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Neuroscience PhD at Wake Forest University at Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University Graduate School » Neuroscience PhD at Wake Forest University

Osvaldo Delbono

Osvaldo Delbono

Structural and functional alterations in the neuromuscular system lead to physical disability and loss of independence in the elderly. Despite the importance of muscle strength in preventing physical disability, the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the age-dependent decline in the neuromuscular system are only partially understood. The main focus of our research is to determine the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the age-dependent alterations in structure and function of motor neurons and skeletal muscle fibers.  Particularly, we are interested in the reciprocal interaction between muscle cells and brain and spinal cord motor neurons, the mutual influence of neurons and muscle cells on gene expression, the role of trophic factors and ion channels in tissue function, and interventions aimed at ameliorating and/or delaying the age-dependent impairment in the neuromuscular system.


Education & Training

  • M.D., Univ Buenos Aires Faculty of Med-Argentina , 1978
  • Ph.D., Univ Buenos Aires Faculty of Med-Argentina , 1986
  • Fellowship, Research Foundation/Grant, 1989
  • Fellowship, Baylor College of Medicine, 1992


  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Biophysics Society
  • Gerontological Assn of America




Birbrair A, Zhang T, Wang ZM, Messi ML, Enikolopov GN, Mintz A, Delbono O.Skeletal muscle neural progenitor cells exhibit properties of NG2-glia. Exp Cell Res. 2013;319(1):45-63.


Birbrair A, Zhang T, Wang Z-M, Messi ML, Enikolopov GN, Mintz A, Delbono O.Skeletal muscle pericyte subtypes differ in their differentiation potential. Stem Cell Res. 2013;10(1):67-84.


Zhang T, Birbrair A, Wang ZM, Taylor J, Messi ML, Delbono O. Troponin T nuclear localization and its role in aging skeletal muscle. Age (Dordr). 2013;35(2):353-370.


Choi SJ, Shively CA, Register TC, Feng X, Stehle J, High K, Ip E, Kritchevsky SB, Nicklas B, Delbono O. Force-generation capacity of single vastus lateralis muscle fibers and physical function decline with age in African green vervet monkeys.. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013;68(3):258-267.


Yasuda T, Delbono O, Wang ZM, Messi ML, Girard T, Urwyler A, Treves S, Zorzato F. JP-45/JSRP1 variants affect skeletal muscle excitation-contraction coupling by decreasing the sensitivity of the dihydropyridine receptor. Hum Mutat. 2013;34(1):184-190.



Zhuo Y, Tang S, Wang ZM, Reddish F, Zhang Y, Pennati A, Solntsev KM, Delbono O, WEber I, Gadda G, Yang JJ. Design and application of fluorescent calcium binding proteins with fast kinetics [abstract]. Biophys J. 2013;104(2 Suppl 1):530A.


Mosca B, Delbono O, Laura Messi M, Bergamelli L, Wang ZM, Vukcevic M, Lopez R, Treves S, Nishi M, Takeshima H, Paolini C, Martini M, Rispoli G, Protasi F, Zorzato F. Enhanced dihydropyridine receptor calcium channel activity restores muscle strength in JP45/CASQ1 double knockout mice. Nat Commun. 2013;4():1541.


Files DC, D'Alessio FR, Johnston LF, Kesari P, Aggarwal NR, Garibaldi BT, Mock JR, Simmers JL, DeGorordo A, Murdoch J, Willis MS, Patterson C, Tankersley CG, Messi ML, Liu C, Delbono O, Furlow JD, Bodine SC, Cohn RD, King LS, Crow MT. A critical role for muscle ring finger-1 in acute lung injury-associated skeletal muscle wasting. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012;185(8):825-834.


Wang Z-M, Tang S, Messi ML, Yang JJ, Delbono O. Residual sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ concentration after Ca2+ release in skeletal myofibers from young adult and old mice. Pflugers Arch. 2012;463(4):615-624.


