Professor Janet Keast

Honorary Professor
Medicine, Northern Clinical School
Kolling Institute of Medical Research


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Research interests

Visceral pain, spinal cord injury, steroids, neurotrophic factors, nerve regeneration, autonomic and sensory innervation of urogenital organs

Selected grants

2012

  • Strategies to restore bladder control after peripheral nerve injury; Keast J; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.
  • Spinal cord injury pain: understanding mechanisms to develop treatments; Keast J, Osborne P; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.

2011

  • High resolution mapping of lower urinary tract innervation during development; Keast J, Osborne P; National Institutes of Health (USA)/Research Support.
  • Can persistent bladder pain be treated by targeting TRPA1 expressing nociceptors?; Osborne P, Keast J; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.
  • Effects of nerve injury on bladder regulation; Keast J; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.

2010

  • MMI Smart Cut Plus laser microdissector; Baxter R, Little C, Marsh D, Keast J; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Equipment Grants.
  • NHMRC Senior Research fellowship B; Keast J; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Career Awards: Research Fellowships.

2009

  • Modulation of autonomic nerve growth by guidance factors; Keast J, Nangle M; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.
  • A new strategy to inhibit visceral pain; Cousins M, Keast J; Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists/Research Grants.

2008

  • Plasticity and regeneration of bladder motor nerve circuits after injury; Keast J; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Keast J; North Sydney Central Coast Area Health Services (NSCCAH)/Research Grant.
  • Real-time cellular imaging system; Connor M, Keast J, Vaughan C, Christie M, Osborne P, Bagley E, Sue C; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Equipment Grants.

2006

  • Regeneration of pelvic autonomic axons after injury; Keast J; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.

2005

  • Pain following spinal cord injury: understanding mechanisms to develop treatments.; Keast J, Siddall P, Cousins M, Osborne P, Christie M; NSW Ministry of Science and Medical Research/Spinal Cord Injury Research Grants.
  • Testing of neurturin & TrkC receptor agonists in parasympathetic nerves; Klein R, Keast J; Rinat Neuroscience Corporation (USA)/Research Grants.
  • NHMRC EQUIP 2005 Keast; Keast J; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Equipment Grants.
  • Srfb; Keast J; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Established Career Fellowships.
  • Effects of estrogens on bladder pain; Keast J, Osborne P; National Institutes of Health (USA)/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive & Kidney Diseases.

2004

  • High-speed confocal microscope live cell recording system; van Helden D, Keast J, Aitken R, Brock J, McLaughlin E, Head S, Riches J; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF).
  • Neurotrophic factors for pelvic autonomic neurons: the role of neurturin; Keast J; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).
  • Mechanisms of testosterone action on the male pelvic autonomic nervous system: the role of estrogens; Keast J; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.
  • Remodelling of lubosacral autonomic pathways after spinal injury: the role of semaphorins and netrins.; Keast J; Road Traffic Authority (through Aust Spinal Research Trust )/Research Grant.
  • SRF B; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Established Career Fellowships.

2001

  • SRF B; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Established Career Fellowships.
  • Trophic factors and plasticity of pelvic ganglion neurons; Keast J; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Large Research Grants (LRG).
  • Plasticity and hormone-sensitivity of pelvic autonomic nerve circuits; Keast J; Clive & Vera Ramaciotti Foundation/Equipment Grant.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Anderson, C., Keast, J., McLachlan, E. (2009). Spinal autonomic preganglionic neurons: the visceral efferent system of the spinal cord. In Watson C; Paxinos G; Kayalioglu G (Eds.), The Spinal Cord: A Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Text and Atlas, (pp. 115-129). United States: Academic Press Elsevier.

