Bruce D Trapp,  PhD

Bruce D Trapp, PhD

Department Chair

The Morris R. and Ruth V. Graham Endowed Chair in Biomedical Research - Professor, Molecular Medicine, CCLCM-CWRU

Lerner Research Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195


Our research aims are to obtain a better understanding of cellular/molecular events involved in glial cell development and myelin formation in the central and peripheral nervous systems (CNS and PNS) and to understand how myelin, myelin-forming cells, and axons are destroyed in autoimmune and inherited diseases of myelin.

New data about the normal functioning of myelin-forming cells and myelin-axon interactions will help us understand the pathogenic mechanisms involved in permanent neurological disability in human diseases of myelin.

Cellular/Molecular Biology of Myelination: Our aim is to obtain a better understanding of cellular/molecular events that regulate production and differentiation of oligodendrocytes and CNS myelination. Using transgenic mice, we study the role of myelin and myelin proteins in maintaining axonal function and survival. We also investigate the role ofCNS progenitor cells as a source of new oligodendrocytes in the adult brain.

Pathogenesis of Neurological Disability in Multiple Sclerosis (MS): In these studies, we seek to determine the causes of MS, an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the CNS, and to therapeutically preventirreversible neurological disability in MS patients. Historically, it has been assumed that axons were spared most of the pathological consequences of inflammatory demyelination. We have described axonal degeneration during demyelination and as a result of chronic demyelination. We also focus on neuronal degeneration and axonal pathology in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of MS patients. Recent studies also focus on the therapeutic potential of progenitor cells to repair demyelinated or dysmyelinated brain.

Selected Publications (2014-present):

Xiong L, McCoy M, Komuro H, West XZ, Yakubenko V, Gao D, Dudiki T, Milo A, Chen J, Podrez EA, Trapp B, Byzova TV.(2022) Inflammation-dependent oxidative stress metabolites as a hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Free Radic Biol Med. 178:125-133. PMID: 34871763; PMCID: PMC8744315

Zheng Y, Dudman J, Chen JT, Mahajan KR, Herman D, Fox RJ, Ontaneda D, Trapp BD, Nakamura K. (2022)  Sensitivity of T1/T2-weighted ratio in detection of cortical demyelination is similar to magnetization transfer ratio using post-mortem MRI. Mult Scler. 28(2):198-205. PMID: 34014144; PMCID: PMC8605037

Mahajan KR, Amin M, Poturalski M, Lee J, Herman D, Zheng Y, Androjna C, Howell M, Fox RJ, Trapp BD, Jones SE, Nakamura K, Ontaneda D. (2021) Juxtacortical susceptibility changes in progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy at the gray-white matter junction correlates with iron-enriched macrophages. Mult Scler. 2021 Mar 22:1352458521999651. PMID: 33749379

Baltan S, Jawaid SS, Chomyk AM, Kidd GJ, Chen J, Battapady HD, Chan R, Dutta R, Trapp BD. (2021) Neuronal hibernation following hippocampal demyelination. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 9(1):34. PMID: 33648591; PMCID: PMC7923530

Licht-Mayer S, Campbell GR, Canizares M, Mehta AR, Gane AB, McGill K, Ghosh A, Fullerton A, Menezes N, Dean J, Dunham J, Al-Azki S, Pryce G, Zandee S, Zhao C, Kipp M, Smith KJ, Baker D, Altmann D, Anderton SM, Kap YS, Laman JD, Hart BA', Rodriguez M, Watzlawick R, Schwab JM, Carter R, Morton N, Zagnoni M, Franklin RJM, Mitchell R, Fleetwood-Walker S, Lyons DA, Chandran S, Lassmann H, Trapp BD, Mahad DJ. (2020) Enhanced axonal response of mitochondria to demyelination offers neuroprotection: implications for multiple sclerosis. Acta Neuropathol. 140(2):143-167. PMID: 32572598; PMCID: PMC7360646

Absinta M, Lassmann H, Trapp BD. (2020) Mechanisms underlying progression in multiple sclerosis. Curr Opin Neurol. 33(3):277-285. PMID: 32324705; PMCID: PMC7337978

