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IMV Executive Assistant


tel. (612) 624-1926

fax. (612) 625-1108


18-242 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

General Questions:

James Lokensgard,

Department of Medicine, Medical School


MS, North Dakota State University
PhD, University of Minnesota
Post-doctoral training, University of California, Los Angeles

Research Interests

Dr. Lokensgard's laboratory currently performs studies supporting two independent research programs in neurovirology. The first program investigates host defense mechanisms against cytomegalovirus brain infection. Our experiments investigate how glial cell-produced chemokines recruit peripheral lymphocytes into the brain to control intracerebral spread of MCMV. The Laboratory's other program studies the immunoregulation of herpes simplex virus (HSV) encephalitis by microglial cells. We are investigating how chemokines produced by microglial cells in response to HSV infection initiate cascades of neuroimmune responses that result in the serious brain damage seen during herpes encephalitis. Knowledge gained from these studies will increase our understanding of the role of chemokine networks in regulating brain inflammation with the ultimate goal of finding new therapy for serious viral brain infections.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Aravalli RN, Hu S, Lokensgard JR. 2008. Inhibition of toll-like receptor signaling in primary murine microglia. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 3(1):5-11. Epub 2007 Dec 5.
  • Cheeran MC, Hu S, Palmquist JM, Bakken T, Gekker G, Lokensgard JR. 2007. Dysregulated interferon-gamma responses during lethal cytomegalovirus brain infection of IL-10-deficient mice. Virus Res. 130(1-2):96-102. Epub 2007 Jul 12.
  • Sheng WS, Hu S, Herr G, Ni HT, Rock RB, Gekker G, Lokensgard JR, Peterson PK. 2007. Human neural precursor cells express functional kappa-opioid receptors. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 322(3):957-63. Epub 2007 May 30.
  • Aravalli RN, Hu S, Lokensgard JR. 2007. Toll-like receptor 2 signaling is a mediator of apoptosis in herpes simplex virus-infected microglia. J Neuroinflammation. J Neuroinflammation. 4:11.
  • Aravalli RN, Hu S, Rowen TN, Gekker G, Lokensgard JR. 2006. Differential apoptotic signaling in primary glial cells infected with herpes simplex virus 1. J Neurovirol. 12(6):501-10.
  • Hu S, Cheeran MC, Sheng WS, Ni HT, Lokensgard JR, Peterson PK. 2006. Cocaine alters proliferation, migration, and differentiation of human fetal brain-derived neural precursor cells. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 318(3):1280-6. Epub 2006 Jun 9.
  • Gekker G, Hu S, Sheng WS, Rock RB, Lokensgard JR, Peterson PK. 2006. Cocaine-induced HIV-1 expression in microglia involves sigma-1 receptors and transforming growth factor-beta1. Int Immunopharmacol. 6(6):1029-33. Epub 2006 Jan 13.
  • Marques CP, Hu S, Sheng W, Lokensgard JR. 2006. Microglial cells initiate vigorous yet non-protective immune responses during HSV-1 brain infection. Virus Res. 121(1):1-10. Epub 2006 Apr 18.
  • Cheeran MC, Hu S, Sheng WS, Rashid A, Peterson PK, Lokensgard JR. 2005. Differential responses of human brain cells to West Nile virus infection. J Neurovirol. 11(6):512-24.
  • Sheng WS, Hu S, Ni HT, Rowen TN, Lokensgard JR, Peterson PK. 2005. TNF-alpha-induced chemokine production and apoptosis in human neural precursor cells. J Leukoc Biol. 78(6):1233-41.
  • Cheeran MC, Hu S, Ni HT, Sheng W, Palmquist JM, Peterson PK, Lokensgard JR. 2005. Neural precursor cell susceptibility to human cytomegalovirus diverges along glial or neuronal differentiation pathways. J Neurosci Res. 82(6):839-50.
