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Person Details: Isaac N. Pessah

Superfund Research Program

Isaac N. Pessah

University of California-Davis
Department of Molecular Biosciences
1278 Surge III
Davis, California 95616
Phone: 530-752-6696
Fax: 530-752-4698


Research Briefs




  • Yaghoobi B, Miller GW, Holland EB, Li X, Harvey D, Li S, Lehmler H, Pessah IN, Lein PJ. 2022. Ryanodine receptor-active non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls cause neurobehavioral deficits in larval zebrafish. Front Toxicol 4:947795. doi:10.3389/ftox.2022.947795 PMID:36278027 PMCID:PMC9582434


  • Holland EB, Pessah IN. 2021. Non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl neurotoxic equivalents found in environmental and human samples. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 120:104842. doi:10.1016/j.yrtph.2020.104842 PMID:33346014
  • Zhao F, Wang S, Wang J, Wang Y, Li Y, Zhang C, Li Y, Huang L, Yu Y, Zheng J, Yu B, Pessah IN, Cao Z. 2021. Surfactant cocamide monoethanolamide causes eye irritation by activating nociceptor TRPV1 channels. Br J Pharmacol 178(17):doi:10.1111/bph.15491 PMID:33837959 (ahead of print)


  • Aleman M, Zhang R, Feng W, Qi L, Lopez JR, Crowe C, Dong Y, Cherednichenko G, Pessah IN. 2020. Dietary Caffeine Synergizes Adverse Peripheral and Central Responses to Anesthesia in Malignant Hyperthermia Susceptible Mice. Mol Pharmacol 98:351-363. doi:10.1124/mol.120.119412 PMID:32764093 PMCID:PMC7491310
  • Truong KM, Feng W, Pessah IN. 2020. Ryanodine Receptor Type 2: A Molecular Target for Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane- and Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene-Mediated Cardiotoxicity. Toxicol Sci 178:159-172. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfaa139 PMID:32894766


  • Pessah IN, Lein PJ, Seegal R, Sagiv SK. 2019. Neurotoxicity of polychlorinated biphenyls and related organohalogens. Acta Neuropathol 138(3):363-387. doi:10.1007/s00401-019-01978-1 PMID:30976975 PMCID:PMC6708608
  • Pessah IN, Truong KM. 2019. Additional safety assessments needed for diamide insecticides. Toxicol Sci 171(2):282. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfz062 PMID:30830166 PMCID:PMC6760268
  • Sethi S, Morgan RK, Feng W, Lin Y, Li X, Luna C, Koch M, Bansal R, Duffel MW, Puschner B, Zoeller RT, Lehmler H, Pessah IN, Lein PJ. 2019. Comparative analyses of the 12 most abundant PCB congeners detected in human maternal serum for activity at the thyroid hormone receptor and ryanodine receptor. Environ Sci Technol 53:3948-3958. doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b00535 PMID:30821444 PMCID:PMC6457253
  • Truong KM, Cherednichenko G, Pessah IN. 2019. Interactions of Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) with skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor type 1. Toxicol Sci 170(2):50-524. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfz120 PMID:31127943 PMCID:PMC6657572
  • Truong KM, Pessah IN. 2019. Comparison of chlorantraniliprole and flubendiamide activity toward wild-type and malignant hyperthermia-susceptible ryanodine receptors and heat stress intolerance. Toxicol Sci 167(2):509-523. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfy256 PMID:30329129 PMCID:PMC6358238
  • Zheng J, Chen J, Zou X, Zhao F, Guo M, Wang H, Zhang TC, Zhang C, Feng W, Pessah IN, Cao Z. 2019. Saikosaponin d causes apoptotic death of cultured neocortical neurons by increasing membrane permeability and elevating intracellular Ca2+ concentration. Neurotoxicology 70:112-121. doi:10.1016/j.neuro.2018.11.006 PMID:30458186 PMCID:PMC6342622
  • Zheng J, Yu Y, Feng W, Li J, Liu J, Zhang C, Dong Y, Pessah IN, Cao Z. 2019. Influence of nanomolar deltamethrin on the hallmarks of primary cultured cortical neuronal network and the role of ryanodine receptors. Environ Health Perspect 127(6):67003. doi:10.1289/EHP4583 PMID:31166131 PMCID:PMC6792378


