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Ronald Tuma, PhDRonald Tuma, PhD


G. H. Stewart Professor, Physiology

Professor, Neurosurgery

Telephone:  215-707-5485

Fax:  215-707-4003

Office: Old Medical School room 231

Email: ronald.tuma@temple.edu


Department of Physiology

Department of Neurosurgery

Center for Substance Abuse Research


Educational Background:


BS, Muhlenberg College

PhD, Temple University School of Medicine


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Research Interests:


The major research efforts in Dr. Tuma’s laboratory are directed at investigation of inflammatory reactions that contribute to central nervous system injury following stroke, trauma, and autoimmune disease, and how modulation of the activity of specific cannabinoid receptors influences the progress of these diseases. Experimental models utilized in these investigations include animal models of stroke, head injury, spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis (Experimental Allergic Encephalitis). His group was the first to demonstrate that modulation of the activation of cannabinoid 2 receptors has a significant impact on the development of a model of multiple sclerosis, as well as on the magnitude of damage in mouse models of stroke and spinal cord injury, and in collaboration with a group at Jefferson University, head injury. Currently, in collaboration with Dr. Ganea’s laboratory, they are investigating of the mechanisms through which cannabinoids impact secondary damage to the CNS following injury, including effects on endothelial cells, microglia and peripheral immune cells, and how alterations in cytokine/chemokine release may influence interaction among these cell types. They are also collaborating with Dr. Wards laboratory to evaluate the effect of CB2 agonists on memory and learning following stroke and on the potential of this compound to enhance the effectiveness of opioids following injury to the central nervous system. It is hoped that synthetic cannabinoids may therefore have a dual action of increasing the efficacy of pain management while simultaneously protecting the nervous system from damage caused by trauma, disease and treatment with opioids.


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Ronald F. Tuma, Walter N. Duran and Klaus Ley.  Handbook of Physiology: Microcirculation.  Academic Press 2008


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Recent Medically Related Publications, Obtained from PubMed (Click on PubMed ID to view abstract)

26207355. Reichenbach ZW, Li H, Gaughan JP, Elliott M, Tuma R, IV and IP administration of rhodamine in visualization of WBC-BBB interactions in cerebral vessels. Microsc Res Tech 78:10(894-9)2015 Oct

26032254. Ronca RD, Myers AM, Ganea D, Tuma RF, Walker EA, Ward SJ, A selective cannabinoid CB2 agonist attenuates damage and improves memory retention following stroke in mice. Life Sci 138:(72-7)2015 Oct 1

25485642. Neelakantan H, Tallarida RJ, Reichenbach ZW, Tuma RF, Ward SJ, Walker EA, Distinct interactions of cannabidiol and morphine in three nociceptive behavioral models in mice. Behav Pharmacol 26:3(304-14)2015 Apr

25416141. Amenta PS, Jallo JI, Tuma RF, Hooper DC, Elliott MB, Cannabinoid receptor type-2 stimulation, blockade, and deletion alter the vascular inflammatory responses to traumatic brain injury. J Neuroinflammation 11:(191)2014 Nov 22

24342422. Kong W, Li H, Tuma RF, Ganea D, Selective CB2 receptor activation ameliorates EAE by reducing Th17 differentiation and immune cell accumulation in the CNS. Cell Immunol 287:1(1-17)2014 Jan

23172304. Navaneetham D, Wu W, Li H, Sinha D, Tuma RF, Walsh PN, P1 and P2' site mutations convert protease nexin-2 from a factor XIa inhibitor to a plasmin inhibitor. J Biochem 153:2(221-31)2013 Feb

22972984. Adhikary S, Kocieda VP, Yen JH, Tuma RF, Ganea D, Signaling through cannabinoid receptor 2 suppresses murine dendritic cell migration by inhibiting matrix metalloproteinase 9 expression. Blood 120:18(3741-9)2012 Nov 1

