Learn More
Stress is a complex human experience having both positive and negative motivational properties. When chronic and uncontrollable, the adverse effects of stress on human health are considerable and yet poorly understood. Here, we report that the dysphoric properties of chronic stress are encoded by the endogenous opioid peptide dynorphin acting on specific(More)
Fragile X syndrome, a common form of inherited mental retardation, is caused by the loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), an mRNA binding protein that is hypothesized to regulate local mRNA translation in dendrites downstream of gp1 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). However, specific FMRP-associated mRNAs that localize to dendrites(More)
The molecular mechanisms mediating stress-induced dysphoria in humans and conditioned place aversion in rodents are unknown. Here, we show that repeated swim stress caused activation of both kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) coexpressed in GABAergic neurons in the nucleus accumbens, cortex, and hippocampus. Sites of(More)
The rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) has recently received considerable attention in efforts to understand mechanisms of hyperalgesia and persistent pain states. Three classes of neurons can be identified in the RVM based on responses associated with nocifensive reflexes: on cells, off cells, and neutral cells. There is now direct evidence that on cells(More)
G-protein receptor kinase and beta-arrestin mediated desensitization of the rat kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) was previously shown using Xenopus oocyte expression to require serine 369 within the C terminus of KOR. To define the effects of phosphorylation of this residue in desensitization and internalization processes in mammalian expression systems,(More)
Release of endogenous dynorphin opioids within the spinal cord after partial sciatic nerve ligation (pSNL) is known to contribute to the neuropathic pain processes. Using a phosphoselective antibody [kappa opioid receptor (KOR-P)] able to detect the serine 369 phosphorylated form of the KOR, we determined possible sites of dynorphin action within the spinal(More)
Ethanol is a neuroteratogen and neurodegeneration is the most devastating consequence of developmental exposure to ethanol. The mechanisms underlying ethanol-induced neurodegeneration are complex. Ethanol exposure produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) which cause oxidative stress in the brain. We hypothesized that ethanol would activate autophagy to(More)
After peripheral nerve injury, neurotrophins play a key role in the regeneration of damaged axons that can be augmented by exercise, although the distinct roles played by neurons and Schwann cells are unclear. In this study, we evaluated the requirement for the neurotrophin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), in neurons and Schwann cells for the(More)
Measuring serum androgen levels in women has been challenging due to limitations in method accuracy, precision sensitivity and specificity at low hormone levels. The clinical significance of changes in sex steroids across the menstrual cycle and lifespan has remained controversial, in part due to these limitations. We used validated liquid(More)
Depression is a serious and potentially life-threatening mental disorder with unknown etiology. Emerging evidence shows that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and microRNAs (miRNAs) play critical roles in the etiology of depression. Here this study was aimed to identify and characterize the roles of BDNF and its putative regulatory miRNAs in(More)