  • Aravalli RN, Hu S, Rowen TN, Palmquist JM, Lokensgard JR. 2005. Cutting edge: TLR2-mediated proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine production by microglial cells in response to herpes simplex virus. J Immunol. 175(7):4189-93.
  • Gekker G, Hu S, Spivak M, Lokensgard JR, Peterson PK. 2005. Anti-HIV-1 activity of propolis in CD4(+) lymphocyte and microglial cell cultures. J Ethnopharmacol.102(2):158-63. Epub 2005 Jul 19.
  • Cheeran MC, Gekker G, Hu S, Palmquist JM, Lokensgard JR. 2005. T cell-mediated restriction of intracerebral murine cytomegalovirus infection displays dependence upon perforin but not interferon-gamma. J Neurovirol. 11(3):274-80.
  • Hu S, Sheng WS, Lokensgard JR, Peterson PK. 2005. Morphine potentiates HIV-1 gp120-induced neuronal apoptosis. J Infect Dis. 191(6):886-9. Epub 2005 Feb 10.
  • Sheng WS, Hu S, Min X, Cabral GA, Lokensgard JR, Peterson PK. 2005. Synthetic cannabinoid WIN55,212-2 inhibits generation of inflammatory mediators by IL-1beta-stimulated human astrocytes. Glia. 49(2):211-9.
  • Ni HT, Hu S, Sheng WS, Olson JM, Cheeran MC, Chan AS, Lokensgard JR, Peterson PK. 2004. High-level expression of functional chemokine receptor CXCR4 on human neural precursor cells. Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 152(2):159-69.
  • Marques CP, Hu S, Sheng W, Cheeran MC, Cox D, Lokensgard JR. 2004. Interleukin-10 attenuates production of HSV-induced inflammatory mediators by human microglia. Glia. 47(4):358-66.
  • Cheeran MC, Gekker G, Hu S, Min X, Cox D, Lokensgard JR. 2004. Intracerebral infection with murine cytomegalovirus induces CXCL10 and is restricted by adoptive transfer of splenocytes. J Neurovirol. 10(3):152-62.
  • Gekker G, Hu S, Wentland MP, Bidlack JM, Lokensgard JR, Peterson PK. 2004. Kappa-opioid receptor ligands inhibit cocaine-induced HIV-1 expression in microglial cells. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 309(2):600-6. Epub 2004 Feb 2.
  • Peterson PK, Gekker G, Hu S, Cabral G, Lokensgard JR. 2004. Cannabinoids and morphine differentially affect HIV-1 expression in CD4(+) lymphocyte and microglial cell cultures. J Neuroimmunol. 147(1-2):123-6.
  • Cheeran MC-J, Hu S, Sheng WS, Peterson PK, Lokensgard JR. 2003. CXCL10 production from cytomegalovirus-stimulated microglia is regulated by both human and viral interleukin-10. J Virol. 77:4502-4515.
  • Lokensgard JR, Gekker G, Peterson PK. 2002. k-Opioid receptor agonist inhibition of HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein-mediated membrane fusion and CXCR4 expression on CD4+ lymphocytes. Biochem Pharmacol. 63:1037-1041.
  • Lokensgard JR, Cheeran MC-J, Hu S, Gekker G, and Peterson PK. 2002. Glial cell responses to herpesvirus infections: role in defense and pathogenesis. J Infect Dis. 186 (Suppl 2):S171-S179.

Featured News & Events

'Wisc-e-sota', a Joint UMN-UW Virology Training Grant Symposium was first held on Friday, Sepbember 20th, 2013 at the Uniiversity of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Cartwright Center. This was the inaugural collaborative symposium of the NIH T32-supported virology training programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Talks and poster sessions were presented by students, postdocs and faculty. The second UMN-UW Virology Training Grant Symposium will be held in the Fall 2014. Details to follow.

The 2014 IMV Symposium will be held on May 12, 2014 and Mark Denison (Vanderbilt) and Bert Semler (UC-Irvine) will be the Keynote Speakers. Click on the link below to register and submit abstracts.

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