Peter G. Smith, Ph.D.

Interim Chair
Co-Director, Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Reasearch Center
Duke University, 1978

Research Focus

Developmental autonomic neurobiology, neuroplasticity and regeneration

Research Interests

Nerves regulate function and structure of peripheral cells. Target cells in turn provide molecular signals that govern the quantity and type of innervation they receive. Our research examines this interplay between nerve and target and the factors that govern neuronal growth and degeneration.  We are especially interested in how this relationship is affected by gonadal steroid hormones such as estrogen.  Ongoing projects examine mechanisms and consequences of neuroplasticity in peripheral tissues including: reorganization of cardiac innervation following myocardial infarction, which may contribute to sudden cardiac death; estrogen-induced remodeling of innervation of the reproductive tract; mechanisms by which nerve projections are pruned under normal and pathophysiological conditions; and the role of estrogen in the etiology of female pain syndromes.

Recent Publications

Zoubina, E. and Smith, P.G. (2003) Expression of estrogen receptors alpha and beta by sympathetic anglion neurons projecting to the proximal urethra of female rats. Journal of Urology, 169: 382-385.

Hasan, W., Pedchenko, T., Krizsan-Agbas, D., Baum, L. and Smith, P.G. (2003) Sympathetic Neurons Synthesize and Secrete Pro-Nerve Growth Factor Protein. Journal of Neurobiology, 57: 38-53.

Krizsan-Agbas, D., Pedchencko, T., Hasan, W., and Smith, P.G. (2003) Estrogen regulates sympathetic neurite outgrowth by modulating brain derived neurotrophic factor synthesis and release by the rodent uterus.  European Journal of Neuroscience, 18: 2760-2768.

Steinle, J.J. and Smith, P.G. (2003) Sensory but not parasympathetic nerves are required for ocular vascular neogenesis after sympathetic denervation.  Autonomic Neuroscience, 109, 34-41.

Blacklock, A.D. and Smith, P.G. (2003) Estrogen increases sensory nociceptor innervation of rat mammary gland.  Journal of Neurobiology, 59: 192-204.

Ting, A.Y., Blacklock, A.D. and Smith, P.G. (2004) Estrogen regulates vaginal sensory and autonomic nerve density in the rat.  Biology of Reproduction, 71:1397-1404.

Blacklock, A.D., Cauveren, J.A. and Smith, P.G. (2004) Estrogen selectively increases sensory nociceptor innervation of arterioles in the female rat.  Brain Research, 1018: 55-65.

Smith, P. G, and Bradshaw, S.  (2004) Innervation of the proximal urethra of ovariectomized and estrogen treated female rats.  Histology and Histopathology, 19: 1109-1116.

Hasan, W., Smith, H. J., Ting, A. Y., and Smith, P. G.(2005) Estrogen alters nerve growth factor receptor expression within sympathetic neurons. Journal of Neurobiology, 65: 192-204.

Blacklock, A.D., Johnson, M.S., and Smith, P.G. (2005) Estrogen increases sensory nociceptor neuritogenesis by a direct, nerve growth factor-independent mechanism. European Journal of Neuroscience, 21: 2320-2328.

Hasan, W. Smith, H.J., Ting, A.Y., and Smith, P.G (2005) Estrogen alters TrkA and p75 neurotrophin receptorexpression within sympathetic neurons.  Journal of Neurobiology, 65: 192-204.

Hasan, W., Jama, A., Donohue, T., Wernli, G., Onyszchuk, G., Al-Hafez, B., Bilgen, M. and Smith, P.G. (2006) Sympathetic Hyperinnervation and Inflammatory Cell NGF Synthesis Following Myocardial Infarction in Rats.  Brain Research, 1124: 142-154.

Smith, P.G. (2008) Autonomic Neuroplasticity: Development .The New Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, In Larry R. Squire, Editor-in-Chief, Academic Press, Oxford.

Smith, P.G.  (2008) Neural control of the pupil. In: “Encyclopedic Reference of Neuroscience.” Binder, M.D., Hirokawa, N., and Windhorst, U. (eds.), Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, in press.

Krizsan-Agbas D, Pedchenko T and Smith P.G. (2008) Neurotrimin is an estrogen-regulated determinant of peripheral sympathetic innervation.  Journal of Neuroscience Research, 86:3086-3095.

Chakrabarty A, Blacklock A, Svojanovsky S, Smith P.G. (2008) Estrogen promotes dorsal root ganglion axon sprouting via a renin-angiotensin system.  Endocrinology, 149: 3452-3460.

Latini C, Frontini A, Morroni M, Marzioni D, Castellucci M and Smith P.G. (2008) Remodeling of uterine innervation.  Cell and Tissue Research, 334: 1-6.

Hasan W. and Smith P.G. Modulation of rat parasympathetic cardiac ganglion phenotype and NGF synthesis by adrenergic nerves. Autonomic Neuroscience. In press.

Smith, P.G., George, M. and Bradshaw, S. Estrogen promotes sympathetic nerve regeneration in the rat proximal urethra.  Urology, in press.

Last modified: Jul 16, 2014


Peter G. Smith, Ph.D.
Interim Chair
Co-Director, Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Reasearch Center

2098 HLSIC
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160

P: (913) 588-7409
F: (913) 588-5677