Athena Soulika Photo

Athena Soulika

Associate Professor
2425 Stockton Blvd, Room 601, Sacramento, CA 95817
(916) 453-5061
athena.soulika (at)


  • BS Chemistry, U. of Patras, Patras Greece
  • PhD Immunology/Protein Chemistry,
  • U. of Patras, Patras Greece/U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Research Interests

Innate immunity, T cell polarization

The main effectors during the axonal demyelinating phases of multiple sclerosis, and its animal model Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) are the activated cells that penetrate the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB). The demyelination of axons leadso neurological deficits and in extreme situations to death. Recently, the subset of cells Th17 has been associated with the pathogenesis of the disease. These cells have been associated with a variety of autoimmune and disorders. However, the mechanisms governing the activation and the polarization of these cells are unclear. The first responder during an infection is the innate immunity. Its response is immediate and upon persistent activation it creates the milieu that will eventually influence the polarization and activation of T cells. We use the well established model of MOG-EAE in mice in order to identify the components of the innate immunity that facilitate the development of the pathogenic T cells during the different stages of the disease.

Out-of-Sequence Signal 3 Paralyzes Primary CD4(+) T-Cell-Dependent Immunity. Immunity. 2015 Aug 18;43(2):240-50. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2015.06.023. Epub 2015 Jul 28Sckisel GD, Bouchlaka MN, Monjazeb AM, Crittenden M, Curti BD, Wilkins DE, Alderson KA, Sungur CM, Ames E, Mirsoian A, Reddy A, Alexander W, Soulika A, Blazar BR, Longo DL, Wiltrout RH, Murphy WJ.2015HTML
Oral administration of aflatoxin G₁ induces chronic alveolar inflammation associated with lung tumorigenesis. Toxicol Lett. 2015 Feb 3 ; 232(3):547-56.Liu C, Shen H, Yi L, Shao P, Soulika AM, Meng X, Xing L, Yan X, Zhang X.2015HTML
Deletion of astroglial CXCL10 delays clinical onset but does not affect progressive axon loss in a murine autoimmune multiple sclerosis model. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 2014, 11 :105. *co-corresponding authors.Mills Ko E, Ma JH, Guo F, Miers L, Lee E, Bannerman P, Burns T, Ko D, Sohn J, Soulika AM*, Pleasure D*.2014HTML
Conditional ablation of astroglial CCL2 suppresses CNS accumulation of M1 macrophages and preserves axons in mice with MOG peptide EAE. Journal of Neuroscience, 2014; 34 :8175-85. *co-corresponding authors.Moreno M, Bannerman P, Ma J, Guo F, Miers L, Soulika AM*, Pleasure D*.2014HTML
Catecholamine Stress Alters Neutrophil Trafficking and Impairs Wound Healing by β2-Adrenergic Receptor-Mediated Upregulation of IL-6. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2013 Oct 11. doi: 10.1038/jid.2013.415Kim MH, Gorouhi F, Ramirez S, Granick JL, Byrne BA, Soulika AM, Simon SI, Isseroff RR.2013HTML
Origins and significance of astrogliosis in the multiple sclerosis model, MOG peptide EAE. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 2013, 333: 55-9.Moreno M, Guo F, Mills Ko E, Bannerman P, Soulika A, Pleasure D.2013HTML
Interferon-gamma inhibits healing post scald burn injury, Wound Repair and Regeneration, 2012, 20: 580-91.Shen H, Yao P, Lee E, Greenhalgh D, Soulika AM.2012HTML
IFNg-signaling in the CNS controls the clinical course of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, independently of the localization and composition of inflammatory foci. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 2012; 9:7.Lee E, Chanamara S, Pleasure D. Soulika AM.2012HTML
Disruption of NMDA Receptors in Oligodendroglial Lineage Cells Does Not Alter Their Susceptibility to Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis or Their Normal Development. Journal of Neuroscience, 2012, 32:639-45.Guo F, Maeda Y, Ko EM, Delgado M, Horiuchi M, Soulika A, Miers L, Burns T, Itoh T, Shen H, Lee E, Sohn J, Pleasure D.2012HTML
PARP-1 deficiency increases the severity of disease in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. In press. J Biol Chem 2009; 00: 00 – 00.Selvaraj V, Soundarapandian M, Chechneva O, Williams AJ, Sidorov MK, Soulika AM, Pleasure DE, Deng W.2009HTML
Initiation and progression of axonopathy in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Under Revision. J Neuroscience 2009; 00: 00 – 00.Soulika AM, Lee E, McCauley E, Miers L, Bannerman P, Pleasure D.2009In Press
“Skittich ABCA2″ knockout mice display tremor hyperactivity, and abnormal myelin ultrastructure in the central nervous. Mol Cell Biol 27:44-53Mack, Beljanski, Soulika, Townsend, Brown, Davis, Tew2007HTML
Astrogliosis in EAE spinal cord: derivation from radial glia, and relationships to oligodendroglia. Glia 55:57-64Bannerman, Hahn, Soulika, Gallo, Pleasure2007HTML
Inflammation in white matter: clinical and pathophysiological aspects. Mental Retardation Developmental Disabilities Res Rev 12: 141-146Pleasure, Singh, Soulika, Gallo, Bannerman2006HTML
Compstatin inhibits complement activation by binding to the beta-chain of complement factor 3. Mol Immunol. 2006 May;43(12):2023-9Soulika AM, Holland MC, Sfyroera G, Sahu A, Lambris JD.2006HTML
Characterization of the ATPase activity of human ATP-binding cassette transporter-2 (ABCA2). In Vivo. 2005 Jul-Aug;19(4):657-60.Beljanski V, Soulika A, Tucker JM, Townsend DM, Davis W Jr, Tew KD.2005HTML
Identification of a novel first exon of the human ABCA2 transporter gene encoding a unique N-terminus. Biochim Biophys Acta 1678:22-32Ile, Davis, Boyd, Soulika, Tew2004 
Association of ABCA2 expression with determinants of Alzheimer’s disease. FASEB J 18:1129-1131Chen, Vulevic, Ile, Soulika, Davis, Reiner, Connop, Nathwani, Trojanowski, Tew2004 
Glutathione and ABC transporters as determinants of sensitivity to oxidative and nitrosative stress. J Nutr 134: 3205S-3206STew, Boyd, Chen, Davis, Fazilev, Findlay, Gate, Ile, Soulika, Townsend2004 
Studies of Structure-Activity Relations of Complement Inhibitor Compstatin. J Immunol. 171:1881-1890Soulika, Morikis, Sarrias, Roy, Spruce, Sahu, Lambris2003 
Inhibition of heparin/protamine complex-induced complement activation by Compstatin in baboons. Clin Immunology 96: 212-221Soulika, Khan, Hattori, Bowen, Richardson, Sahu, Edmunds, Lambris2002