Renu Sah

Renu Sah , PhD

Associate Professor

Reading Campus
2120 East Galbraith Road
A-133
Cincinnati, Ohio 45237
Phone 513-558-5129
Fax 513-297-0966
Email renu.sah@uc.edu

Professional Summary

DR. RENU SAH earned her PhD in Biochemistry from Lucknow University, India. After completing her postdoctoral training in Neuropharmacology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI and Duke University, Durham, NC, she joined the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati in 2003. Dr. Sah's major research interests include the Neurobiology of Anxiety and Fear- associated Disorders with the long term goal of identifying underlying mechanisms and novel therapeutic targets of intervention. Currently, the primary focus of her lab is the investigation of Panic Disorder (PD),  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and associated comorbid conditions using translational approaches. Recent work aims to investigate shared mechanisms between PTSD, PD with inflammatory conditions such as asthma.

Research Interests
The focus of my research program is to understand the pathophysiology of anxiety, stress and trauma associated disorders with the long term goal of identifying novel therapeutic targets. Collectively, anxiety disorders are the most prevalent among psychiatric disorders in our society, inflicting about 18% of the adult population. Often psychiatric disorders are comorbid with other conditions promoting greater disability. My lab investigates underlying mechanisms that may promote vulnerability to psychiatric illness and associated comorbidities. Currently, most projects in the lab are focused on  Panic Disorder (PD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Currently, we are investigating Panic-PTSD comorbidity as well as their association with asthma. Consistent with the RDoc guidelines of the National Institute of Mental Health (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/research/research-funded-by-nimh/rdoc) we use translational rodent paradigms and transgenic models to investigate behaviors relevant to PTSD and panic-like phenomena. Our focus is to understand contributory cellular mediators, receptors and brain circuits underlying PTSD and panic vulnerability. 

For more information on specific projects in the lab please visit:
https://med.uc.edu/depart/physPharm/faculty-research-labs/sah_lab/home

 

Education

Doctoral Degree: Lucknow University (Biochemistry)

Post-Doctoral Training: University of Wisconsin and Duke University (Neuropharmacology)

Research and Practice Interests

The focus of my research program is to understand mechanisms underlying fear and anxiety behaviors and how they manifest into disorders such as Panic Disorder (PD) and Posttraumatic Stress disorder (PTSD). The long term goal is to delineate novel brain circuits and therapeutic targets. My lab is particularly interested in how the brain processes fear generated by "external" versus "internal"  threats to survival. For example, a life-threatening experience in combat or crime (external) versus suffocation and inability to breathe (internal).  Both constitute threats to survival and activate unique fear circuits in the brain.  Understanding these specialized circuits and associated molecules will help us understand disorders such as PD and PTSD where patients mount abnormal fear responses to a wide range of  external and internal triggers. 

Panic Disorder (PD) project :
Individuals with Panic disorder have intense episodes of extreme fear, cardiovascular activation and hyperventilation constituting panic attacks   Initial panic attacks appear spontaneously, "out of the blue" and are unpredictable.  After a few of these unanticipated attacks people develop phobias and anticipatory anxiety leading to more panic attacks. It is not clear how panic attacks happen and why some individuals are susceptible to these initial attacks. Accumulating evidence suggests that these are tied to false alarms within the body that create an internal state of threat. Disruptions in acid-base balance are thought to contribute and acidosis has been proposed as a trigger of panic attacks. We are investigating the role of unique brain areas, specialized acid sensing mechanisms and brain immune cells in panic and fear related behaviors using mouse models simulating panic-relevant behaviors, in conjunction with neurochemical measures, cellular responses and pharmacological manipulations.
Relevance: Our studies provide important leads on unique mechanisms by which nternal homeostatic disturbances in pH get translated into panic responses.  This association is critical to the pathophysiology of PD and may lead to more specific and effective treatments

  
PTSD and PD comorbidity project:  
 Fear associated disorders are often comorbid and may share common factors of vulnerability. Accumulating data report high incidence of panic disorder in veterans with PTSD, almost double to that observed in civilian populations. Comorbid PTSD-PD leads to higher treatment resistance, disability and economic burden. We are developing rodent paradigms that enable us to study potential mechanisms that may contribute to comorbid PTSD and PD. We are also testing the effects of therapeutic treatments on PTSD and panic relevant behaviors, associated circuits and molecules.   