24323810. Zhang M, Mahadevan A, Amere M, Li H, Ganea D, Tuma RF, Unique effects of compounds active at both cannabinoid and serotonin receptors during stroke. Transl Stroke Res 3:3(348-56)2012 Sep

22674803. Wu W, Li H, Navaneetham D, Reichenbach ZW, Tuma RF, Walsh PN, The kunitz protease inhibitor domain of protease nexin-2 inhibits factor XIa and murine carotid artery and middle cerebral artery thrombosis. Blood 120:3(671-7)2012 Jul 19

22442067. Ramirez SH, Haskó J, Skuba A, Fan S, Dykstra H, McCormick R, Reichenbach N, Krizbai I, Mahadevan A, Zhang M, Tuma R, Son YJ, Persidsky Y, Activation of cannabinoid receptor 2 attenuates leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions and blood-brain barrier dysfunction under inflammatory conditions. J Neurosci 32:12(4004-16)2012 Mar 21

21970496. Adhikary S, Li H, Heller J, Skarica M, Zhang M, Ganea D, Tuma RF, Modulation of inflammatory responses by a cannabinoid-2-selective agonist after spinal cord injury. J Neurotrauma 28:12(2417-27)2011 Dec

21470162. Tuma RF, Steffens S, Targeting the endocannabinod system to limit myocardial and cerebral ischemic and reperfusion injury. Curr Pharm Biotechnol 13:1(46-58)2012 Jan

21397004. Persidsky Y, Ho W, Ramirez SH, Potula R, Abood ME, Unterwald E, Tuma R, HIV-1 infection and alcohol abuse: neurocognitive impairment, mechanisms of neurodegeneration and therapeutic interventions. Brain Behav Immun 25 Suppl 1:(S61-70)2011 Jun

21142467. Levene HB, Elliott MB, Gaughan JP, Loftus CM, Tuma RF, Jallo JI, A murine model of hypertonic saline as a treatment for acute spinal cord injury: effects on autonomic outcome. J Neurosurg Spine 14:1(131-8)2011 Jan

20870012. Zhang M, Mao Y, Ramirez SH, Tuma RF, Chabrashvili T, Angiotensin II induced cerebral microvascular inflammation and increased blood-brain barrier permeability via oxidative stress. Neuroscience 171:3(852-8)2010 Dec 15

20087365. Mao Y, Zhang M, Tuma RF, Kunapuli SP, Deficiency of PAR4 attenuates cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in mice. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 30:5(1044-52)2010 May

20056834. Ramirez SH, Fan S, Zhang M, Papugani A, Reichenbach N, Dykstra H, Mercer AJ, Tuma RF, Persidsky Y, Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK3beta) decreases inflammatory responses in brain endothelial cells. Am J Pathol 176:2(881-92)2010 Feb

19332079. Zhang M, Adler MW, Abood ME, Ganea D, Jallo J, Tuma RF, CB2 receptor activation attenuates microcirculatory dysfunction during cerebral ischemic/reperfusion injury. Microvasc Res 78:1(86-94)2009 Jun

19255856. Zhang M, Martin BR, Adler MW, Razdan RJ, Kong W, Ganea D, Tuma RF, Modulation of cannabinoid receptor activation as a neuroprotective strategy for EAE and stroke. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol 4:2(249-59)2009 Jun

20214038. Heller JE, Baty DE, Zhang M, Li H, Adler M, Ganea D, Gaughan J, Loftus CM, Jallo JI, Tuma RF, The combination of selective inhibition of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor and activation of the cannabinoid CB2 receptor yields improved attenuation of motor and autonomic deficits in a mouse model of spinal cord injury. Clin Neurosurg 56:(84-92)2009

18579212. Levene HB, Mohamed FB, Faro SH, Seshadri AB, Loftus CM, Tuma RF, Jallo JI, Small mammal MRI imaging in spinal cord injury: a novel practical technique for using a 1.5 T MRI. J Neurosci Methods 172:2(245-9)2008 Jul 30