Mahajan KR, Nakamura K, Cohen JA, Trapp BD, Ontaneda D. (2020) Intrinsic and Extrinsic Mechanisms of Thalamic Pathology in Multiple Sclerosis. Ann Neurol. 88(1):81-92. PMID: 32286701

Nakamura K, Rudick RA, Ontaneda D, Fox RJ, Trapp BD, Fisher E. (2020) Fourteen-year serial MRIs of patients with mild and severe courses of MS. Neurol Clin Pract. 10(1):e5-e6. PMID: 32190426; PMCID: PMC7057063

Das A, Bastian C, Trestan L, Suh J, Dey T, Trapp BD, Baltan S, Dana H. (2020) Reversible Loss of Hippocampal Function in a Mouse Model of Demyelination/Remyelination. Front Cell Neurosci. 13:588. PMID: 32038176; PMCID: PMC6987410

Zhang H, Kim Y, Ro EJ, Ho C, Lee D, Trapp BD, Suh H. (2020) Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Neural Circuit Formation in a Cuprizone-Induced Multiple Sclerosis Mouse Model. J Neurosci. 40(2):447-458. PMID: 31719166; PMCID: PMC6948946

Tripathi A, Volsko C, Garcia JP, Agirre E, Allan KC, Tesar PJ, Trapp BD, Castelo-Branco G, Sim FJ, Dutta R. (2019) Oligodendrocyte Intrinsic miR-27a Controls Myelination and Remyelination. Cell Rep. 29(4):904-919.e9. PMID: 31644912; PMCID: PMC6874400

Dutta R, Mahajan KR, Nakamura K, Ontaneda D, Chen J, Volsko C, Dudman J, Christie E, Dunham J, Fox RJ, Trapp BD. (2019) Comprehensive Autopsy Program for Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis. J Vis Exp. 2019 Jul 19;(149). PMID: 31380830

Davalos D, Mahajan KR, Trapp BD. (2019) Brain fibrinogen deposition plays a key role in MS pathophysiology - Yes. Mult Scler. 25(11):1434-1435. PMID: 31315512; PMCID: PMC6750992

Trapp BD, Ontaneda D. (2018) Identifying a new subtype of multiple sclerosis. Neurodegener Dis Manag. 8(6):367-369. PMID: 30215581

Trapp BD, Vignos M, Dudman J, Chang A, Fisher E, Staugaitis SM, Battapady H, Mork S, Ontaneda D, Jones SE, Fox RJ, Chen J, Nakamura K, Rudick RA. (2018) Cortical neuronal densities and cerebral white matter demyelination in multiple sclerosis: a retrospective study. Lancet Neurol. 17(10):870-884. PMID: 30143361; PMCID: PMC6197820

Dutta R, Trapp BD. (2018) Much, if not all, of the cortical damage in MS can be attributed to the microglial cell - No. Mult Scler. 24(7):897-899. PMID: 29754529; PMCID: PMC5995597

Koenig KA, Rao SM, Lowe MJ, Lin J, Sakaie KE, Stone L, Bermel RA, Trapp BD, Phillips MD. (2018) The role of the thalamus and hippocampus in episodic memory performance in patients with multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler. 25(4):574-584. PMID: 29512427; PMCID: PMC6119546

He X, Zhang L, Queme LF, Liu X, Lu A, Waclaw RR, Dong X, Zhou W, Kidd G, Yoon SO, Buonanno A, Rubin JB, Xin M, Nave KA, Trapp BD, Jankowski MP, Lu QR. (2018) A histone deacetylase 3-dependent pathway delimits peripheral myelin growth and functional regeneration. Nat Med. 24(3):338-351. PMID: 29431744; PMCID: PMC5908710

Chen J, Kostenko V, Pioro EP, Trapp BD. (2018) MR Imaging-based Estimation of Upper Motor Neuron Density in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Feasibility Study. Radiology 287(3):955-964. PMID: 29361242; PMCID: PMC5978454