PTSD and Asthma:
Strong clinical evidence supports an association of severe asthma with PTSD prevalence and risk. Using novel genetic mice models, we are investigating asthma-linked inflammatory mechanisms in driving posttraumatic behavior and physiology.



 
 

Positions and Work Experience

10-01-2014 -To Present Associate Professor ,

Research Support

VA Merit Award Central Neuropeptide Y (NPY): A Novel Target for PTSD Pathophysiology Role:Principal Investigator Active Type:Grant Level:National

Grant: #1R21MH083213-01 NIMH Role of a novel pH-sensing receptor TDAG8 in panic Completed

Grant: #1R01MH093362 Acid sensing and panic Role:Principal Investigator Active Type:Grant Level:National

Ono Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Japan TDAG8 antagonist Ono6A in Panic-associated outcomes Role:Principal Investigator Active Type:Contract Level:International

Grant: #P2D1 / R43 MH079518-01 Investigators:Dolgas, Charles; Jones, Kenneth; Sah, Renu 01-01-2007 -12-31-2007 National Institute of Mental Health Efficacy of the Melatonin Agonist in the Treatment of Depression Role:PI $61,286.00 Active Level:Federal

Grant: #R21 MH083213 Investigators:Herman, James; Sah, Renu 04-01-2008 -03-31-2011 National Institute of Mental Health Role of Novel PH-Sensing Receptor TDAG8 in Panic Role:PI $374,291.00 Closed Level:Federal

Grant: #SRS 006839 Investigators:Sah, Renu 10-01-2009 -09-30-2010 Department of Veterans Affairs Intergovernmental Personnel Act Agreement for Renu Sah Role:PI $42,000.00 Closed Level:Federal

Grant: #R01 MH093362 Investigators:Herman, James; Krause, Eric; Sah, Renu 02-10-2012 -11-30-2016 National Institute of Mental Health Acid-Sensing and Panic Role:PI $764,987.00 Active Level:Federal

Grant: #ECA-Sarah Schmeltzer Investigators:Sah, Renu 10-01-2012 -10-31-2013 Department of Veterans Affairs Educational Collaboration Agreement - Sarah Schmeltzer Role:PI $28,333.00 Active Level:Federal

Grant: #TDAG8 Investigators:Sah, Renu 03-10-2013 -02-27-2014 Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. TDAG8 antagonist project Role:PI $102,050.00 Active Level:Foreign Industry

Grant: #VA IPA Investigators:Sah, Renu; Schurdak, Jennifer 01-01-2015 -03-31-2015 Department of Veterans Affairs VA IPA for Jennifer Schurdak Role:Collaborator $11,243.00 Active Level:Federal

Grant: #R21MH117483 Investigators:Sah, Renu 02-01-2019 -12-31-2020 National Institute of Mental Health Neuroinflammation, asthma and PTSD Role:PI $255,202.00 Awarded Level:Federal

BAD DATE -BAD DATE VA Merit Award Microglial mechanisms in panic PTSD Role:PI Type:Grant Level:National

Grant: #R21MH117483 Investigators:Renu Sah, Ian Lewkowich 02-01-2019 -12-31-2021 National Institute of Mental Health, NIH Neuroimmune modulators of airway inflammation associated stress and fear responses Role:PI Active Type:Grant Level:National

Grant: #I01 BX001075 (VA Merit Award) Investigators:Renu Sah 10-01-2020 -09-30-2024 Veterans Affairs Neurovascular signaling and associated forebrain circuits in PTSD Role:PI Active Level:National

Grant: #CCHMC Billing Agreement / F31NS122494 Investigators:Dourson, Adam; Sah, Renu 04-02-2021 -04-01-2022 Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center The role of macrophages in neonatal nociceptive priming Role:PI 34777.00 Hold Level:Non Profit

Grant: #Billing Agreement-Kraus Investigators:Kraus, Kimberly; Sah, Renu 05-01-2021 -04-30-2023 Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Role of dentate granule cell glucocorticoid receptors in neuronal excitability and status epilepticus Role:PI 34777.00 Hold Level:Non Profit

Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

McMurray, Katherine M J; Gray, Alijah; Horn, Paul; Sah, Renu (2020. ) High Behavioral Sensitivity to Carbon Dioxide Associates with Enhanced Fear Memory and Altered Forebrain Neuronal Activation.Neuroscience, , 429 ,92-105 More Information

