Claire Meehan – University of Copenhagen

Claire Meehan

Lab leader: Associate Professor Claire Meehan

University of Copenhagen
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Department of Neuroscience
Panum building, room 33.3.51
Blegdamsvej 3
DK-2200 Copenhagen N

Phone: +45 24340048

Publication List
Lab Members


The main experimental approach of the laboratory has been the use and development of electrophysiological techniques in which the excitability and connectivity of spinal neurones can be investigated in transgenic rodent models in vivo. Using this, we explore both normal spinal motor control and the role of changes in neuronal excitability in the pathophysiology of various injury and disease states affecting the motor system.

We focus mainly on:

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. This is a neurodegenerative disease preferentially affecting upper and lower motor neurons with no current cure. The underlying pathophysiology of the disease is unclear but there is considerable evidence that neuronal excitability plays a role. Using transgenic models of the disease we are exploring the contributions of altered neuronal excitability to the degeneration of the motoneurons.

Spinal cord injury. Spinal cord trauma results not only in the loss of functions controlled by the spinal cord below the injury, but also gains of function. These can serious impair quality of life and include chronic pain, autonomic dysfunction and spasticity. We are exploring the plasticity of neuronal excitability and circuitry following spinal cord injury that underlie these phenomena.   

Plasticity of excitable domains of axons:  We are interested in plasticity of the action potential generating region of motoneurons- the axon initial segment along with the nodes of Ranvier where action potentials are renewed. We have shown these to be highly plastic structures on spinal motoneurons and are trying to investigate the role that this plays in various injury and disease states.

Key Publications

  • Maglemose R, Hedegaard A, Lehnhoff J, Moldovan M, Grondahl L & Meehan CF. (2017) Potassium channel abnormalities are consistent with early axon degeneration of motor axons in the G127X SOD-1 Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Experimental Neurology 2017 Jun;292:154-167
  • Meehan CF. Mayr KA, Manuel M, Nakanishi ST, & Whelan PLJ. (2017) A protocol for using decerebrate mice to record from spinal cord circuits. Nat Protoc. Apr; 12(4):732-747.
  • Hedegaard A, Lehnhoff J, Moldovan M, Grøndahl L, Petersen NC, Meehan CF. (2015) Postactivation depression of the Ia EPSP in motoneurons is reduced in both the G127X SOD1 model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and in aged mice. J. Neurophysiol. Aug;114(2):1196-210.
  • Hultborn H, Zhang M & Meehan CF. (2013) Plateau Potential Properties in Spinal Cord Neurons. Curr Pharm Des.19(24):4357-70.
  • Meehan CF, Moldovan M, Marklund SL, Graffmo KS, Nielsen JB, Hultborn H. Intrinsic (2010) Properties of Lumbar Motoneurons in the Adult G127insTGGG Superoxide Dismutase-1 Mutant Mouse in Vivo: Evidence for Increased Persistent Inward Currents. Acta Physiol (Oxf). Dec;200(4):361-76.
  • Meehan CF, Sukiasyan N, Zhang M, Nielsen JB, Hultborn H. (2010)  Intrinsic properties of mouse lumbar motoneurons revealed by intracellular recording in vivo. J Neurophysiol. May; 103(5):2599-610.
  • Meehan CF, Grøndahl L, Nielsen JB, Hultborn H. (2012) Fictive Locomotion in the Adult Decerebrate and Spinal Mouse In Vivo. J Physiol . Jan 15;590(Pt 2):289-300
  • Meehan CF, MacDermid VE, Montague SJ, Neuber-Hess M, Rose PK. (2011) Dendrite-derived supernumerary axons on adult axotomized motor neurons possess proteins that are essential for the initiation and propagation of action potentials and synaptic vesicle release. J Neurosci. May 4; 31(18):6732-40.

Current Funding

Læge Sofus Carl Emil Friis og Hustru Olga Doris Friis Legat.