Jawaid S, Kidd GJ, Wang J, Swetlik C, Dutta R, Trapp BD. (2018) Alterations in CA1 hippocampal synapses in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome. Glia 66(4):789-800. PMID: 29274095; PMCID: PMC5812820

Nakamura K, Chen JT, Ontaneda D, Fox RJ, Trapp BD. (2017) T1-/T2-weighted ratio differs in demyelinated cortex in multiple sclerosis. Ann Neurol. 82(4):635-639. PMID: 28833377

Chomyk AM, Volsko C, Tripathi A, Deckard SA, Trapp BD, Fox RJ, Dutta R. (2017) DNA methylation in demyelinated multiple sclerosis hippocampus. Sci Rep. 7(1):8696. PMID: 28821749; PMCID: PMC5562763

Yin X, Kidd GJ, Ohno N, Perkins GA, Ellisman MH, Bastian C, Brunet S, Baltan S, Trapp BD. (2016) Proteolipid protein-deficient myelin promotes axonal mitochondrial dysfunction via altered metabolic coupling. J Cell Biol. 215(4):531-542. PMID: 27872255; PMCID: PMC5119941

Bai CB, Sun S, Roholt A, Benson E, Edberg D, Medicetty S, Dutta R, Kidd G, Macklin WB, Trapp B. (2016) A mouse model for testing remyelinating therapies. Exp Neurol. 283(Pt A):330-340. PMID: 27384502; PMCID: PMC5207347

Chen Z, Chen JT, Johnson M, Gossman ZC, Hendrickson M, Sakaie K, Martinez-Rubio C, Gale JT, Trapp BD. (2015) Cuprizone does not induce CNS demyelination in nonhuman primates. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2:208-13. PMID: 25750925; PMCID: PMC4338961

Mahad DH, Trapp BD, Lassmann H. (2015) Pathological mechanisms in progressive multiple sclerosis. Lancet Neurol. 14:183-93. PMID: 25772897

Yin X, Kiryu-Seo S, Kidd GJ, Feltri ML, Wrabetz L, Trapp BD. (2015) Proteolipid protein cannot replace P0 protein as the major structural protein of peripheral nervous system myelin. Glia 63:66-77. PMID: 25066805; PMCID: PMC4237650

Chiang H, Ohno N, Hsieh YL, Mahad DJ, Kikuchi S, Komuro H, Hsieh ST, Trapp BD. (2015) Mitochondrial fission augments capsaicin-induced axonal degeneration. Acta Neuropathol. 129:81-96. PMID: 25322817; PMCID: PMC4282704

Chen Z, Jalabi W, Hu W, Park HJ, Gale JT, Kidd GJ, Bernatowicz R, Gossman ZC, Chen JT, Dutta R, Trapp BD. (2014) Microglial displacement of inhibitory synapses provides neuroprotection in the adult brain. Nat Commun. 22:4486-97. PMID: 25047355; PMCID: PMC4109015

Ohno N, Chiang H, Mahad DJ, Kidd GJ, Liu L, Ransohoff RM, Sheng ZH, Komuro H, Trapp BD. (2014) Mitochondrial immobilization mediated by syntaphilin facilitates survival of demyelinated axons. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 111:9953-58. PMID: 24958879; PMCID: PMC4103317

Dutta R, Trapp BD. (2014) Relapsing and progressive forms of multiple sclerosis: insights from pathology. Curr Opin Neurol. 27:271-78. PMID: 24722325; PMCID: PMC4132635

Huynh JL, Garg P, Thin TH, Yoo S, Dutta R, Trapp BD, Haroutunian V, Zhu J, Donovan MJ, Sharp AJ, Casaccia P. (2014) Epigenome-wide differences in pathology-free regions of multiple sclerosis-affected brains. Nat Neurosci. 17:121-30. PMID: 24270187; PMCID: PMC3934491

US Patent Patent Title Issue Date First-Named Inventor


Multipotent neural stem cells

September 28, 2010

Bruce Trapp


Multipotent neural stem cells

February 26, 2013

Bruce Trapp