McMurray, Katherine M J; Vollmer, Lauren Larke; Ahlbrand, Rebecca; Thomas, Joshua; Winter, Andrew; Lewkowich, Ian P; Sah, Renu (2019. ) Immunomodulatory T cell death associated gene-8 (TDAG8) receptor in depression-associated behaviors.Physiology & behavior, , 209 ,112598 More Information

Wilson, Marlene A; Liberzon, Israel; Lindsey, Merry L; Lokshina, Yana; Risbrough, Victoria B; Sah, Renu; Wood, Susan K; Williamson, John B; Spinale, Francis G (2019. ) Common pathways and communication between the brain and heart: connecting post-traumatic stress disorder and heart failure.Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands), , 22 (5 ) ,530-547 More Information

Winter, Andrew; Ahlbrand, Rebecca; Sah, Renu (2019. ) Recruitment of central angiotensin II type 1 receptor associated neurocircuits in carbon dioxide associated fear.Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry, , 92 ,378-386 More Information

McMurray, Katherine M J; Strawn, Jeffrey R; Sah, Renu (2019. ) Fluoxetine Modulates Spontaneous and Conditioned Behaviors to Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Inhalation and Alters Forebrain-Midbrain Neuronal Activation.Neuroscience, , 396 ,108-118 More Information

Schubert, Inga; Ahlbrand, Rebecca; Winter, Andrew; Vollmer, Lauren; Lewkowich, Ian; Sah, Renu (2018. ) Enhanced fear and altered neuronal activation in forebrain limbic regions of CX3CR1-deficient mice.Brain, behavior, and immunity, , 68 ,34-43 More Information

Strawn, Jeffrey R; Vollmer, Lauren L; McMurray, Katherine M J; Mills, Jeffrey A; Mossman, Sarah A; Varney, Sara T; Schroeder, Heidi K; Sah, Renu (2018. ) Acid-sensing T cell death associated gene-8 receptor expression in panic disorder.Brain, behavior, and immunity, , 67 ,36-41 More Information

Winter, Andrew; Ahlbrand, Rebecca; Naik, Devanshi; Sah, Renu (2017. ) Differential behavioral sensitivity to carbon dioxide (CO2) inhalation in rats.Neuroscience, , 346 ,423-433 More Information

Sun, Xuming; Tommasi, Ellen; Molina, Doris; Sah, Renu; Brosnihan, K Bridget; Diz, Debra; Petrovic, Snezana (2016. ) Deletion of proton-sensing receptor GPR4 associates with lower blood pressure and lower binding of angiotensin II receptor in SFO.American journal of physiology. Renal physiology, , 311 (6 ) ,F1260-F1266 More Information

Vollmer, Lauren Larke; Ghosal, Sriparna; McGuire, Jennifer L; Ahlbrand, Rebecca L; Li, Ke-Yong; Santin, Joseph M; Ratliff-Rang, Christine A; Patrone, Luis G A; Rush, Jennifer; Lewkowich, Ian P; Herman, James P; Putnam, Robert W; Sah, Renu (2016. ) Microglial Acid Sensing Regulates Carbon Dioxide-Evoked Fear.Biological psychiatry, , 80 (7 ) ,541-51 More Information

Smith, Brittany L; Schmeltzer, Sarah N; Packard, Benjamin A; Sah, Renu; Herman, James P (2016. ) Divergent effects of repeated restraint versus chronic variable stress on prefrontal cortical immune status after LPS injection.Brain, behavior, and immunity, , 57 ,263-270 More Information

Schmeltzer, Sarah N; Herman, James P; Sah, Renu (2016. ) Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): A translational update.Experimental neurology, , 284 (Pt B ) ,196-210 More Information

Vollmer, Lauren L; Schmeltzer, Sarah; Schurdak, Jennifer; Ahlbrand, Rebecca; Rush, Jennifer; Dolgas, Charles M; Baccei, Mark L; Sah, Renu (2016. ) Neuropeptide Y Impairs Retrieval of Extinguished Fear and Modulates Excitability of Neurons in the Infralimbic Prefrontal Cortex.The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, , 36 (4 ) ,1306-15 More Information

Sah, Renu; Ulrich-Lai, Yvonne M (2015. ) Introduction to the 2014 Neurobiology of Stress Special Issue.Physiology & behavior, , 150 ,1 More Information