  • Li X, Holland EB, Feng W, Zheng J, Dong Y, Pessah IN, Duffel MW, Robertson LW, Lehmler H. 2018. Authentication of synthetic environmental contaminants and their (bio)transformation products in toxicology: polychlorinated biphenyls as an example. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 25(17):1-14. doi:10.1007/s11356-017-1162-0 PMID:29322390 PMCID:PMC6015536


  • Feng W, Zheng J, Robin G, Dong Y, Ichikawa M, Inoue Y, Mori T, Nakano T, Pessah IN. 2017. Enantioselectivity of 2,2 ',3,5 ',6-Pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 95) Atropisomers toward Ryanodine Receptors (RyRs) and their influences on hippocampal neuronal networks. Environ Sci Technol 51:14406-14416. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b04446 PMID:29131945
  • Holland EB, Feng W, Zheng J, Dong Y, Li X, Lehmler H, Pessah IN. 2017. An extended structure-activity relationship of nondioxin-like PCBs evaluates and supports modeling predictions and identifies picomolar potency of PCB 202 towards ryanodine receptors. Toxicol Sci 155(1):170-181. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfw189 PMID:27655348 PMCID:PMC5216651
  • Holland EB, Goldstone JV, Pessah IN, Whitehead A, Reid NM, Karchner SI, Hahn ME, Nacci DE, Clark BW, Stegeman JJ. 2017. Ryanodine receptor and FK506 binding protein 1 in the Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus): a phylogenetic and population-based comparison. Aquat Toxicol 192:105-115. doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2017.09.002 PMID:28942070 PMCID:PMC5662517


  • Ahn K, Ranganathan A, Bever C, Hwang SH, Holland EB, Morisseau K, Pessah IN, Hammock BD, Gee SJ. 2016. Detection of the antimicrobial triclosan in environmental samples by immunoassay. Environ Sci Technol 50(7):3754-3761. doi:10.1021/acs.est.5b05357 PMID:26937944 PMCID:PMC4821808
  • Ronjat M, Feng W, Dardevet L, Dong Y, Khoury SA, Chatelain F, Vialla V, Chahboun S, Lesage F, Darbon H, Pessah IN, De Waard M. 2016. In cellulo phosphorylation induces pharmacological reprogramming of maurocalcin, a cell-penetrating venom peptide. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113(17):E2460-E2468. doi:10.1073/pnas.1517342113 PMID:27071086 PMCID:PMC4855579


  • Cao Z, Zou X, Cui Y, Hulsizer S, Lein PJ, Wulff H, Pessah IN. 2015. Rapid throughput analysis demonstrates that chemicals with distinct seizurogenic mechanisms differentially alter Ca2+ dynamics in networks formed by hippocampal neurons in culture. Mol Pharmacol 87(4):595-605. doi:10.1124/mol.114.096701 PMID:25583085 PMCID:PMC4366799
  • Fritsch EB, Stegeman JJ, Goldstone JV, Nacci DE, Champlin D, Jayaraman S, Connon RE, Pessah IN. 2015. Expression and function of ryanodine receptor related pathways in PCB tolerant Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) from New Bedford Harbor, MA, USA. Aquat Toxicol 159:156-166. doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2014.12.017 PMID:25546006 PMCID:PMC4300256


  • Altamirano F, Eltit JM, Robin G, Linares N, Ding X, Pessah IN, Allen PD, Lopez JR. 2014. Ca2+ Influx via the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger is enhanced in malignant hyperthermia skeletal muscle. J Biol Chem 289:19180-19190. doi:10.1074/jbc.M114.550764 PMID:24847052 PMCID:PMC4081953
  • Cao Z, Cui Y, Nguyen HM, Jenkins D, Wulff H, Pessah IN. 2014. Nanomolar bifenthrin alters synchronous Ca2+ oscillations and cortical neuron development independent of sodium channel activity. Mol Pharmacol 85(4):630-639. doi:10.1124/mol.113.090076 PMID:24482397 PMCID:PMC3965893
  • Yang DR, Kania-Korwel I, Ghogha A, Chen H, Stamou M, Bose DD, Pessah IN, Lehmler H, Lein PJ. 2014. PCB 136 atropselectively alters morphometric and functional parameters of neuronal connectivity in cultured rat hippocampal neurons via ryanodine receptor-dependent mechanisms. Toxicol Sci 138(2):379-392. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kft334 PMID:24385416 PMCID:PMC4007107


