Chris Elliott, Lecturer in Biology at the University of York, UK

Welcome To Chris Elliotts Home Page

Role of Parkinson's disease genes in flies

Research outline

Model organisms, like flies, provide a rapid experimental system to study the causes of Parkinson's disease. I collaborate with Sean SweeneyAlex Wade Gareth Evans, Sangeeta Chawla, Gonzalo Blanco and Will Brackenbury to form  the York Neuroscience Group, where we focus on neurotransmission in model systems.

My key question is how cellular defects (e.g. faulty mitochondria) lead to physiological and behavioural abnormalities - In Parkinson's Disease (PD), why do some neurons die, while others function normally?



Other work with flies...


My earlier work at York was with the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. This is what the snails look like. In particular, I'm interested in how their nervous system controls feeding behaviour, because this is a really robust model system. A major part of my time was taken up with using laser ablation and pharmacological tools to analyze the neural circuits. My key finding was that octopamine is very important in the feeding system, as it modulates the behaviour at multiple levels, making it more efficient and longer lasting.

Computer Software

I (intermittently) write computer software to aid in the modeling of nervous systems: read (&download) all about the Hodgkin-Huxley simulation and Connor (with IA) models.

Recent publications include

72.  Middleton, C.A., Nongthomba, U., Parry, K., Sweeney, S.T., Sparrow, J.C. Elliott, C.J.H. (2006) Neuromuscular organization and aminergic modulation of contractions in the Drosophila ovary BMC Biology 4:17 Full text (free access)
73.  Large, C.J., Smith, T., Foulds, G., Currey, J.D. and Elliott, C.J.H. (2006) Leaf mechanical properties modulate feeding movements and ingestive success of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. Invert. Neurosci. 6: 133-140 Abstract
74.  Ormshaw, J. C.,  C. J. H. Elliott (2006) Octopamine boosts snail locomotion: behavioural and cellular analysis. Invert. Neurosci 6: 215-220. Abstract
75.  Vehovszky, A., Szabo, H., Hiripi, L., Elliott, C.J.H. and Hernadi, L. (2007) Behavioural and neural deficits induced by rotenone in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. A possible model for Parkinson’s disease in an invertebrate. Eur J. Neurosci 25:2123–2130 Abstract
76.  Elliott, C.J.H. Brunger, H., Stark, M. and Sparrow, J.C. (2007) Direct measurement of the performance of the Drosophila jump muscle in whole flies. Fly 1:68 - 74
78.  Harvey, J., Brunger, H., Middleton, C.A., Hill, J.A., Sevdali, M.,. Sweeney, S.T., Sparrow, J.C. and Elliott, C. J. H. (2008) Neuromuscular control of a single twitch muscle in wild type and mutant Drosophila, measured with an ergometer. Invertebrate neuroscience 8:63-70 Abstract Author manuscript
Norville, K., Sweeney, S.T. and Elliott, C.J.H (2010) Post mating change in physiology of male Drosophila mediated by 5-HT. J. Neurogentics 24: 27–32 Abstract Author manuscript
80. Elliott, C. J. H. and Sparrow, J.C. (2012) In vivo measurement of muscle output in intact Drosophila. Methods 56:78-86 Abstract Author manuscript Supplementary movie
81. Vincent, A., Briggs, L., Chatwin, G.F.J., Emery, E., Tomlins, R., Oswald, M., Middleton, C.A., Evans, G.J.O.,  Sweeney, S.T., Sparrow, J.C. and Elliott, C.J.H. (2012) parkin induced defects in neurophysiology and locomotion are generated by metabolic dysfunction and not oxidative stress. Hum. Mol. Gen. 21: 1760-1769, Abstract & Free Full text 