Journals

  • Forrest, S., Osborne, P., Keast, J. (2013). Characterization of bladder sensory neurons in the context of myelination, receptors for pain modulators, and acute responses to bladder inflammation. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7, 1-12. [More Information]
  • O'Mullane, L., Keast, J., Osborne, P. (2013). Co-Cultures Provide a New Tool to Probe Communication Between Adult Sensory Neurons and Urothelium. The Journal of Urology, 190(2), 737-745. [More Information]
  • Simanainen, U., Gao, Y., Desai, R., Jimenez, M., Spaliviero, J., Keast, J., Handelsman, D. (2013). Evidence for increased tissue androgen sensitivity in neurturin knockout mice. The Journal of Endocrinology, 218(2), 151-163. [More Information]
  • Kalous, A., Nangle, M., Anastasia, A., Hempstead, B., Keast, J. (2012). Neurotrophic actions initiated by proNGF in adult sensory neurons may require peri-somatic glia to drive local cleavage to NGF. Journal of Neurochemistry, 122(3), 523-536. [More Information]
  • Peddie, C., Keast, J. (2011). Pelvic nerve injury causes a rapid decrease in expression of choline acetyltransferase and upregulation of c-Jun and ATF-3 in a distinct population of sacral preganglionic neurons. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 5(6), 1-13. [More Information]
  • Nangle, M., Keast, J. (2011). Semaphorin 3A inhibits growth of adult sympathetic and parasympathetic neurones via distinct cyclic nucleotide signalling pathways. British Journal of Pharmacology, 162(5), 1083-1095. [More Information]
  • Densmore, V., Kalous, A., Keast, J., Osborne, P. (2010). Above-level mechanical hyperalgesia in rats develops after incomplete spinal cord injury but not after cord transection, and is reversed by amitriptyline, morphine and gabapentin. Pain, 151(1), 184-193. [More Information]
  • Kalous, A., Keast, J. (2010). Conditioning lesions enhance growth state only in sensory neurons lacking Calcitonin gene-related peptide and isolectin B4-binding. Neuroscience, 166(1), 107-121. [More Information]
  • Keast, J., Forrest, S., Osborne, P. (2010). Sciatic nerve injury in adult rats causes distinct changes in the central projections of sensory neurons expressing different glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family receptors. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 518(15), 3024-3045. [More Information]
  • Nangle, M., Keast, J. (2009). Deafferentation and axotomy each cause neurturin-independent upregulation of c-Jun in rodent pelvic ganglia. Experimental Neurology, 215(2), 271-280. [More Information]
  • Cheng, Y., Keast, J. (2009). Effects of estrogens and bladder inflammation on mitogen-activated protein kinases in lumbosacral dorsal root ganglia from adult female rats. BMC Neuroscience, 10, 156-1-156-10. [More Information]
  • Nangle, M., Proietto, J., Keast, J. (2009). Impaired Cavernous Reinnervation after Penile Nerve Injury in Rats with Features of the Metabolic Syndrome. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6(11), 3032-3044. [More Information]
  • Kalous, A., Osborne, P., Keast, J. (2009). Spinal cord compression injury in adult rats initiates changes in dorsal horn remodeling that may correlate with development of neuropathic pain. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 513(6), 668-684. [More Information]
  • Xu, S., Cheng, Y., Keast, J., Osborne, P. (2008). 17{beta}-Estradiol activates Estrogen Receptor{beta} signalling and inhibits Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid Receptor 1 activation by capsaicin in adult rat nociceptor neurons. Endocrinology, 149(11), 5540-5548. [More Information]
  • Forrest, S., Keast, J. (2008). Expression of receptors for glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family ligands in sacral spinal cord reveals separate targets of pelvic afferent fibers. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 506(6), 989-1002. [More Information]
  • Yan, H., Keast, J. (2008). Neurturin regulates postnatal differentiation of parasympathetic pelvic ganglion neurons, initial axonal projections, and maintenance of terminal fields in male urogenital organs. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 507(2), 1169-1183. [More Information]
  • Kalous, A., Osborne, P., Keast, J. (2007). Acute and chronic changes in dorsal horn innervation by primary afferents and descending supraspinal pathways after spinal cord injury. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 504(3), 238-253. [More Information]
  • Purves-Tyson, T., Arshi, M., Handelsman, D., Cheng, Y., Keast, J. (2007). Androgen and estrogen receptor mediated mechanisms of testosterone action in male rat pelvic autonomic ganglia. Neuroscience, 148(1), 92-104. [More Information]
