Melanie L. Schwandt

Learn More
BACKGROUND In humans and macaques, a promoter polymorphism that decreases transcription of the serotonin transporter gene is associated with anxiety. Serotonin transporter gene disruption in rodents produces anxious animals with exaggerated limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (LHPA) responses to stress. We wanted to determine whether serotonin transporter(More)
Excessive alcohol use, a major cause of morbidity and mortality, is less well understood than other addictive disorders. Dopamine release in ventral striatum is a common element of drug reward, but alcohol has an unusually complex pharmacology, and humans vary greatly in their alcohol responses. This variation is related to genetic susceptibility for(More)
In a variety of species, development of attachment to a caregiver is crucial for infant survival and partly mediated by the endogenous opioids. Functional mu-opioid receptor gene polymorphisms are present in humans (OPRM1 A118G) and rhesus macaques (OPRM1 C77G). We hypothesized that rhesus infants carrying a gain-of-function OPRM1 77G allele would(More)
A polymorphism in the human serotonin transporter gene promoter (5-HTTLPR) is associated with anxiety and increased risk for developing depression in the face of adversity. Here, we report that among infant rhesus macaques, an orthologous polymorphism (rh5-HTTLPR) interacts with adversity in the form of peer rearing to influence adrenocorticotropic hormone(More)
CONTEXT Acamprosate is approved for the treatment of alcoholism, but its mechanism of action remains unclear. Results of animal studies suggest that a persistent hyperglutamatergic state contributes to the pathogenesis of alcoholism and that acamprosate may exert its actions by intervening in this process. Human translation of these findings is lacking. (More)
Long-term changes in brain gene expression have been identified in alcohol dependence, but underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we examined the potential role of microRNAs (miRNAs) for persistent gene expression changes in the rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) after a history of alcohol dependence. Two-bottle free-choice alcohol consumption(More)
In the study reported here, reference intervals for hematologic and serum clinical chemistry variables in the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) were developed and characterized. Data were collected longitudinally across a 10-year period for 86 subjects at the Primate Foundation of Arizona (PFA). Variables included nine standard hematologic and 25 standard serum(More)
Traits characteristic of type I and type II alcoholism are thought to relate to dysregulated central nervous system serotonin functioning. In this review, we discuss variables associated with high adolescent alcohol consumption and other risk-taking behaviors in a nonhuman primate model. Adolescent primates with low CSF concentrations of the serotonin(More)
BACKGROUND The role of a nonsynonymous A118G polymorphism of the human micro-opioid receptor gene (OPRM1) for alcohol reward and therapeutic efficacy of naltrexone remains controversial. A functionally equivalent OPRM1 C77G polymorphism in rhesus macaques allows this to be addressed under controlled experimental conditions. METHODS Twenty-one rhesus(More)
OBJECTIVE Considering that epidemiological studies show that suicide rates in many countries are highest in the spring when vitamin D status is lowest, and that low vitamin D status can affect brain function, we sought to evaluate if a low level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] could be a predisposing factor for suicide. METHOD We conducted a prospective,(More)