- Ph.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Signal transduction pathways as related to abuse drugs, especially cocaine.
My current research plans are to analyze signal transduction pathways that are physiologically relevant and further underlie the behavioral response to abuse drugs including cocaine. Specifically, we have been analyzing the RNA and protein levels of c-fos, an important marker of neuronal activations, opioid peptides and receptors, and monoamines and their receptors. We are interested to study the factors that regulate these genes and may thus modify behavioral dependencies of drugs of abuse. We have recently found that gender/hormones modify the regulation of some of these systems in response to cocaine. Furthermore we are interested in how drugs modulate the activities of growth factors/cytokines that play important roles in CNS neurodegeneration/inflammation processes that influence cognition processing. We have recently discovered that in neuroendocrine tissues including rat brain and glial and astrocyte cultures, cytokines and abuse drugs activate two signaling pathways, the JAK/STAT and the AP-1 transcription factors that are known to regulate many CNS functions that underlie behavioral activations.
- Festa et. al, Sex differences in cocaine induced behaviors are maintained through different administration paradigms. Cell Mol Biol 2003, in press.
- Jenab et. al, Effects of MK801 on cocaine induction of c-fos and preprodynorphin mRNAs and AP-1 DNA binding in Fischer rats. Molecular Brain Research 2003, in press.
- Russo et. al, Gonadal hormones differentially modulate cocaine-induced conditioned place preference in male and female rats. Neuroscience 2003, in press.
- South et. al, A Conditional Deletion of the NMDAR1 Subunit in Adult Spinal Cord Dorsal Horn Reduces NMDA Currents and Injury-Induced Pain. Journal of Neuroscience 2003, in press.
- Zhu et. al, The clinically available NMDA receptor antagonist dextromethorphan attenuates acute morphine withdrawal in the neonatal rat. Developmental Brain Research 2003, in press.