Keith Erikson, Ph.D
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Manganese is an essential nutrient for humans and other mammals. While manganese deficiency is extremely rare in humans, toxicity due to overexposure is more common. The brain appears to be especially vulnerable, particularly its dopamine-rich regions.
Specifically, excessive manganese in the brain is known to cause symptoms similar to Parkinson's. Erikson's National Institute of Health-funded research focuses on precisely how manganese targets these dopamine-rich regions, mechanisms of its neurotoxicity and the efficacy of dietary bioactive components in preventing this toxicity.
Historically, excessive manganese exposure has been limited to mines, metal refineries and battery factories. However, with the recent approval of MMT, a gasoline additive containing manganese, exposure to manganese is expected to increase dramatically.
Recent rodent studies have linked iron deficiency to excessive manganese accumulation in the brain. Dietary iron deficiency could represent a significant risk factor for people exposed to chronic low-level manganese concentrations such as MMT emissions.
- Research Fellow, Wake Forest University. School of Medicine, 2001-2003
- Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2000
Effects of abnormal trace element (iron, manganese) metabolism on neurobiological and neurochemical outcomes, using animal models and cell culture.
- Mechanisms of manganese neurotoxicity.
- Manganese neurotoxicity on glutamate and GABA biology.
- Iron deficiency-associated manganese accumulation on GABA/dopamine interactions in the brain.
- Role of dopamine transporter in neuronal manganese uptake.
-Criswell, S., Perlmutter, J., Huang, J., Golchin, N., Flores, H., Hobson, A., Aschner, M., Erikson, K., Racette, B. (2012) Basal Ganglia Intensity Indices and Diffusion Weighted Imaging in Manganese Exposed Welders. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 69(6): 437-443.
-Cordova, F., Aguiar-Jr, A., Peres, T., Lopes, M., Goncalves, F., Remor, A., Lopes, S., Pilati, C., Latini, A., Prediger, R., Erikson, K., Aschner, M., Leal, R., (2012) In vivo manganese exposure modulates ERK, AKT and DARPP-32 in the Striatum of Developing Rats, and Impairs their Motor Function. PLoS One 7(3): e33057.
-Avila, D.S., Benedetto, A., Au, C., Manarin, F., Erikson, K., Soares, F.A., Rocha, J.B., Aschner, M. (2012) Organotellurium and Organoselenium compounds attenuate Mn-induced toxicity in C. elegans by preventing oxidative stress. Free Radic Biol Med 52(9): 1903-1910.
- Fordahl, S.C., Cooney, P.T., Qiu, Y., Xie, G, Jia, W., Erikson, K.M. (2012) Waterborne manganese exposure alters plasma, brain, and liver metabolites accompanied by changes in stereotypic behaviors. J. Neurotox and Teratol 34: 27-36.
- Fitsanakis, V.A., Zhang, N., Avison, M.J., Erikson, K.M., Gore, J.C., Aschner, M. (2011) Changes in Dietary Iron Exacerbate Regional Brain Manganese Accumulation as Determined by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Tox Sci 120(1): 146-153.
- Fordahl, S.C., Anderson, J.G., Cooney, P.T., Weaver, T.L., Colyer, C.L., Erikson, K.M. (2010) Manganese exposure Inhibits the clearance of extracellular GABA and influences taurine homeostasis in the striatum of developing rats. Neurotoxicology 31:639-646.
- Williams, B.B., Kwakye, G.F., Wegrzynowicz, M., Li, D., Aschner, M., Erikson, K.M., Bowman, A.B. (2010) Altered manganese homeostasis and manganese toxicity in Huntington’s Disease striatal cell model are not due to defects in iron transport system. Tox Sci 117:169-179.
- Yin, Z., Jiang, H., Lee, E. Ni, M., Erikson, K.M., Milatovic, D., Bowman, A., Aschner, M. (2010) Ferroportin is a manganese responsive protein that decreases manganese cytotoxicity and accumulation. J. Neurochem 112 (5):1190-1198.
- Au, C., Benedetto, A., Anderson, J., Labrousse, A., Erikson, K., Ewbank, J.J., Aschner, M. (2009) SMF-1, SMF-2, SMF-3 DMT-1 orthologues regulate and are regulated differentially by manganese levels in C. Elegans. PLoS One. Nov 18;4(11):e7792.
- Williams, B.B., Vadodaria, B.K., Anderson, J.G., Kwakye, G.F., Li, D., Aschner, M., Erikson, K.M., Bowman, A.B. (2010) Altered Manganese Homeostasis in Huntington’s Disease. J Neurochem 112 (1):227-237.
- Aschner, M., Erikson, K.M., Herrorro Hernandez, E., Tjalkens, R. (2009) Manganese and its Role in Parkinson's disease: from Transport to Neuropathology. NeuroMolecular Med; 11:252-266.
- Messer, J.G., Kilbarger, A.K., Erikson, K.M., Kipp, D.E. (2009) Iron overload alters iron-regulatory genes and proteins, down-regulates osteoblastic phenotype, and is associated with apoptosis in fetal rat calvaria cultures. Bone 45: 972-999.
- Anderson, J.G., Fordahl, S.C., Cooney, P.T., Weaver, T.L., Colyer, C.L., and Erikson, K.M. (2009) Extracellular Norepinephrine, Norepinephrine Receptor and Transporter Protein and mRNA Levels Are Differentially Altered in the Developing Rat Brain Due to Dietary Iron Deficiency and Manganese Exposure. Brain Res 1281:1-14.
- Fitsanakis, V.A., Thompson, K.N., Deery, S.E., Milatovic, D., Shihabi, Z.K, Erikson, K.M., Brown, R.W., Aschner, M. (2009) A chronic iron deficient/high-manganese diet in rodents results in increased brain oxidative stress and behavioral deficits in the morris water maze. Neurotox Res 15:167-178.
- Carneiro, A.M., Airey, D.C., Thompson, B., Zhu, C.B., Lu, L., Chesler, E.J., Erikson, K.M., Blakely, R.D. (2009) Functional coding variation in recombinant inbred mouse lines reveals multiple serotonin transporter-associated phenotypes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 106:2047-2052.
- Zhang, N., Fitsanakis, V.A., Erikson, K.M., Aschner, M., Avison, M.J., Gore, J.C. (2009) A Model for the Analysis of Competitive Relaxation Effects of Manganese and Iron in Vivo. NMR in Biomedicine 22:391-404.
- Anderson, J.G., Fordahl, S.C., Cooney, P.T., Weaver, T.L., Colyer, C.L., and Erikson, K.M. (2008) Manganese exposure alters extracellular GABA, GABA receptor and transporter protein and mRNA levels in the developing rat brain. Neurotoxicology Nov;29(6):1044-53.