82.  Katzemich A R, Kreisk\F6ther N, Alexandrovich A, Elliott, C J H, Sch\F6ck  F, Leonard K R, Sparrow J C, and Bullard, B. (2012) The function of the M-line protein, obscurin, in controlling the symmetry of the sarcomere in Drosophila flight muscle. J cell Sci. 125, 3367-3379 Abstract
83.  Diaper D C, Yoshitsugu A, Sutcliffe B, Humphrey, D M, Elliott, C J H, Stepto A, Ludlow Z N, Vanden Broeck L, Callaerts P, Dermaut B, Al-Chalabi A, Shaw C E, Robinson IM and Frank Hirth (2013) Loss and gain of Drosophila TDP-43 impair synaptic efficacy and motor control leading to age-related neurodegeneration by loss. Hum. Mol. Genetics 22: 1539-1557 Abstract and free Full text
84.  Hindle, S., Afsari, F, Stark, M, Middleton, C.A., Evans, G J O, Sweeney, S T, and Elliott, C J H (2013) Dopaminergic expression of the Parkinsonian gene LRRK2-G2019S leads to non-autonomous visual neurodegeneration, accelerated by increased neural demands for energy. Hum. Mol. Genetics 22: 2129-2140 Abstract and free Full text
85.  Hindle, S. & Elliot, C.J.H. (2013) Spread of neuronal degeneration in a dopaminergic, Lrrk2-G2019S model of Parkinson's disease. Autophagy. 9: 936-938. Abstract and Free Full text
86.  Afsari, F., Christensen, K.V., Smith, G.P., Hentzer, M., Nippe, O.M., Elliott, C.J.H. and Wade, A.R. (2014) Abnormal visual gain control in a Parkinson's Disease model Hum. Mol. Genetics 23: 4465-4478 Abstract and free full text 
87.  Fogg, P.C.M., O'Neill, J.S., Dobrzycki, T., Calvert, S., Lord, E.C., McIntosh, R.L.L., Elliott, C.J.H., Sweeney, S.T., Hastings, M.H. and Chawla, S. (2014) Class IIa histone deacetylases are conserved regulators of circadian function. J. Biol. Chem. 289: 34341-34348 Abstract and Free full text
88.  Wade, A.R. and Elliott, C.J.H. (2014) Could the detection of visual disturbances associated with Parkinsons disease genes in flies lead to new treatments for the disease? Neurodegenerative Disease Management 4:291-293 Abstract and Free Full text
89.  West, R. J.H. Furmston, R., Williams, C.A.C & Elliott, C.J.H. (2015) Neurophysiology of Drosophila models of Parkinson's Disease Parkinson's disease 2015:381281 Abstract and free full text
90.  Orfanos, Z., Leonard, K., Elliott, C.J.H., Katzemich, A., Bullard, B., & Sparrow, J.C (2015) Sallimus and the dynamics of sarcomere assembly in Drosophila flight muscles. J mol biol 427: 215-218 Abstract and free full text
91. Smith, S.L., Lones, M., Bedder, M. Alty, J.A., Cosgrove, J., Maguire, R.J. & Pownall, M.E., Ivanoiu, D., Lyle, C., Cording, A. & Elliott, C.J.H., (2015) Computational models for understanding the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinsons disease. IET Systems Biology Abstract   Full Text (Pubmed)
92.  Mortiboys, H., Furmston, R., Bronstad, G., Aasly, J., Elliott, C.J.H., & Bandmann, O. (2015) UDCA exerts beneficial effect on mitochondrial dysfunction in LRRK2 G2019S carriers and in vivo. Neurology Abstract Free full text
93.West, R. J.H., Elliott, C.J.H. & Wade, A.R. (2015) Classification of Parkinson’s Disease Genotypes in Drosophila Using Spatiotemporal Profiling of Vision. Nature Sci Rep 5:16933 Abstract and free full text
94. Klionsky DJ, Abdelmohsen K, Abe A, Abedin MJ, Abeliovich H, Acevedo Arozena A, ... Elliott, C.J.H. ... Zorzano A, & Zughaier SM. (2016) Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition). Autophagy. 12:1-222. Abstract & Free Full text

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Chris Elliott

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