous NT-3 and NGF differentially modulate PACAP expression in adult sensory neurons, suggesting distinct roles in  injury and inflammation. European J of Neuroscience, 14: 267-282.
  • D.W. Zochodne,  V.M.K. Verge, H. Sun, J.M. Johnston, & C. Cheng, 2001.  Does diabetes target ganglion neurons? Progressive sensory neuron involvement in longterm experimental diabetes, Brain, pp. 124(11): 2319-2334.
  • V.M.K. Verge, T.D. Wilson, L.A. Karchewski and K.A. Gratto, 2000. Changes in DRG neurons after nerve injury: possible involvement in the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain. IN: Progress in Inflammation Research: Mechanisms and Mediators of Neuropathic Pain. (eds A.B. Malmberg, S.R. Chaplan), Birkhauser Verlag, Basel, pp. (submitted-invited)
  • L.A. Karchewski, F. Kim, J. Johnston, R.M. McKnight and V.M.K. Verge, 1999. Anatomical evidence supporting the potential for modulation by multiple neurotrophins in the majority of adult lumbar sensory neurons. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 413: 327-341.
  • L.H. Zinman, G. Lawrence, W. Wang, V.M. Verge, K.E. Dow, D.H. Maurice, P.M. Richardson and R.J. Riopelle, 1998. Collaborative and reciprocal effect of ciliary neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor on the neuronal phenotype of human neuroblastoma cells. Journal of Neurochemistry, 70(4); 1411-1420
  • V.M.K. Verge, K.A. Gratto, L.A. Karchewski and P.M. Richardson, 1996. Neurotrophins and nerve injury in the adult. Proceedings of the Royal Society Discussion Meeting on Neurotrophins and Sensory Neurons: Role in development, maintenance and injury. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 351:423-430.
  • V.M.K. Verge, P.M. Richardson, Z. Wiesenfeld-Hallin and T. Hökfelt, 1995  Differential influence of nerve growth factor on neuropeptide expression in vivo - a novel role in peptide suppression.  The Journal of Neuroscience, 15(3): 2081-2096.
  •  B. Friedman, D. Kleinfeld, N.Y. Ip, V.M.K. Verge, R. Moulton, P. Boland, E. Zlotchenko, R.M. Lindsay, and L. Liming, 1995.  BDNF and NT-4/5 exert neurotrophic, influences on injured adult spinal motor neurons.  The Journal of Neuroscience, 15(2): 1044-1056.
  •  J. Frisén, U. Arvidsson, T. Lindholm, K. Fried, V.M.K. Verge, S. Cullheim, T. Hökfelt and M. Risling, 1993.  trkC expression in the injured rat spinal cord.   Neuroreport.  5: 349-352.
  • M.-L. Deckner, J. Frisén, V.M.K. Verge, T. Hökfelt and M. Risling, 1993.  Localization of neurotrophin receptors in olfactory epithelium and bulb.  Neuroreport, 5: 302-304.
  • X. Zhang, V.M.K. Verge , J. Gong, D. Bredt, S.H. Snyder and T. Hökfelt, 1993.   Nitric oxide synthase-like immunoreactivity in lumbar dorsal root ganglia and spinal cord of rat and monkey and effects of peripheral axotomy.  Journal of Comparative Neurology. 5: 1510-1519.
  •  J. Funakoshi, J. Frisén, G. Barbany, T. Timmusk, O. Zachrisson, V.M.K. Verge, and H. Persson, 1993.  Differential expression for neurotrophins and their receptors following axotomy of the sciatic nerve.  Journal of Cell Biology, 123(2): 455-465.
  • J. Frisén, V.M.K. Verge, K. Fried,  M. Risling, H. Persson, J. Trotter, T. Hökfelt and D. Lindholm, 1993.  Characterization of rat glial trkB receptors: differential response to injury in the central and peripheral nervous system.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 90: 4971-4975.
  • X.-J. Xu, M.J.C. Puke, V.M.K. Verge, Z. Wiesenfeld-Hallin, J. Hughes and T. Hökfelt, 1993.  Up-regulation of cholecystokinin in primary sensory neurons is associated with morphine in sensitivity in experimental neuropathic pain it the rat.  Neuroscience Letters, 152: 129-132.
  • V.M.K. Verge, Z. Wiesenfeld-Hallin and T. Hökfelt, 1993.  Cholecystokinin in mammalian primary sensory neurons and spinal cord:  in situ hybridization studies on rat and monkey spinal ganglia.  European Journal of Neuroscience, 5(3): 240-250.
  • V.M.K. Verge, X.-J. Xu, U. Langel, T. Hökfelt, Z. Wiesenfeld-Hallin and T. Bartfai, 1993.   Evidence for endogenous inhibition of autotomy by galanin in the rat after sciatic nerve section: demonstrated by chronic infusion of a high-affinity galanin receptor antagonist.  Neuroscience Letters, 149: 193-197.