  • Brock, J., Handelsman, D., Keast, J. (2007). Post natal androgen deprivation dissociates the development of smooth muscle innervation from functional neurotransmission in mouse vas deferens. The Journal of Physiology, 581(2), 665-678. [More Information]
  • Brock, J., Handelsman, D., Keast, J. (2007). Postnatal androgen deprivation dissociates the development of smooth muscle innervation from functional neurotransmission in mouse vas deferens. The Journal of Physiology, 581(2), 665-678. [More Information]
  • Nangle, M., Keast, J. (2007). Reduced efficacy of nitrergic neurotransmission exacerbates erectile dysfunction after penile nerve injury despite axonal regeneration. Experimental Neurology, 207(1), 30-41. [More Information]
  • Llewellyn-Smith, I., Weaver, L., Keast, J. (2006). Effects of spinal cord injury on synaptic inputs to sympathetic preganglionic neurons. Progress in Brain Research, 152, 11-26. [More Information]
  • Nangle, M., Keast, J. (2006). Loss of nitrergic neurotransmission to mouse corpus cavernosum in the absence of neurturin is accompanied by increased response to acetylcholine. British Journal of Pharmacology, 148(4), 423-433. [More Information]
  • Wanigasekara-Mohotti, Y., Keast, J. (2006). Nerve growth factor, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor and neurturin prevent semaphorin 3A-mediated growth cone collapse in adult sensory neurons. Neuroscience, 142(2), 369-379. [More Information]
  • Keast, J. (2006). Plasticity of pelvic autonomic ganglia and urogenital innervation. International Review of Cytology-a Survey of Cell Biology, 248, 141-208. [More Information]
  • Palma, C., Keast, J. (2006). Structural effects and potential changes in growth factor signalling in penis-projecting autonomic neurons after axotomy. BMC Neuroscience, 7, 1-12. [More Information]
  • Llewellyn-Smith, I., DiCarlo, S., Collins, H., Keast, J. (2005). Enkephalin-immunoreactive interneurons extensively innervate sympathetic preganglionic neurons regulating the pelvic viscera. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 488(3), 278-289. [More Information]
  • Osborne, P., Halliday, G., Cooper, H., Keast, J. (2005). Localization of immunoreactivity for deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC), the receptor for the guidance factor netrin-1, in ventral tier dopamine projection pathways in adult rodents. Neuroscience, 131(3), 671-681. [More Information]
  • Wanigasekara, Y., Keast, J. (2005). Neurturin has multiple neurotrophic effects on adult rat sacral parasympathetic ganglion neurons. European Journal of Neuroscience, 22(3), 595-604. [More Information]
  • Middleton, J., Keast, J. (2004). Artificial Autonomic Reflexes: Using Functional Electrical Stimulation To Mimic Bladder Reflexes After Injury Or Disease. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, 113(1-2), 3-15. [More Information]
  • Wanigasekara-Mohotti, Y., Airaksinen, M., Heuckeroth, R., Milbrandt, J., Keast, J. (2004). Neurturin signaling via GFRa2 is essential for innervation of glandular but not muscle targets of sacral parasympathetic ganglion neurons. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, 25(2), 288-300.
  • Purves-Tyson, T., Keast, J. (2004). Rapid actions of estradiol on cyclic AMP response-element binding protein phosphorylation in dorsal root ganglion neurons. Neuroscience, 129(3), 629-637.
  • Keast, J. (2004). Remodelling of connections in pelvic ganglia after hypogastric nerve crush. Neuroscience, 126(3), 405-414.
  • Bennett, H., Gustafsson, J., Keast, J. (2003). Estrogen receptor expression in lumbosacral dorsal root ganglion cells innervating the female rat urinary bladder. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, 105(2), 90-100.
  • Wanigasekara-Mohotti, Y., Kepper, M., Keast, J. (2003). Immunohistochemical characterisation of pelvic ganglia in male mice. Cell and Tissue Research, 311(2), 175-185.
  • Kanjhan, R., Osborne, P., Ouyang, M., Keast, J. (2003). Postnatal maturational changes in rat pelvic autonomic ganglion cells: a mixture of steroid-dependent and -independent effects. Journal of Neurophysiology, 89(1), 315-323.
  • Keast, J., Gleeson, R., Shulkes, A., Morris, M. (2002). Maturational and maintenance effects of testosterone on terminal axon density and neuropeptide expression in the rat vas deferens. Neuroscience, 112(2), 391-398.
  • Keast, J., Kepper, M. (2001). Differential regulation of trkA and p75 in noradrenergic pelvic ganglion cells after deafferentation of their cholinergic neighbours. European Journal of Neuroscience, 13, 211-220.
  • Meusburger, S., Keast, J. (2001). Testosterone and nerve growth factor have distinct but interacting effects on structure and neurotransmitter expression of adult pelvic ganglion cells in vitro. Neuroscience, 108, 331-340.