Delbono O, Messi ML, Wang Z-M, Treves S, Mosca B, Bergamelli L, Nishi M, Takeshima H, Shi H, Xue B, Zorzato F. Endogenously determined restriction of food intake overcomes excitation-contraction uncoupling in JP45KO mice with aging. Exp Gerontol. 2012;47(4):304-316.


Houston DK, Messi ML, Birbrair A, Demons J, Kritchevsky SB, Delbono O. Effects of vitamin D supplementation on human skeketal muscle composition and regeneration [abstract]. FASEB J. 2012;26(Meeting Abstracts):1021.10.


Feng X, Zhang T, Xu Z, Choi SJ, Qian J, Furdui CM, Register TC, Delbono O.Myosin heavy chain isoform expression in the Vastus Lateralis muscle of aging African green vervet monkeys. Exp Gerontol. 2012;47(8):601-607.



Kute T, Stehle Jr JR, Ornelles D, Walker N, Delbono O, Vaughn JP.Understanding key assay parameters that affect measurements of trastuzumab-mediated ADCC against Her2 positive breast cancer cells. Oncoimmunology. 2012;1(6):810-821.


Zhang T, Birbrair A, Wang Z, Taylor J, Messi ML, Delbono O. Non-classical role of troponin T in skeletal muscle [abstract]. Gerontologist. 2012;52(Suppl 1):289.


Dardevet D, Savary-Auzeloux I, Remond D, Mosoni L, Marzetti E, Buford TW, Bernabei R, Dionne IJ, Buford TW, Marzetti E, Manini TM, Buehring B, Kirchner E, Calabrese L, Manini TM, Clark BC, Fonseca HM, Delbono O, Taylor JR,.Commentaries on viewpoint: muscle atrophy is not always sarcopenia. J Appl Physiol. 2012;113(4):680-684.


Birbrair A, Wang Z-M, Messi ML, Enikolopov GN, Delbono O. Nestin-GFP transgene reveals neural precursor cells in adult skeletal muscle. PLoS ONE. 2011;6(2):e16816.


Tang S, Wong H-C, Wang Z-M, Huang Y, Zou J, Zhuo Y, Pennati A, Gadda G, Delbono O, Yang JJ. Design and application of a class of sensors to monitor Ca2+ dynamics in high Ca2+ concentration cellular compartments. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011;108(39):16265-70.




Jimenez-Moreno R, Wang Z-M, Messi ML, Delbono O. Sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ depletion in adult skeletal muscle fibres measured with the biosensor D1ER. Pflugers Arch. 2010;459(5):725-735.


Loeser RF Jr, Delbono O. Aging of the muscles and joints In: Halter JB, Ouslander JG, Tinetti ME, Studenski S, High KP, Asthana S, Hazzard WR, Wollard NF, eds. Hazzard's geriatric medicine and gerontology. 6th ed. New York: McGraw Hill Medical;2009: 1355-1368.


Payne AM, Jimenez-Moreno R, Wang Z-M, Messi ML, Delbono O. Role of Ca2+, membrane excitability, and Ca2+ stores in failing muscle contraction with aging. Exp Gerontol. 2009;44(4):261-273.


Taylor JR, Zheng Z, Wang ZM, Payne AM, Messi ML, Delbono O. Increased CaVbeta1A expression with aging contributes to skeletal muscle weakness. Aging Cell. 2009;8(5):584-594.


Yoshikawa M, Vinsant S, Mansfield CM, Gifondorwa DJ, Pace L, Messi LM [sic] [Messi ML], Caress J, Cartwright M, Delbono O, Oppenheim RW, Milligan CE, et al.Identification of changes in muscle, neuromuscular junctions and spinal cord at early pre-symptomatic stages in the mutant SOD1 mouse model of ALS may provide novel insight for diagnosis and treatment development [abstract]. Soc Neurosci Abstr. 2009;2009(Neuroscience Meeting Planner):.


Zorzato F, Delbono O, Treves S, Nishi M, Takeshima H. Modulation of skeletal muscle excitation-contraction coupling by protein components of the sarcoplasmic reticulum junctional face membrane [abstract]. J Physiol Sci. 2009;59(Suppl 1):42.