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Addictive drugs hijack mechanisms of learning and memory that normally underlie reinforcement of natural rewards and induce synaptic plasticity of glutamatergic transmission in the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system. In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a single exposure to cocaine efficiently triggers NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in DA neurons,(More)
Cocaine strengthens excitatory synapses onto midbrain dopamine neurons through the synaptic delivery of GluR1-containing AMPA receptors. This cocaine-evoked plasticity depends on NMDA receptor activation, but its behavioral significance in the context of addiction remains elusive. Here, we generated mice lacking the GluR1, GluR2, or NR1 receptor subunits(More)
The corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRHR1) critically controls behavioral adaptation to stress and is causally linked to emotional disorders. Using neurochemical and genetic tools, we determined that CRHR1 is expressed in forebrain glutamatergic and γ-aminobutyric acid-containing (GABAergic) neurons as well as in midbrain dopaminergic neurons.(More)
We studied the febrile response in mice deficient in microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1), an inducible terminal isomerase expressed in cytokine-sensitive brain endothelial cells. These animals showed no fever and no central prostaglandin (PG) E2 synthesis after peripheral injection of bacterial-wall lipopolysaccharide, but their pyretic capacity(More)
Systemic inflammation activates central autonomic circuits, such as neurons in the pontine parabrachial nucleus. This activation may be the result of afferent signaling through the vagus nerve, but it may also depend on central prostaglandin-mediated mechanisms. Recently, we have shown that neurons in the parts of the parabrachial nucleus that are activated(More)
Inflammation-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been suggested to depend on prostaglandins, but the prostaglandin species and the prostaglandin-synthesizing enzymes that are responsible have not been fully identified. Here, we examined HPA axis activation in mice after genetic deletion or pharmacological inhibition of(More)
Induction of specific gene expression patterns in response to activity confers functional plasticity to neurons. A principal role in the regulation of these processes has been ascribed to the cAMP responsive element binding protein (CREB). Using genome-wide expression profiling in mice lacking CREB in the forebrain, accompanied by deletion of the cAMP(More)
Although central nervous symptoms such as hyperalgesia, fatigue, malaise, and anorexia constitute major problems in the treatment of patients suffering from chronic inflammatory disease, little has been known about the signaling mechanisms by which the brain is activated during such conditions. Here, in an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis, we show that(More)
The serum response factor (SRF) is a key regulator of neural development and cellular plasticity, which enables it to act as a regulator of long-term adaptations in neurons. Here we performed a comprehensive analysis of SRF function in the murine dopamine system. We found that loss of SRF in dopaminoceptive, but not dopaminergic, neurons is responsible for(More)