Kelley C. O’Donnell

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Lithium attenuation of stimulant-induced hyperlocomotion is a rodent model that may be useful both to understand the mechanism of the therapeutic action of lithium and to develop novel lithium-mimetic compounds. To lay the foundation for future investigations into the neurobiology and genetics of lithium as a therapeutic agent, we studied the effect of(More)
Lithium inhibits glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) at therapeutic concentrations; however, it is unclear if this inhibition and its downstream effects on specific signaling pathways are relevant to the treatment of bipolar disorder and depression. One of the targets of GSK-3 is the transcription factor beta-catenin. Normally active GSK-3 phosphorylates(More)
In addition to its clinical antimanic effects, lithium also has efficacy in the treatment of depression. However, the mechanism by which lithium exerts its antidepressant effects is unclear. Our objective was to further characterize the effects of peripheral and central administration of lithium in mouse models of antidepressant efficacy as well as to(More)
Regulation of complex signaling pathways plays a critical role in higher-order brain functions including the regulation of mood, cognition, appetite, sexual arousal, sleep patterns, and weight, all of which are altered in mood disorders, suggesting the involvement of signaling pathways in mood disorder pathogenesis and pathophysiology. Most existing(More)
For nearly as long as lithium has been in clinical use for the treatment of bipolar disorder, depression, and other conditions, investigators have attempted to characterize its effects on behaviors in rodents. Lithium consistently decreases exploratory activity, rearing, aggression, and amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion; and it increases the sensitivity(More)
The canonical Wnt pathway and beta-catenin have been implicated in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. We generated forebrain-specific CRE-mediated conditional beta-catenin knock-out mice to begin exploring the behavioral implications of decreased Wnt pathway signaling in the central nervous system. In situ hybridization revealed a progressive knock-out(More)
A mood stabilizing and antidepressant response to lithium is only found in a subgroup of patients with bipolar disorder and depression. Identifying strains of mice that manifest differential behavioral responses to lithium may assist in the identification of genomic and other biologic factors that play a role in lithium responsiveness. Mouse strains were(More)
α-synuclein (aSyn) expression is implicated in neurodegenerative processes, including Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). In animal models of these diseases, axon pathology often precedes cell death, raising the question of whether aSyn has compartment-specific toxic effects that could require early and/or independent therapeutic(More)
Understanding the cellular mechanisms regulating axon degeneration and regeneration is crucial for developing treatments for nerve injury and neurodegenerative disease. In neurons, axon degeneration is distinct from cell body death and often precedes or is associated with the onset of disease symptoms. In the peripheral nervous system of both vertebrates(More)
Mitochondria carry out many of the processes implicated in maintaining axon health or causing axon degeneration, including ATP and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, as well as calcium buffering and protease activation. Defects in mitochondrial function and transport are common in axon degeneration, but how changes in specific mitochondrial(More)
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