18504922. Levene HB, Erb CJ, Gaughan JP, Loftus CM, Tuma RF, Jallo JI, Hypertonic saline as a treatment for acute spinal cord injury: effects on somatic and autonomic outcomes as observed in a mouse model. Clin Neurosurg 54:(213-9)2007

18304750. Zhang M, Martin BR, Adler MW, Razdan RK, Ganea D, Tuma RF, Modulation of the balance between cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptor activation during cerebral ischemic/reperfusion injury. Neuroscience 152:3(753-60)2008 Mar 27

19248685. Baty DE, Zhang M, Li H, Erb CJ, Adler MW, Ganea D, Loftus CM, Jallo JI, Tuma RF, Cannabinoid CB2 receptor activation attenuates motor and autonomic function deficits in a mouse model of spinal cord injury. Clin Neurosurg 55:(172-7)2008

18076998. Elliott MB, Jallo JJ, Tuma RF, An investigation of cerebral edema and injury volume assessments for controlled cortical impact injury. J Neurosci Methods 168:2(320-4)2008 Mar 15

17574682. Levene HB, Zhang M, Erb CJ, Jallo JI, Loftus CM, Tuma RF, Method to perform IV injections on mice using the facial vein. J Neurosci Methods 164:2(304-7)2007 Aug 30

17548652. Sheibanie AF, Yen JH, Khayrullina T, Emig F, Zhang M, Tuma R, Ganea D, The proinflammatory effect of prostaglandin E2 in experimental inflammatory bowel disease is mediated through the IL-23-->IL-17 axis. J Immunol 178:12(8138-47)2007 Jun 15

17263683. Elliott MB, Jallo JJ, Gaughan JP, Tuma RF, Effects of crystalloid-colloid solutions on traumatic brain injury. J Neurotrauma 24:1(195-202)2007 Jan

17245417. Zhang M, Martin BR, Adler MW, Razdan RK, Jallo JI, Tuma RF, Cannabinoid CB(2) receptor activation decreases cerebral infarction in a mouse focal ischemia/reperfusion model. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 27:7(1387-96)2007 Jul

15124761. Ni X, Geller EB, Eppihimer MJ, Eisenstein TK, Adler MW, Tuma RF, Win 55212-2, a cannabinoid receptor agonist, attenuates leukocyte/endothelial interactions in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model. Mult Scler 10:2(158-64)2004 Apr

12042091. Narayan RK, Michel ME, Ansell B, Baethmann A, Biegon A, Bracken MB, Bullock MR, Choi SC, Clifton GL, Contant CF, Coplin WM, Dietrich WD, Ghajar J, Grady SM, Grossman RG, Hall ED, Heetderks W, Hovda DA, Jallo J, Katz RL, Knoller N, Kochanek PM, Maas AI, Majde J, Marion DW, Marmarou A, Marshall LF, McIntosh TK, Miller E, Mohberg N, Muizelaar JP, Pitts LH, Quinn P, Riesenfeld G, Robertson CS, Strauss KI, Teasdale G, Temkin N, Tuma R, Wade C, Walker MD, Weinrich M, Whyte J, Wilberger J, Young AB, Yurkewicz L, Clinical trials in head injury. J Neurotrauma 19:5(503-57)2002 May

11969309. Weaver M, Leshley K, Sands H, Gritman KR, Legos JJ, Tuma RF, LEX032, a novel recombinant serpin, protects the brain after transient focal ischemia. Microvasc Res 63:3(327-34)2002 May

11846943. Legos JJ, Gritman KR, Tuma RF, Young WF, Coadministration of methylprednisolone with hypertonic saline solution improves overall neurological function and survival rates in a chronic model of spinal cord injury. Neurosurgery 49:6(1427-33)2001 Dec

11152342. Sumas ME, Legos JJ, Nathan D, Lamperti AA, Tuma RF, Young WF, Tonicity of resuscitative fluids influences outcome after spinal cord injury. Neurosurgery 48:1(167-72; discussion 172-3)2001 Jan

