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Department of Neurology

Department of Neurology

Faculty | Professors


Lab: Pleasure Lab 


Multiple sclerosis 


Astrocyte biology 


Feature Stories:

White Matter Matters: UC Davis neurology researchers focus on brain’s superhighway of connectors 




To see if David Pleasure is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call (800) 2-UC DAVIS.

David Pleasure, M.D.

David Pleasure, M.D.

Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics
Director of Research, Shriner's Hospital for Children
Director, Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine
Distinguished Professor, UC Davis

Specialty: Neurology

Neurology Research, Shriner’s Hospital
2425 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA  95817

Clinical & Research Interests

David Pleasure studies how inflammation of white matter contributes to certain autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and several inherited childhood diseases such as adrenoleukodystrophy. He also focuses on periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) – a disorder of developing white matter in premature infants – that frequently results in cerebral palsy. Pleasure’s studies on immature oligodendroglia – cells that make myelin – contributed significantly to the understanding of both disorders.


P&S, Columbia
New York, New York
M.D. 1963


Yale College
New Haven, Connecticut
B.A. 1959


Neurological Institute, Columbia
New York, New York  


NINDS, National Institute of Health
Bethesda, Maryland

Select Recent Publications

Itoh, Horiuchi, Bannerman, Pleasure, Itoh (2009) Impaired regenerative response of primary sensory neurons in ZPK/KLK gene-trap mice. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 383:258-262.

Zhou, Molotkov, Song, Li, Pleasure, Pleasure, Wang (2008) Ocular coloboma and dorsoventral neuroretinal patterning defects in Lrp6 mutant eyes. Devel Dynamics 237:3681-3689.

Wang, Molotkov, Song, Li, Pleasure, Zhou (2008) Activation of the Wnt/b-catenin signaling reporter in developing mouse olfactory nerve layer marks a specialized subgroup of olfactory ensheathing cells. Devel Dynamics 237:3157-3168.

Bannerman, Ara, Hahn, Hong, McCauley, Friesen, Pleasure (2008) Peripheral nerve regeneration is delayed in neuropilin 2-deficient mice. J Neurosci Res 86:3163-3169.

Feldman, Keachie, Horiuchi, Itoh, Itoh, Bannerman, McCauley, Pleasure (2008) Characterization of acid sensing ion channel expression in the oligodendroglial lineage. Glia 56:1238-1249.

Bannerman, Horiuchi, Feldman, Hahn, Ito, See, Jia, Itoh, Pleasure (2007) GluR2-free AMPA receptors intensify demyelination in EAE. J Neurochem 102:1064-1070.

Bannerman, Hahn, Soulika, Gallo, Pleasure (2007) Astrogliosis in EAE spinal cord: derivation from radial glia, and relationships to oligodendroglia. Glia 5:57-64.

Horiuchi, Itoh, Pleasure, Itoh (2006) MEK-ERK signaling is involved in interferon-gamma induced death of oligodendroglial progenitor cells. J Biol Chem 281:20095-20106.

Bannerman, Hahn, Ramirez, Bonnemann, Yu, Rostami, Pleasure (2005) Motor neuron pathology in thy1-YFP transgenic mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Brain 128:1877-1886, 2005.

Guo, Ma, McCauley, Pleasure (2009) Early postnatal plp-promoter expressing progenitors produce multilineage cells during normal in vivo development. J Neurosci 29:7256-7270.

Ara, Bannerman, Shaheen, Pleasure (2005) A Schwann cell autonomous role of neuropilin-2. J Neurosci Res 79:468-475.

Itoh (T), Itoh (A), Pleasure (2003) Bcl-2-related protein family gene expression during oligodendroglial differentiation. J Neurochem 85:1500-1512.

Itoh (T), Beesley, Itoh (A), Cohen, Kavanaugh, Coulter, Grinspan, Pleasure (2002) AMPA glutamate receptor-mediated calcium signaling is transiently enhanced during development of oligodendrocytes. J Neurochem 81:390-402.

