David D Ginty
David D Ginty, PhD
Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Professor of Neurobiology

A fundamental question in neuroscience is how we perceive and respond to our environment. Our laboratory uses mouse molecular genetics, circuit mapping, and electrophysiological analyses to gain understanding of the development, organization, and function of neural circuits that underlie the sense of touch. Mouse molecular genetic approaches are used to identify, visualize, and functionally manipulate each of the physiologically defined classes of low-threshold mechanosensory neurons (LTMRs), the primary cutaneous sensory neurons that mediate the sense of touch. We have also gained genetic access to neurons that receive and process LTMR inputs in the spinal cord and propagate this information to the brain. Our current goals are to discover: 1) unique functions and properties of LTMR subtypes; 2) the organization and logic of synaptic connections between LTMR subtypes, spinal cord dorsal horn interneurons and projection neurons, and dorsal column nuclei neurons; 3) ascending pathways that underlie the perception of touch, 4) cellular and circuit level alterations that underlie touch sensitivity deficits in autism spectrum disorders and neuropathic pain, and; 5) mechanisms by which primary somatosensory neurons and touch circuit organization are established during development.

Publications View
The mechanosensory neurons of touch and their mechanisms of activation.
Authors: Authors: Handler A, Ginty DD.
Nat Rev Neurosci
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Sex dependent reduction in mechanical allodynia in the sural-sparing nerve injury model in mice lacking Merkel cells.
Authors: Authors: Jeon SM, Chang D, Geske A, Ginty DD, Caterina MJ.
J Neurosci
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Drosophila Fezf functions as a transcriptional repressor to direct layer-specific synaptic connectivity in the fly visual system.
Authors: Authors: Santiago IJ, Zhang D, Saras A, Pontillo N, Xu C, Chen X, Weirauch MT, Mistry M, Ginty DD, Pecot MY, Peng J.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
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Author Correction: Innervation of thermogenic adipose tissue via a calsyntenin 3ß-S100b axis.
Authors: Authors: <a href="https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/profile/1234923">Zeng X</a>, <a href="https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/profile/1246145">Zeng X</a>, Ye M, Resch JM, <a href="https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/profile/1250277">Jedrychowski MP</a>, Hu B, <a href="https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/profile/1252093">Lowell BB</a>, <a href="https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/profile/1254041">Ginty DD</a>, <a href="https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/profile/1254750">Spiegelman BM</a>.
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Parallel ascending spinal pathways for affective touch and pain.
Authors: Authors: Choi S, Hachisuka J, Brett MA, Magee AR, Omori Y, Iqbal NU, Zhang D, DeLisle MM, Wolfson RL, Bai L, Santiago C, Gong S, Goulding M, Heintz N, Koerber HR, Ross SE, Ginty DD.
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Meissner corpuscles and their spatially intermingled afferents underlie gentle touch perception.
Authors: Authors: Neubarth NL, Emanuel AJ, Liu Y, Springel MW, Handler A, Zhang Q, Lehnert BP, Guo C, Orefice LL, Abdelaziz A, DeLisle MM, Iskols M, Rhyins J, Kim SJ, Cattel SJ, Regehr W, Harvey CD, Drugowitsch J, Ginty DD.
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The emergence of transcriptional identity in somatosensory neurons.
Authors: Authors: Sharma N, Flaherty K, Lezgiyeva K, Wagner DE, Klein AM, Ginty DD.
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Deep Sequencing of Somatosensory Neurons Reveals Molecular Determinants of Intrinsic Physiological Properties.
Authors: Authors: Zheng Y, Liu P, Bai L, Trimmer JS, Bean BP, Ginty DD.
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Targeting Peripheral Somatosensory Neurons to Improve Tactile-Related Phenotypes in ASD Models.
Authors: Authors: Orefice LL, Mosko JR, Morency DT, Wells MF, Tasnim A, Mozeika SM, Ye M, Chirila AM, Emanuel AJ, Rankin G, Fame RM, Lehtinen MK, Feng G, Ginty DD.
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Defining a Spinal Microcircuit that Gates Myelinated Afferent Input: Implications for Tactile Allodynia.
Authors: Authors: Boyle KA, Gradwell MA, Yasaka T, Dickie AC, Polgár E, Ganley RP, Orr DPH, Watanabe M, Abraira VE, Kuehn ED, Zimmerman AL, Ginty DD, Callister RJ, Graham BA, Hughes DI.
Cell Rep
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