Vollmer, Lauren Larke; Schmeltzer, Sarah N; Ahlbrand, Rebecca; Sah, Renu (2015. ) A potential role for the acid-sensing T cell death associated gene-8 (TDAG8) receptor in depression-like behavior.Physiology & behavior, , 150 ,78-82 More Information

Schmeltzer, Sarah N; Vollmer, Lauren L; Rush, Jennifer E; Weinert, Mychal; Dolgas, Charles M; Sah, Renu (2015. ) History of chronic stress modifies acute stress-evoked fear memory and acoustic startle in male rats.Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands), , 18 (2 ) ,244-53 More Information

Parker, Michael S; Sah, Renu; Balasubramaniam, Ambikaipakan; Sallee, Floyd R; Park, Edwards A; Parker, Steven L (2014. ) On the expansion of ribosomal proteins and RNAs in eukaryotes.Amino acids, , 46 (7 ) ,1589-604 More Information

Parker, Michael S; Sah, Renu; Balasubramaniam, Ambikaipakan; Park, Edwards A; Sallee, Floyd R; Parker, Steven L (2014. ) Dimers of G-protein coupled receptors as versatile storage and response units.International journal of molecular sciences, , 15 (3 ) ,4856-77 More Information

Sah, Renu; Ekhator, Nosakhare N; Jefferson-Wilson, Lena; Horn, Paul S; Geracioti, Thomas D (2014. ) Cerebrospinal fluid neuropeptide Y in combat veterans with and without posttraumatic stress disorder.Psychoneuroendocrinology, , 40 ,277-83 More Information

Müller, Timo D; Müller, Anne; Yi, Chun-Xia; Habegger, Kirk M; Meyer, Carola W; Gaylinn, Bruce D; Finan, Brian; Heppner, Kristy; Trivedi, Chitrang; Bielohuby, Maximilian; Abplanalp, William; Meyer, Franziska; Piechowski, Carolin L; Pratzka, Juliane; Stemmer, Kerstin; Holland, Jenna; Hembree, Jazzmin; Bhardwaj, Nakul; Raver, Christine; Ottaway, Nickki; Krishna, Radha; Sah, Renu; Sallee, Floyd R; Woods, Stephen C; Perez-Tilve, Diego; Bidlingmaier, Martin; Thorner, Michael O; Krude, Heiko; Smiley, David; DiMarchi, Richard; Hofmann, Susanna; Pfluger, Paul T; Kleinau, Gunnar; Biebermann, Heike; Tschöp, Matthias H (2013. ) The orphan receptor Gpr83 regulates systemic energy metabolism via ghrelin-dependent and ghrelin-independent mechanisms.Nature communications, , 4 ,1968 More Information

Parker, Michael S; Sah, Renu; Parker, Steven L (2012. ) Surface masking shapes the traffic of the neuropeptide Y Y2 receptor.Peptides, , 37 (1 ) ,40-8 More Information

McGuire, Jennifer L; Larke, Lauren E; Sallee, Floyd R; Herman, James P; Sah, Renu (2011. ) Differential Regulation of Neuropeptide Y in the Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex during Recovery from Chronic Variable Stress.Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, , 5 ,54 More Information

Estes, Anne-Marie; McAllen, Kathleen; Parker, Michael S; Sah, Renu; Sweatman, Trevor; Park, Edwards A; Balasubramaniam, Ambikaipakan; Sallee, Floyd R; Walker, Mary W; Parker, Steven L (2011. ) Maintenance of Y receptor dimers in epithelial cells depends on interaction with G-protein heterotrimers.Amino acids, , 40 (2 ) ,371-80 More Information

McGuire, Jennifer; Herman, James P; Horn, Paul S; Sallee, Floyd R; Sah, Renu (2010. ) Enhanced fear recall and emotional arousal in rats recovering from chronic variable stress.Physiology & behavior, , 101 (4 ) ,474-82 More Information

Sah, Renu; Ekhator, Nosakhare N; Strawn, Jeffrey R; Sallee, Floyd R; Baker, Dewleen G; Horn, Paul S; Geracioti, Thomas D (2009. ) Low cerebrospinal fluid neuropeptide Y concentrations in posttraumatic stress disorder.Biological psychiatry, , 66 (7 ) ,705-7 More Information