  • X. Zhang, V.M.K. Verge, Z. Wiesenfeld-Hallin, F. Piehl and T. Hökfelt, 1993.   Expression of neuropeptides and neuropeptide mRNAs in spinal cord after axotomy in the rat, with special reference to motoneurons and galanin.  Experimental Brain Research, 93: 450-461
  •  J. Frisén, V.M.K. Verge, S. Cullheim, K. Fried, H. Persson, T. Hökfelt and M. Risling, 1992.  Increased levels of trkB and trkB protein-like immunoreactivity in the injured rat and cat spinal cord.  Proceedings of the National Academy of  Sciences, 89: 11282-11286
  •  V.M.K. Verge, X. Zhang, X-J. Xu, Z. Wiesenfeld-Hallin and T. Hökfelt, 1992.   Marked increase in nitric oxide synthase mRNA levels in rat dorsal root ganglia after peripheral axotomy- in situ hybridization and functional studies.  Proceedings of the National Academy of  Sciences, 89: 11617-11286
  • V.M.K, Verge, J.P. Merlio, J. Grondin, P. Ernsfors, H. Persson, R.J. Riopelle, T. Hökfelt and P.M. Richardson, 1992.  Colocalization of NGF binding sites, trk mRNA, and low-affinity NGF receptor mRNA in primary sensory neurons: responses to injury and infusion of NGF.  The Journal of Neuroscience, 12(10) 4011-4022.
  •  H. Lindå, F. Piehl, A. Dagerlind, V.M.K. Verge, U. Arvidsson, S. Cullheim, M. Risling, B. Ulfhake and T. Hökfelt, 1992.  Expression of GAP43 mRNA in the adult mammalian spinal cord under normal conditions and after different types of lesions, with special reference to motor neurons.  Experimental Brain Research, 91(2) 284-295.
  • R.J. Riopelle, K.E. Dow, V.M.K. Verge and P.M. Richardson, 1991.  Molecular interactions modulating neuronal survival and growth.  The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 18, 398-402.
  • A. Mandelys, E. Cooper, V.M.K. Verge and P.M. Richardson, 1990.  Nerve growth factor induces functional acetylcholine receptors on rat sensory neurons in culture.  Neuroscience, 37(2) 523-530.
  • V.M.K. Verge, W. Tetzlaff, M. Bisby and P.M. Richardson, 1990.  Influence of nerve growth factor on neurofilament gene expression in mature primary sensory neurons.  The Journal of Neuroscience, 10(6) 2018-2025.
  • V.M.K. Verge, W. Tetzlaff, P.M. Richardson and M.A. Bisby, 1990.  Correlation between GAP43 and nerve growth factor receptors in rat sensory neurons.  The Journal of Neuroscience, 10(3) 926-934.
  • V.M.K. Verge, R.J. Riopelle and P.M. Richardson, 1989.  Nerve growth factor receptors on normal and injured sensory neurons.  The Journal of Neuroscience, 9, 914-922.
  • V.M.K. Verge, P.M. Richardson, R. Benoit and R.J. Riopelle, 1989.  Histochemical characterization of sensory neurons with high-affinity receptors for nerve growth factor.  Journal of Neurocytology, 18, 583-591.
  • P.M. Richardson and V.M.K. Verge, 1987.  Axonal regeneration in dorsal spinal roots in accelerated by peripheral axonal transection.  Brain Research, 411, 406-408.
  • R.J. Riopelle, P.M. Richardson and V.M.K. Verge, 1987.  Distribution and characteristics of nerve growth factor binding on cholinergic neurons of rat and monkey forebrain.  Neurochemical Research, 12, 923-928.
  • R.J. Riopelle, V.M.K. Verge and P.M. Richardson, 1987.  Properties of receptors for nerve growth factor in the mature rat nervous system.  Molecular Brain Research, 3, 45-53.
  • P.M. Richardson and V.M.K. Verge, 1986.  The induction of a regenerative propensity in sensory neurons following peripheral axonal injury.  Journal of Neurocytology, 15, 585-594.
  • P.M. Richardson, V.M.K. Verge Issa and R.J. Riopelle, 1986.  Distribution of neuronal receptors for nerve growth factor in the rat.  The Journal of Neuroscience, 6, 2312-2321.
  • P.M. Richardson and V.M.K. Issa, 1984.  Peripheral injury enhances central regeneration of primary sensory neurons.  Nature, 309 791-793.
  • P.M. Richardson and V.M.K. Issa, 1984.  Transplantation of embryonic spinal and cerebral tissue to sciatic nerves in adult rat.  Brain Research, 298, 146-148.
  •  P.M. Richardson, V.M.K. Issa and A.J. Aguayo, 1984.  Regeneration of long spinal axons in the rat.  Journal of Neurocytology, 13, 165-182.
  • P.M. Richardson, V.M.K. Issa and S. Shemie, 1982.  Regeneration and retrograde degeneration of axons in the rat optic nerve.  Journal of Neurocytology, 11, 940-966.