Itoh, Reddy, Stern, Chen, Itoh, Pleasure (2000) Diminished calcium homeostasis and increased susceptibility to excitotoxicity after differentiation of oligodendroglial progenitor cells to immature oligodendrocytes. Glia 31:165-180.

Moran, Itoh, Reddy, Chen, Alnemri, Pleasure (1999) Caspase-3 expression by cerebellar granule neurons is regulated by calcium and cyclic AMP. J Neurochem 73:568-577.

Itoh, Itoh, Horiuchi, Pleasure (1998) AMPA receptor-mediated excitotoxicity in human NT2-N neurons results from loss of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis following marked elevation of intracellular Na+. J Neurochem 71:112-125.

Yoshioka, Hardy, Younkin, Grinspan, Stern, Pleasure (1995) alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA) receptors mediate excitotoxity in the oligodendroglial lineage. J Neurochem 64:2442-2448.

Younkin, Tang, Hardy, Reddy, Pleasure, Lee, Pleasure (1993) Inducible expression of neuronal glutamate receptor-channels in the NT2 human cell line. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 90:2174-2178.

Grinspan, Stern, Pustilnik, Pleasure (1990) Cerebral white matter contains PDGF-responsive precursors to O2A cells. J Neurosci 10:1866-1873.

Pleasure, Parris, Stern, Grinspan, Kim (1986) Incorporation of tritiated galactose into galactocerebroside by cultured rat oligodendrocytes: effects of cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate analogues. J Neurochem 46:300-302.

Sobue, Pleasure (1985) Adhesion of axolemmal fragments to Schwann cells: a signal- and target-specific process closely linked to axolemmal induction of Schwann cell mitosis. J Neurosci 5:379-387.

Sobue, Pleasure (1984) Schwann cell galactocerebroside is induced by derivatives of adenosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate. Science 224:72-74.

 Guo, Ma, McCauley, Pleasure (2009) Early postnatal plp-promoter expressing progenitors
produce multilineage cells during normal in vivo development.  J Neurosci 29:7256-7270 (PMID: 19494148).

Selvaraj, Soundarapandian, Chechneva, Williams , Sidorov , Soulika, Pleasure, Deng (2009) PARP-1 deficiency increases the severity of disease in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis.  J Biol Chem 284:26070-26084 (PMID: 19628872).

Song, Li, Wang, Wang, Molotkov, Gao, Zhao, Yamagami, Wang, Gan, Pleasure, Zhou (2009) Lrp6-mediated canonical Wnt signaling is required for lip formation and fusion.  Development 136:3161-3171 (PMID:  19700620).

Kawai, Itoh, Itoh, Horiuchi, Bannerman, Garbern, Pleasure, Lindsten (2009) Oligodendroglial population is maintained relatively proportional to axons even in the absence of BAX and BAK.  Eur J Neurosci, 30:2030-2041 (PMID: 20128842).

Soulika, Lee, McCauley, Miers, Bannerman, Pleasure (2009) Initiation and progression of axonopathy in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.  J Neurosci 29:14965-14979 (PMID: 19940192).

Guo, Maeda, Ma, Xu, Miers, Vaccarino, Pleasure (2010) Pyramidal neurons are generated from oligodendroglial progenitor cells in adult piriform cortex.  J Neurosci 30:12036-12049 (PMID: 20826667).

Horiuchi, Itoh, Pleasure, Ozato, Itoh (2011) Cooperative contributions of interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1) and IRF8 to interferon-gamma-mediated cytotoxic effects on oligodendrooglial progenitor cells.  J Neuroinflamm 8(1):8 (PMID: 21261980).

Itoh, Horiuchi, Wakayama, Xu, Bannerman, Pleasure, Itoh (2011) ZPK/DLK, a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase, is a critical mediator of programmed cell death of motoneurons.  J Neurosci 31:7223-7228 (PMID: 21593306).

Guo, Maeda, Ma, Delgado, Sohn, Miers, Mills Ko, Bannerman, Xu, Wang, Zhou, Takebayashi, Pleasure (2011) Macroglial plasticity and the origins of reactive astroglia in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.  J Neurosci 31:11914-11928 (PMID: 21849552).