McGuire, Jennifer; Herman, James P; Ghosal, Sriparna; Eaton, Katherine; Sallee, Floyd R; Sah, Renu (2009. ) Acid-sensing by the T cell death-associated gene 8 (TDAG8) receptor cloned from rat brain.Biochemical and biophysical research communications, , 386 (3 ) ,420-5 More Information

Parker, Steven L; Parker, Michael S; Wong, Ying Y; Sah, Renu; Balasubramaniam, Ambikaipakan; Sallee, Floyd (2008. ) Importance of a N-terminal aspartate in the internalization of the neuropeptide Y Y2 receptor.European journal of pharmacology, , 594 (1-3 ) ,26-31 More Information

Parker, Steven L; Parker, Michael S; Sah, Renu; Balasubramaniam, Ambikaipakan; Sallee, Floyd R (2008. ) Pertussis toxin induces parallel loss of neuropeptide Y Y1 receptor dimers and Gi alpha subunit function in CHO cells.European journal of pharmacology, , 579 (1-3 ) ,13-25 More Information

Sah, Renu; Parker, Steven L; Sheriff, Sulaiman; Eaton, Katherine; Balasubramaniam, Ambikaipakan; Sallee, Floyd R (2007. ) Interaction of NPY compounds with the rat glucocorticoid-induced receptor (GIR) reveals similarity to the NPY-Y2 receptor.Peptides, , 28 (2 ) ,302-9 More Information

Eaton, Katherine; Sallee, Floyd R; Sah, Renu (2007. ) Relevance of neuropeptide Y (NPY) in psychiatry.Current topics in medicinal chemistry, , 7 (17 ) ,1645-59 More Information

Sah, Renu; Balasubramaniam, Ambikaipakan; Parker, Michael S; Sallee, Floyd; Parker, Steven L (2005. ) Neuropeptide Y as a partial agonist of the Y1 receptor.European journal of pharmacology, , 525 (1-3 ) ,60-8 More Information

Parker, Steven L; Parker, Michael S; Sah, Renu; Sallee, Floyd (2005. ) Angiogenesis and rhodopsin-like receptors: a role for N-terminal acidic residues?.Biochemical and biophysical research communications, , 335 (4 ) ,983-92 More Information

Brunskill, Eric W; Ehrman, Lisa A; Williams, Michael T; Klanke, Justin; Hammer, Daniel; Schaefer, Tori L; Sah, Renu; Dorn, Gerald W; Potter, S Steven; Vorhees, Charles V (2005. ) Abnormal neurodevelopment, neurosignaling and behaviour in Npas3-deficient mice.The European journal of neuroscience, , 22 (6 ) ,1265-76 More Information

Williams, Michael T; Schaefer, Tori L; Ehrman, Lisa A; Able, Jessica A; Gudelsky, Gary A; Sah, Renu; Vorhees, Charles V (2005. ) 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine administration on postnatal day 11 in rats increases pituitary-adrenal output and reduces striatal and hippocampal serotonin without altering SERT activity.Brain research, , 1039 (1-2 ) ,97-107 More Information

Parker, Michael S; Sah, Renu; Balasubramaniam, Ambikaipakan; Parker, Steven L (2005. ) Lithium inhibits internalization and endosomal processing of both neuropeptide Y (NPY) Y1 and transferrin receptors.Neuroscience letters, , 374 (1 ) ,43-6 More Information

Galeffi, Francesca; Sah, Renu; Pond, Brooks B; George, Amanda; Schwartz-Bloom, Rochelle D (2004. ) Changes in intracellular chloride after oxygen-glucose deprivation of the adult hippocampal slice: effect of diazepam.The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, , 24 (18 ) ,4478-88 More Information

Sah, Renu; Galeffi, Francesca; Ahrens, Rebecca; Jordan, Gwendolyn; Schwartz-Bloom, Rochelle D (2002. ) Modulation of the GABA(A)-gated chloride channel by reactive oxygen species.Journal of neurochemistry, , 80 (3 ) ,383-91 More Information

Allgire, Emily; McAlees, Jaclyn W; Lewkowich, Ian P; Sah, Renu (2021. ) Asthma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Emerging links, potential models and mechanisms.Brain, behavior, and immunity, , More Information

Contact Information

Academic - Reading Campus
2120 East Galbraith Road
Cincinnati  Ohio, 45237
Phone: 513-558-5129
Fax: 513-297-0966
renu.sah@uc.edu