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Understanding inter-individual differences in stress response requires the explanation of genetic influences at multiple phenotypic levels, including complex behaviours and the metabolic responses of brain regions to emotional stimuli. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is anxiolytic and its release is induced by stress. NPY is abundantly expressed in regions of the(More)
The alpha 2-adrenergic receptors (alpha2-AR) mediate physiological effects of epinephrine and norepinephrine. Three genes encode alpha2-AR subtypes carrying common functional polymorphisms (ADRA2A Asn251Lys, ADRA2B Ins/Del301-303 and ADRA2C Ins/Del322-325). We genotyped these functional markers plus a panel of single nucleotide polymorphisms evenly spaced(More)
RATIONALE Genotype at the 5' promoter region (5-HTTLPR) of the serotonin transporter has been implicated in moderating the effects of acute tryptophan depletion on neurocognitive functioning. Acute tryptophan depletion has been associated with the processing of fear-relevant cues, such as emotional expressions, but the effect of genotype at the 5-HTTLPR has(More)
BACKGROUND Associations between a functional polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene and amygdala activation have been found in healthy, depressed, and anxious adults. This study explored these gene-brain associations in adolescents by examining predictive effects of serotonin transporter gene variants (S and L(G) allele carriers vs. L(A) allele(More)
Transient reductions in serotonin levels during tryptophan depletion (TD) are thought to impair reward processing in healthy volunteers, while another facet of the serotonergic system, the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) short allele polymorphism, is implicated in augmented processing of aversive stimuli. We examined the impact and interactions of TD and(More)
In the central nervous system, glial cells play an important role in inflammatory and immune responses, and opioid peptides have been identified as essential mediators between the nervous and the immune systems. We report the profound upregulation of the opioid-related nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) by inflammatory mediators in astrocytes. The bacterial(More)
The newly synthesized 14-alkoxymetopon derivatives, 14-methoxymetopon, 14-ethoxymetopon, 14-methoxy-5-methyl-morphinone, exhibit high affinity for the naloxone binding sites in rat brain. A substantial decrease in affinity was observed, in the presence of NaCl indicating a high degree of agonist activity. All three 14-alkoxymetopon derivatives displayed(More)
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and neurodegenerative diseases affecting both neuronal and glial cells in the CNS. In this study we have demonstrated that reactive oxygen species (ROS) dramatically induce the expression of two neuropeptide genes, the opioid proenkephalin (pENK) and the(More)
Competitive polymerase chain reaction assays following reverse transcription have been developed for quantitative analysis of delta and mu opioid receptor gene expression. The assay was used to obtain quantitative measurements of mu and delta opioid receptor expression levels in different brain regions and sensory and sympathetic ganglia in the rat. The(More)
The neuropeptide galanin (GAL) is widely expressed in the central nervous system. Animal studies have implicated GAL in alcohol abuse and anxiety: chronic ethanol intake increases hypothalamic GAL mRNA; high levels of stress increase GAL release in the central amygdala. The coding sequence of the galanin gene, GAL, is highly conserved and a functional(More)