  • Fritsch EB, Connon RE, Werner I, Davies RE, Beggel S, Feng W, Pessah IN. 2013. Triclosan impairs swimming behavior and alters expression of excitation-contraction coupling proteins in Fathead Minnow (Pimephales promelas). Environ Sci Technol 47(4):2008-2017. doi:10.1021/es303790b PMID:23305567 PMCID:PMC3640625
  • Fritsch EB, Pessah IN. 2013. Structure-activity relationship of non-coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls toward skeletal muscle ryanodine receptors in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Aquat Toxicol 140-141C:204-212. doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2013.06.003 PMID:23827775 PMCID:PMC3813431
  • Lin Y, Pessah IN, Puschner B. 2013. Simultaneous determination of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and polychlorinated biphenyls by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in human serum and plasma. Talanta 113:41-48. doi:10.1016/j.talanta.2013.04.001 PMID:23708622 PMCID:PMC3698050
  • Niknam Y, Feng W, Cherednichenko G, Dong Y, Joshi SN, Vyas SM, Lehmler H, Pessah IN. 2013. Structure-activity relationship of selected meta- and para-hydroxylated non-dioxin like polychlorinated biphenyls: from single RyR1 channels to muscle dysfunction. Toxicol Sci 136(2):500-513. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kft202 PMID:24014653 PMCID:PMC3858193


  • Cao Z, Hammock BD, McCoy MR, Rogawski MA, Lein PJ, Pessah IN. 2012. Tetramethylenedisulfotetramine alters Ca2+ dynamics in cultured hippocampal neurons: mitigation by NMDA receptor blockade and GABA(A) receptor-positive modulation. Toxicol Sci 130(2):362-372. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfs244 PMID:22889812 PMCID:PMC3529644
  • Cherednichenko G, Zhang R, Bannister RA, Timofeyev V, Li N, Fritsch EB, Feng W, Barrientos G, Schebb N, Hammock BD, Beam KG, Chiamvimonvat N, Pessah IN. 2012. Triclosan impairs excitation-contraction coupling and Ca2+ dynamics in striated muscle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109(35):14158-14163. doi:10.1073/pnas.1211314109 PMID:22891308 PMCID:PMC3435154
  • Kaplan ES, Cao Z, Hulsizer S, Tassone F, Berman RF, Hagerman PJ, Pessah IN. 2012. Early mitochondrial abnormailities in hippocampal neurons cultured from Fmr I pre-mutation mouse model. J Neurochem 123(4):613-621. doi:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2012.07936.x PMID:22924671 PMCID:PMC3564636
  • Koenig CM, Lango J, Pessah IN, Berman RF. 2012. Maternal transfer of BDE-47 to offspring and neurobehavioral development in C57BL/6J mice. Neurotoxicol Teratol 34(6):571-580. doi:10.1016/ PMID:23022914 PMCID:PMC3501584
  • Wayman GA, Bose DD, Yang DR, Lesiak A, Bruun DA, Impey S, Ledoux V, Pessah IN, Lein PJ. 2012. PCB-95 modulates the calcium-dependent signaling pathway responsible for activity-dependent dendritic growth. Environ Health Perspect 120:1003-1009. doi:10.1289/ehp.1104833 PMID:22534176 PMCID:PMC3404671
  • Wayman GA, Yang DR, Bose DD, Lesiak A, Ledoux V, Bruun DA, Pessah IN, Lein PJ. 2012. PCB-95 promotes dendritic growth via ryanodine receptor-dependent mechanisms. Environ Health Perspect 120:997-1002. doi:10.1289/ehp.1104832 PMID:22534141 PMCID:PMC3404670




  • Inan SY, Berman RF, Kim K, Pessah IN. 2009. Excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission is differentially influenced by two ortho-substituted polychlorinated biphenyls in the hippocampal slice preparation. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 237(2):168-177. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2009.03.002 PMID:19289137 PMCID:PMC2693412
  • Morisseau C, Merzlikin O, Lin A, He G, Feng W, Padilla I, Denison MS, Pessah IN, Hammock BD. 2009. Toxicology in the fast lane: application of high-throughput bioassays to detect modulation of key enzymes and receptors. Environ Health Perspect 117(12):1867-1872. doi:10.1289/ehp.0900834 PMID:20049205 PMCID:PMC2799460
  • Pessah IN, Lehmler H, Robertson LW, Perez CF, Cabrales E, Bose DD, Feng W. 2009. Enantiomeric specificity of (-)-2,2',3,3',6,6'-hexachlorobiphenyl toward ryanodine receptor types 1 and 2. Chem Res Toxicol 22(1):201-207. doi:10.1021/tx800328u PMID:18954145 PMCID:PMC2662366


