Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh
James R. Roppolo, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
W1354 Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Phone: 412-648-9407

Fax: 412-648-1945


BS (Pharmacy), University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, 1965
PhD (Pharmacology), University of Michigan, 1970
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 1970-1972

Research Areas
Pharmacology of Cell and Organ Systems
Photo of James R. Roppolo, PhD

Dr. Roppolo’s research is concerned with the autonomic nervous system’s control of bladder activity in normal animals and those with central nervous system injuries. A variety of techniques are used to examine, at the level of the lumbosacral spinal cord and brainstem, the various neuronal processes that occur in maintaining normal excretory function.


These methods include: (1) anatomical techniques (HRP tracing and immunohisto-chemical techniques) to determine the location of neurons and possible neuropeptides involved in these processes, (2) neurophysiological techniques (evoked potentials, intracellular and extracellular single neuron recordings) to determine the types of neuronal interactions that occur in this system, (3) neuropharmacological techniques (systemic and iontophoretic application of drugs), (4) behavioral techniques and microstimulation of the of the lumbosacral spinal cord.

Important Publications
Tai C, B Shen, M Chen, J Wang, H Liu, JR Roppolo and WC de Groat.  Suppression of bladder overactivity by activation of somatic afferent nerves in the foot.  BJU International 107:303-309, 2011.
Chen ML, B Shen, J Wang, H Liu, JR Roppolo, WC de Groat and C Tai.  Influence of naloxone on inhibitory pudendal-to-bladder reflex in cats.  Exp Neurol 224:282-291, 2010.
Birder LA, AS Wolf-Johnston, MK Chib, CA Buffington, JR Roppolo and AT Hanna-Mitchell.  Beyond neurons:  Involvement of urothelial and glial cells in bladder function.  Neurourol Urodyn 29:88-96, 2010.
Tai C, J Wang, T Jin, P Wang, S-G Kim, JR Roppolo and WC de Groat.  Brain switch for reflex micturition control detected by fMRI in rats.  Journal of Neurophysiology 102:2719-2730, 2009.
Tai C and JR Roppolo.  Bladder and sphincter control after spinal cord injury.  Low Urinary Tract Symptoms 1:S84-S86, 2009.
McCarthy CJ, IV Zabbarova, PR Brumovsky, JR Roppolo, GF Gebhart and AJ Kanai.  Spontaneous contractions evoke afferent nerve firing in mouse bladders with detrusor overactivity.  J Urol 181:1459-1466, 2009.

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