Brian A McCool

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Withdrawal anxiety is a significant factor contributing to continued alcohol abuse in alcoholics. This anxiety is long-lasting, can manifest well after the overt physical symptoms of withdrawal, and is frequently associated with relapse in recovering alcoholics. The neurobiological mechanisms governing these withdrawal-associated increases in anxiety are(More)
Norepinephrine contributes to antinociceptive, sedative, and sympatholytic responses in vivo, and alpha2 adrenergic receptor (alpha2AR) agonists are used clinically to mimic these effects. Lack of subtype-specific agonists has prevented elucidation of the role that each alpha2AR subtype (alpha2A, alpha2B, and alpha2C) plays in these central effects. Here we(More)
A novel heterologous expression system was used to examine the coupling of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) to neuronal voltage-gated ion channels. Cytoplasmic injection of mGluR2 cRNA into adult rat sympathetic neurons resulted in the expression of receptors that negatively coupled to N-type Ca2+ channels through a pertussis toxin-sensitive(More)
BACKGROUND Postweaning social isolation in rats produces profound and long-lasting cognitive and behavioral deficits in adult animals. Importantly, this housing manipulation alters sensitivity to a number of drugs of abuse including ethanol. However, most studies with ethanol have utilized continuous or limited home-cage access to examine interactions(More)
Withdrawal anxiety after chronic alcohol is likely to contribute to drug seeking and relapse in alcoholics. The brain regions regulating fear/anxiety behaviors, especially neurotransmitter systems with acute ethanol sensitivity, are potential targets for chronic ethanol-induced adaptations. We have therefore examined N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors(More)
Although alcoholism is a worldwide problem resulting in millions of deaths, only a small percentage of alcohol users become addicted. The specific neural substrates responsible for individual differences in vulnerability to alcohol addiction are not known. In this study, we used rodent models to study behavioral and synaptic correlates related to individual(More)
Large concentrations of the beta-amino acid, taurine, can be found in many forebrain areas such as the basolateral amygdala, a portion of the limbic forebrain intimately associated with the regulation of fear/anxiety-like behaviors. In addition to its cytoprotective and osmoregulatory roles, taurine may also serve as an agonist at GABA(A)- and(More)
In neonatal rats, strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors are widely expressed in the spinal cord, brainstem and forebrain. During development, these 'neonatal' receptors are replaced by an adult isoform, the expression of which becomes restricted primarily to brain stem and spinal cord. Unlike most forebrain regions, functional strychnine-sensitive glycine(More)
Synaptic plasticity in the most general terms represents the flexibility of neurotransmission in response to neuronal activity. Synaptic plasticity is essential both for the moment-by-moment modulation of neural activity in response to dynamic environmental cues and for long-term learning and memory formation. These temporal characteristics are served by an(More)
Withdrawal (WD) anxiety is a significant factor contributing to continued alcohol abuse in alcoholics. This anxiety is extensive, long-lasting, and develops well after the obvious physical symptoms of acute WD. The neurobiological mechanisms underlying this prolonged WD-induced anxiety are not well understood. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a major(More)