  • Berman RF, Pessah IN, Mouton PR, Mav D, Harry J. 2008. Low-level neonatal thimerosal exposure: further evaluation of altered neurotoxic potential in SJL mice. Toxicol Sci 101(2):294-309. PMID:17977901
  • Chen J, Ahn K, Zhao B, Denison MS, Lasley BL, Pessah IN, Kültz D, Chang DP, Gee SJ, Hammock BD, Cherednichenko G. 2008. In vitro biologic activities of the antimicrobials triclocarban, its analogs, and triclosan in bioassay screens: receptor-based bioassay screens. Environ Health Perspect 116:1203-1210. doi:10.1289/ehp.11200 PMID:18795164 PMCID:PMC2535623
  • Pessah IN, Seegal R, Lein PJ, LaSalle J, Yee BK, van de Water JG, Berman RF. 2008. Immunologic and neurodevelopmental susceptibilities of autism. Neurotoxicology 29(3):532-545. doi:10.1016/j.neuro.2008.02.006 PMID:18394707 PMCID:PMC2475601


  • Phimister AJ, Lango J, Lee EH, Ernst-Russell M, Takeshima H, Ma J, Allen PD, Pessah IN. 2007. Conformation-dependent stability of junctophilin 1 (JP1) and ryanodine receptor type 1 (RyR1) channel complex is mediated by their hyper-reactive thiols. J Biol Chem 282(12):8667-8677. doi:10.1074/jbc.M609936200 PMID:17237236
  • Ta TA, Pessah IN. 2007. Ryanodine receptor type 1 (RyR1) possessing malignant hyperthermia mutation R615C exhibits heightened sensitivity to dysregulation by non-coplanar 2,22,3,52,6-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 95). Neurotoxicology 28(4):770-9.


  • Pessah IN, Hansen LG, Albertson TE, Garner CE, Ta TA, Do ZN, Kim K, Wong PW. 2006. Structure-activity relationship for noncoplanar polychlorinated biphenyl congeners toward the ryanodine receptor-Ca2+ channel complex type 1 (RyR1). Chem Res Toxicol 19(1):92-101. doi:10.1021/tx050196m PMID:16411661
  • Ta TA, Feng W, Molinski TF, Pessah IN. 2006. Hydroxylated xestospongins block inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate-induced Ca2+ release and sensitize Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release mediated by ryanodine receptors. Mol Pharmacol 69(2):532-538. doi:10.1124/mol.105.019125 PMID:16249374


  • Inceoglu B, Lango J, Pessah IN, Hammock BD. 2005. Three structurally related, highly potent, peptides from the venom of Parabuthus transvaalicus possess divergent biological activity. Toxicon 45(6):727-733. PMID:15804521


  • Gafni J, Wong PW, Pessah IN. 2004. Non-coplanar 2,2 ',3,5 ',6-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 95) amplifies ionotropic glutamate receptor signaling in embryonic cerebellar granule neurons by a mechanism involving ryanodine receptors. Toxicol Sci 77(1):72-82. PMID:14600284
  • Voss AA, Lango J, Ernst-Russell M, Morin D, Pessah IN. 2004. Identification of hyperreactive cysteines within ryanodine receptor type 1 by mass spectrometry. J Biol Chem 279(33):34514-34520. PMID:15197184


  • Inceoglu B, Lango J, Jing J, Chen L, Doymaz F, Pessah IN, Hammock BD. 2003. One scorpion, two venoms: prevenom of Parabuthus transvaalicus acts as an alternative type of venom with distinct mechanism of action. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 100(3):922-927. PMID:12552107


  • Wong PW, Garcia EF, Pessah IN. 2001. ortho-Substituted PCB95 alters intracellular calcium signaling and causes cellular acidification in PC12 cells by an immunophilin-dependent mechanism. J Neurochem 76:450-463. PMID:11208908


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