2013

  • Forrest, S., Osborne, P., Keast, J. (2013). Characterization of bladder sensory neurons in the context of myelination, receptors for pain modulators, and acute responses to bladder inflammation. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7, 1-12. [More Information]
  • O'Mullane, L., Keast, J., Osborne, P. (2013). Co-Cultures Provide a New Tool to Probe Communication Between Adult Sensory Neurons and Urothelium. The Journal of Urology, 190(2), 737-745. [More Information]
  • Simanainen, U., Gao, Y., Desai, R., Jimenez, M., Spaliviero, J., Keast, J., Handelsman, D. (2013). Evidence for increased tissue androgen sensitivity in neurturin knockout mice. The Journal of Endocrinology, 218(2), 151-163. [More Information]

2012

  • Kalous, A., Nangle, M., Anastasia, A., Hempstead, B., Keast, J. (2012). Neurotrophic actions initiated by proNGF in adult sensory neurons may require peri-somatic glia to drive local cleavage to NGF. Journal of Neurochemistry, 122(3), 523-536. [More Information]

2011

  • Peddie, C., Keast, J. (2011). Pelvic nerve injury causes a rapid decrease in expression of choline acetyltransferase and upregulation of c-Jun and ATF-3 in a distinct population of sacral preganglionic neurons. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 5(6), 1-13. [More Information]
  • Nangle, M., Keast, J. (2011). Semaphorin 3A inhibits growth of adult sympathetic and parasympathetic neurones via distinct cyclic nucleotide signalling pathways. British Journal of Pharmacology, 162(5), 1083-1095. [More Information]

2010

  • Densmore, V., Kalous, A., Keast, J., Osborne, P. (2010). Above-level mechanical hyperalgesia in rats develops after incomplete spinal cord injury but not after cord transection, and is reversed by amitriptyline, morphine and gabapentin. Pain, 151(1), 184-193. [More Information]
  • Kalous, A., Keast, J. (2010). Conditioning lesions enhance growth state only in sensory neurons lacking Calcitonin gene-related peptide and isolectin B4-binding. Neuroscience, 166(1), 107-121. [More Information]
  • Keast, J., Forrest, S., Osborne, P. (2010). Sciatic nerve injury in adult rats causes distinct changes in the central projections of sensory neurons expressing different glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family receptors. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 518(15), 3024-3045. [More Information]

2009

  • Nangle, M., Keast, J. (2009). Deafferentation and axotomy each cause neurturin-independent upregulation of c-Jun in rodent pelvic ganglia. Experimental Neurology, 215(2), 271-280. [More Information]
  • Cheng, Y., Keast, J. (2009). Effects of estrogens and bladder inflammation on mitogen-activated protein kinases in lumbosacral dorsal root ganglia from adult female rats. BMC Neuroscience, 10, 156-1-156-10. [More Information]
  • Nangle, M., Proietto, J., Keast, J. (2009). Impaired Cavernous Reinnervation after Penile Nerve Injury in Rats with Features of the Metabolic Syndrome. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6(11), 3032-3044. [More Information]
  • Anderson, C., Keast, J., McLachlan, E. (2009). Spinal autonomic preganglionic neurons: the visceral efferent system of the spinal cord. In Watson C; Paxinos G; Kayalioglu G (Eds.), The Spinal Cord: A Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Text and Atlas, (pp. 115-129). United States: Academic Press Elsevier.
  • Kalous, A., Osborne, P., Keast, J. (2009). Spinal cord compression injury in adult rats initiates changes in dorsal horn remodeling that may correlate with development of neuropathic pain. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 513(6), 668-684. [More Information]

2008

  • Xu, S., Cheng, Y., Keast, J., Osborne, P. (2008). 17{beta}-Estradiol activates Estrogen Receptor{beta} signalling and inhibits Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid Receptor 1 activation by capsaicin in adult rat nociceptor neurons. Endocrinology, 149(11), 5540-5548. [More Information]
  • Forrest, S., Keast, J. (2008). Expression of receptors for glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family ligands in sacral spinal cord reveals separate targets of pelvic afferent fibers. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 506(6), 989-1002. [More Information]
  • Yan, H., Keast, J. (2008). Neurturin regulates postnatal differentiation of parasympathetic pelvic ganglion neurons, initial axonal projections, and maintenance of terminal fields in male urogenital organs. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 507(2), 1169-1183. [More Information]

2007

  • Kalous, A., Osborne, P., Keast, J. (2007). Acute and chronic changes in dorsal horn innervation by primary afferents and descending supraspinal pathways after spinal cord injury. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 504(3), 238-253. [More Information]
  • Purves-Tyson, T., Arshi, M., Handelsman, D., Cheng, Y., Keast, J. (2007). Androgen and estrogen receptor mediated mechanisms of testosterone action in male rat pelvic autonomic ganglia. Neuroscience, 148(1), 92-104. [More Information]
  • Brock, J., Handelsman, D., Keast, J. (2007). Post natal androgen deprivation dissociates the development of smooth muscle innervation from functional neurotransmission in mouse vas deferens. The Journal of Physiology, 581(2), 665-678. [More Information]
  • Brock, J., Handelsman, D., Keast, J. (2007). Postnatal androgen deprivation dissociates the development of smooth muscle innervation from functional neurotransmission in mouse vas deferens. The Journal of Physiology, 581(2), 665-678. [More Information]
  • Nangle, M., Keast, J. (2007). Reduced efficacy of nitrergic neurotransmission exacerbates erectile dysfunction after penile nerve injury despite axonal regeneration. Experimental Neurology, 207(1), 30-41. [More Information]

