David Wilbanks Allison

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We used actin-perturbing agents and detergent extraction of primary hippocampal cultures to test directly the role of the actin cytoskeleton in localizing GABAA receptors, AMPA- and NMDA-type glutamate receptors, and potential anchoring proteins at postsynaptic sites. Excitatory postsynaptic sites on dendritic spines contained a high concentration of(More)
The mechanisms responsible for anchoring molecular components of postsynaptic specializations in the mammalian brain are not well understood but are presumed to involve associations with cytoskeletal elements. Here we build on previous studies of neurotransmitter receptors (Allison et al., 1998) to analyze the modes of attachment of scaffolding and signal(More)
NMDA receptors interact directly with postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95), a scaffold protein that organizes a cytoskeletal- signaling complex at the postsynaptic membrane. The molecular mechanism by which the PSD-95-based protein complex is trafficked to the postsynaptic site is unknown but presumably involves specific motor proteins. Here we demonstrate a(More)
The neural mechanisms underlying the transition from a drug-nondependent to a drug-dependent state remain elusive. Chronic exposure to drugs has been shown to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons. BDNF infusions into the VTA potentiate several behavioral effects of drugs, including psychomotor(More)
Ventral tegmental area (VTA) GABA neurons are critical substrates modulating the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system implicated in natural and drug reward. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of ethanol on glutamatergic and GABAergic modulation of VTA GABA neuron electrical synaptic transmission. We evaluated the effects of systemic ethanol(More)
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of cocaine on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Utilizing single-unit recordings in vivo, microelectrophoretic administration of DA enhanced the firing rate of VTA GABA neurons via D2/D3 DA receptor activation. Lower doses of intravenous cocaine(More)
We used homologous recombination in the mouse to knock-out RC3, a postsynaptic, calmodulin-binding PKC substrate. Mutant brains exhibited lower immunoreactivity to phospho-Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) but had the same synaptic density as wild type and did not exhibit a gross neuroanatomical phenotype. Basal excitatory synaptic(More)
Communication between neurons in the mammalian brain is primarily through chemical synapses; however, evidence is accumulating in support of electrical synaptic transmission between some neuronal types in the mature nervous system. The authors have recently demonstrated that the gap junction (GJ) blocker quinidine suppresses stimulus-induced and(More)
Several recent studies have established a role for estrogens in ameliorating specific neurodegenerative disorders, mainly those associated with the cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain and their targets in the cortex and hippocampus. We have previously demonstrated that endogenous and exogenous application of the neurosteroid dehydroepiandrosterone(More)
Ventral tegmental area (VTA) GABA neurons appear to be critical substrates underlying the acute and chronic effects of ethanol on dopamine (DA) neurotransmission in the mesocorticolimbic system implicated in alcohol reward. The aim of this study was to examine the role of midbrain connexin-36 (Cx36) gap junctions (GJs) in ethanol intoxication and(More)