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Local infusion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) can prevent and reverse the ability of chronic morphine or cocaine exposure to induce tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in this brain region. The present study examined a possible role for extracellular signal regulated kinases (ERKs), the major effector for BDNF and(More)
In this report, earlier findings of age-related changes in brain morphology on magnetic resonance (MR) images are extended to include measurements of individual cerebral grey matter structures and an index of white matter degeneration. Volumes of caudate, lenticular, and diencephalic structures are estimated, as are grey matter volumes in eight separate(More)
The mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system has been implicated in drug reward, locomotor sensitization, and responding for reward-related stimuli [termed conditioned reinforcers (CR)]. Here, we investigated the effect of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which enhances the survival and function of dopaminergic neurons, on stimulant-induced locomotor(More)
Previous research has shown an increase in tyrosine hydroxylase in the ventral tegmental area following chronic morphine and chronic cocaine treatments. Chronic morphine treatment also increases levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein in this brain region. In the present study, we investigated the effects of infusing neurotropic factors (nerve growth(More)
In previous studies, we demonstrated that tyrosine hydroxylase and neurofilament proteins are regulated by chronic morphine and chronic cocaine treatments in the ventral tegmental area in Sprague-Dawley rats and that the inbred Lewis and Fischer 344 rat strains, under drug-naive conditions, show different levels of these proteins specifically in this brain(More)
Chronic exposure to cocaine produces characteristic biochemical adaptations within the rat ventral tegmental area (VTA), a brain region rich in dopaminergic neurons implicated in the reinforcing and locomotor-activating properties of cocaine. Some of these changes are mimicked by chronic ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) infusions into the same brain area.(More)
Despite staggering advances in the neurosciences over the past decade, detailed knowledge of the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders remains severely limited. Similarly, the mechanisms by which long-term exposure to psychotropic drugs leads to their clinically relevant actions are not yet known. This relative lack of progress in(More)
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