10996707. Young WF, Tuma R, O'Grady T, Intraoperative measurement of spinal cord blood flow in syringomyelia. Clin Neurol Neurosurg 102:3(119-23)2000 Sep

10964586. Ni X, Gritman KR, Eisenstein TK, Adler MW, Arfors KE, Tuma RF, Morphine attenuates leukocyte/endothelial interactions. Microvasc Res 60:2(121-30)2000 Sep

10955677. Spera PA, Vasthare US, Tuma RF, Young WF, The effects of hypertonic saline on spinal cord blood flow following compression injury. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 142:7(811-7)2000

10826005. Thompson MK, Tuma RF, Young WF, The effects of pentoxifylline on spinal cord blood flow after experimental spinal cord injury. J Assoc Acad Minor Phys 10:1(23-6)1999

10443913. Saetzler RK, Arfors KE, Tuma RF, Vasthare U, Ma L, Hsia CJ, Lehr HA, Polynitroxylated hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier: inhibition of free radical-induced microcirculatory dysfunction. Free Radic Biol Med 27:1-2(1-6)1999 Jul

9836360. Spera PA, Arfors KE, Vasthare US, Tuma RF, Young WF, Effect of hypertonic saline on leukocyte activity after spinal cord injury. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 23:22(2444-8; discussion 2448-9)1998 Nov 15

9527016. Vasthare US, Barone FC, Sarau HM, Rosenwasser RH, DiMartino M, Young WF, Tuma RF, Complement depletion improves neurological function in cerebral ischemia. Brain Res Bull 45:4(413-9)1998

9288647. Jallo J, Saetzler R, Mishke C, Young WF, Vasthare U, Tuma RF, A chronic model to simultaneously measure intracranial pressure, cerebral blood flow, and study the pial microvasculature. J Neurosci Methods 75:2(155-60)1997 Aug 22

9191697. Tuma RF, Vasthare US, Arfors KE, Young WF, Hypertonic saline administration attenuates spinal cord injury. J Trauma 42:5 Suppl(S54-60)1997 May

9111229. Saetzler RK, Jallo J, Lehr HA, Philips CM, Vasthare U, Arfors KE, Tuma RF, Intravital fluorescence microscopy: impact of light-induced phototoxicity on adhesion of fluorescently labeled leukocytes. J Histochem Cytochem 45:4(505-13)1997 Apr

8044688. Heinel LA, Rubin S, Rosenwasser RH, Vasthare US, Tuma RF, Leukocyte involvement in cerebral infarct generation after ischemia and reperfusion. Brain Res Bull 34:2(137-41)1994

1573183. Cook JJ, Wailgum TD, Vasthare US, Mayrovitz HN, Tuma RF, Age-related alterations in the arterial microvasculature of skeletal muscle. J Gerontol 47:3(B83-8)1992 May

1763600. Carlsson C, Vasthare US, Tuma RF, Rocco MJ, Dombkoski RA, Influence of nitrous oxide administration and discontinuation thereof on blood flow in cerebral cortex, cerebellum and brain stem in the rat. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 35:8(771-5)1991 Nov

1805479. Muscarella LF, Vasthare U, Tuma RF, Abraham V, Ziskin MC, Effect of ultrasound on regional cerebral blood flow in neonatal rats. Ultrasound Med Biol 17:9(893-9)1991

2326731. Vasthare US, Heinel LA, Rosenwasser RH, Tuma RF, Leukocyte involvement in cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury. Surg Neurol 33:4(261-5)1990 Apr

2705546. Cook JJ, Huang TF, Rucinski B, Strzyzewski M, Tuma RF, Williams JA, Niewiarowski S, Inhibition of platelet hemostatic plug formation by trigramin, a novel RGD-peptide. Am J Physiol 256:4 Pt 2(H1038-43)1989 Apr

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Postdoctoral Students:

Ming Zhang, M.D. Ph.D.

Joshua L. Heller, M.D.

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