Daniel S McGehee

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A single nicotine exposure increases dopamine levels in the mesolimbic reward system for hours, but nicotine concentrations experienced by smokers desensitize nAChRs on dopamine neurons in seconds to minutes. Here, we show that persistent modulation of both GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission by nicotine can contribute to the sustained(More)
Nicotine reinforces smoking behavior by activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the midbrain dopaminergic (DA) reward centers, including the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Although nicotine induces prolonged excitation of the VTA in vivo, the nAChRs on the DA neurons desensitize in seconds. Here, we show that activation of nAChRs on(More)
The behavioral and cognitive effects of nicotine suggest that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) participate in central nervous system (CNS) function. Although nAChR subunit messenger RNA (mRNA) and nicotine binding sites are common in the brain, there is little evidence for synapses mediated by nAChRs in the CNS. To test whether, CNS nAChRs might(More)
The tragic health effects of nicotine addiction highlight the importance of investigating the cellular mechanisms of this complex behavioral phenomenon. The chain of cause and effect of nicotine addiction starts with the interaction of this tobacco alkaloid with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). This interaction leads to activation of reward(More)
Treatment of Parkinson disease (PD) with L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) dramatically relieves associated motor deficits, but L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias (LID) limit the therapeutic benefit over time. Previous investigations have noted changes in striatal medium spiny neurons, including abnormal activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2(More)
Drug-induced changes in synaptic strength are hypothesized to contribute to appetitive behavior and addiction. Nicotine, the major addictive substance in tobacco, activates nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) to initiate a series of adaptive changes at the cellular and circuit levels in brain, particularly the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Our laboratory(More)
1. Expression of receptors to extracellular calcium enables parafollicular cells of the thyroid gland (PF cells) to release calcitonin (CT) and serotonin (5-HT) in response to increased external Ca2+. Recently, a calcium-sensing receptor (CaR), similar to the G protein-coupled receptor for external Ca2+ cloned from parathyroid gland, was shown to be(More)
Evidence for an important link between sensitization of midbrain dopamine (DA) neuron reactivity and enhanced self-administration of amphetamine and cocaine has been reported. To the extent that exposure to nicotine also sensitizes nucleus accumbens DA reactivity, it is likely that it will also impact subsequent drug taking. It is thus necessary to gain an(More)
Stress hormones released in the CNS following exposure to unavoidable, aversive stimuli have been shown to alter the physiology of neurons in multiple brain regions including hippocampus, amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and ventral tegmental area. The nucleus accumbens (NAc), a motor-limbic interface linked to motivation and reward, receives inputs from each(More)