2006

  • Llewellyn-Smith, I., Weaver, L., Keast, J. (2006). Effects of spinal cord injury on synaptic inputs to sympathetic preganglionic neurons. Progress in Brain Research, 152, 11-26. [More Information]
  • Nangle, M., Keast, J. (2006). Loss of nitrergic neurotransmission to mouse corpus cavernosum in the absence of neurturin is accompanied by increased response to acetylcholine. British Journal of Pharmacology, 148(4), 423-433. [More Information]
  • Wanigasekara-Mohotti, Y., Keast, J. (2006). Nerve growth factor, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor and neurturin prevent semaphorin 3A-mediated growth cone collapse in adult sensory neurons. Neuroscience, 142(2), 369-379. [More Information]
  • Keast, J. (2006). Plasticity of pelvic autonomic ganglia and urogenital innervation. International Review of Cytology-a Survey of Cell Biology, 248, 141-208. [More Information]
  • Palma, C., Keast, J. (2006). Structural effects and potential changes in growth factor signalling in penis-projecting autonomic neurons after axotomy. BMC Neuroscience, 7, 1-12. [More Information]

2005

  • Llewellyn-Smith, I., DiCarlo, S., Collins, H., Keast, J. (2005). Enkephalin-immunoreactive interneurons extensively innervate sympathetic preganglionic neurons regulating the pelvic viscera. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 488(3), 278-289. [More Information]
  • Osborne, P., Halliday, G., Cooper, H., Keast, J. (2005). Localization of immunoreactivity for deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC), the receptor for the guidance factor netrin-1, in ventral tier dopamine projection pathways in adult rodents. Neuroscience, 131(3), 671-681. [More Information]
  • Wanigasekara, Y., Keast, J. (2005). Neurturin has multiple neurotrophic effects on adult rat sacral parasympathetic ganglion neurons. European Journal of Neuroscience, 22(3), 595-604. [More Information]

2004

  • Middleton, J., Keast, J. (2004). Artificial Autonomic Reflexes: Using Functional Electrical Stimulation To Mimic Bladder Reflexes After Injury Or Disease. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, 113(1-2), 3-15. [More Information]
  • Wanigasekara-Mohotti, Y., Airaksinen, M., Heuckeroth, R., Milbrandt, J., Keast, J. (2004). Neurturin signaling via GFRa2 is essential for innervation of glandular but not muscle targets of sacral parasympathetic ganglion neurons. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, 25(2), 288-300.
  • Purves-Tyson, T., Keast, J. (2004). Rapid actions of estradiol on cyclic AMP response-element binding protein phosphorylation in dorsal root ganglion neurons. Neuroscience, 129(3), 629-637.
  • Keast, J. (2004). Remodelling of connections in pelvic ganglia after hypogastric nerve crush. Neuroscience, 126(3), 405-414.

2003

  • Bennett, H., Gustafsson, J., Keast, J. (2003). Estrogen receptor expression in lumbosacral dorsal root ganglion cells innervating the female rat urinary bladder. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, 105(2), 90-100.
  • Wanigasekara-Mohotti, Y., Kepper, M., Keast, J. (2003). Immunohistochemical characterisation of pelvic ganglia in male mice. Cell and Tissue Research, 311(2), 175-185.
  • Kanjhan, R., Osborne, P., Ouyang, M., Keast, J. (2003). Postnatal maturational changes in rat pelvic autonomic ganglion cells: a mixture of steroid-dependent and -independent effects. Journal of Neurophysiology, 89(1), 315-323.

2002

  • Keast, J., Gleeson, R., Shulkes, A., Morris, M. (2002). Maturational and maintenance effects of testosterone on terminal axon density and neuropeptide expression in the rat vas deferens. Neuroscience, 112(2), 391-398.

2001

  • Keast, J., Kepper, M. (2001). Differential regulation of trkA and p75 in noradrenergic pelvic ganglion cells after deafferentation of their cholinergic neighbours. European Journal of Neuroscience, 13, 211-220.
  • Meusburger, S., Keast, J. (2001). Testosterone and nerve growth factor have distinct but interacting effects on structure and neurotransmitter expression of adult pelvic ganglion cells in vitro. Neuroscience, 108, 331-340.

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