Afshin Ghavami

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Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor, cognitive and psychiatric manifestations. Since the mutation responsible for the disease was identified as an unstable expansion of CAG repeats in the gene encoding the huntingtin protein in 1993, numerous mouse models of HD have been generated to study(More)
A number of mouse models for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) have been genetically engineered to recapitulate the severity of human SMA by using a targeted null mutation at the mouse Smn1 locus coupled with the transgenic addition of varying copy numbers of human SMN2 genes. Although this approach has been useful in modeling severe SMA and very mild SMA, a(More)
UNLABELLED The present studies assessed the potential abuse liability and likely mechanism(s) of action of the wake-promoting agent modafinil. METHODS Experiments assessed the locomotor sensitization (LS) and discriminative stimulus (DS) properties of modafinil in mouse and rat, respectively. Comparative data were generated with a range of(More)
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists, partial agonists, and antagonists have antidepressant-like effects in rodents and reduce symptoms of depression in humans. The study determined whether the antidepressant-like effect of the nAChR β2* partial agonist sazetidine-A (sazetidine) in the forced swim test was due to activation or desensitization(More)
Varenicline (Chantix®, Champix®) is a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) partial agonist clinically approved for smoking cessation, yet its potential abuse liability properties have not been fully characterized. The nAChR ligand sazetidine-A has been reported as a selective full or partial agonist at α4β2* nAChR subtypes in in vitro studies. In the(More)
Regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) proteins function as GTPase accelerating proteins (GAP) for Galpha subunits, attenuating G-protein-coupled receptor signal transduction. The present study tested the ability of members of different subfamilies of RGS proteins to modulate both G-protein-dependent and -independent signaling in mammalian cells. RGS4,(More)
Triple reuptake inhibitors (TRIs) that block the dopamine transporter (DAT), norepinephrine transporter, and serotonin transporter are being developed as a new class of antidepressant that may have better efficacy and fewer side effects compared with traditional antidepressants. We describe a novel TRI,(More)
Phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) belongs to an important family of proteins that regulates the intracellular level of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Several lines of evidence indicate that targeting PDE4 with selective inhibitors may offer novel strategies in the treatment of age-related memory impairment and Alzheimer's disease. The rationale for such an(More)
Depression, a common neurological condition, is one of the leading causes of disability and suicide worldwide. Standard treatment, targeting monoamine transporters selective for the neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenaline, is not able to help many patients that are poor responders. This study advances the development of sazetidine-A analogues that(More)
Regulators of G-protein signaling (RGS) play a key role in the signal transduction of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Specifically, RGS proteins function as GTPase accelerating proteins (GAPs) to dampen or "negatively regulate" GPCR-mediated signaling. Our group recently showed that RGS4 effectively GAPs Galpha(i)-mediated signaling in CHO cells(More)