Natalie Hirth

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The rewarding effects of alcohol have been attributed to interactions between opioid and dopaminergic system within the mesolimbic reward pathway. We have previously shown that ablation of β-arrestin 2 (Arrb2), a crucial regulator of μ-opioid receptor function, attenuates alcohol-induced hyperlocomotion and c-fos activation in the nucleus accumbens. Here,(More)
A major hypothesis in addiction research is that alcohol induces neuroadaptations in the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system and that these neuroadaptations represent a key neurochemical event in compulsive drug use and relapse. Whether these neuroadaptations lead to a hypo- or hyperdopaminergic state during abstinence is a long-standing, unresolved debate(More)
It has previously been shown that the inhibition of L-type calcium channels (LTCCs) decreases alcohol consumption, although the contribution of the central LTCC subtypes Cav1.2 and Cav1.3 remains unknown. Here, we determined changes in Cav1.2 (Cacna1c) and Cav1.3 (Cacna1d) mRNA and protein expression in alcohol-dependent rats during protracted abstinence(More)
Polymorphisms in the TPH2 gene coding for the serotonin synthesizing enzyme in the brain are considered as risk factors associated with depression and anxiety in humans. However, whether a certain variation in the TPH2 gene leads to decreased brain serotonin production and development of psychological abnormalities remains unresolved. We generated a new(More)
Blockade of the μ-opioid receptor (MOR) by naltrexone reduces relapse risk in a subpopulation of alcohol-dependent patients. Previous positron-emission-tomography (PET) studies using the MOR ligand [11C]carfentanil have found increased MOR availability in abstinent alcoholics, which may reflect either increased MOR expression or lower endogenous ligand(More)
Schizophrenia is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder with impairments in social cognition. Several brain regions have been implicated in social cognition, including the nucleus caudatus, prefrontal and temporal cortex, and cerebellum. Oxytocin is a critical modulator of social cognition and the formation and maintenance of social relationships and was shown(More)
It has been proposed that vulnerability to nicotine addiction is moderated by variation at the μ-opioid receptor locus (OPRM1), but results from human studies vary and prospective studies based on genotype are lacking. We have developed a humanized mouse model of the most common functional OPRM1 polymorphism rs1799971_A>G (A118G). Here we use this model(More)
The veterinary antibiotic Sulfamethazine (SMZ) contaminates soils via manure applications. Like other soil contaminants (herbicides, fungicides, and nematicides), it has to be degraded. The main challenge is that SMZ biodegradation with bacteria is impeded, since SMZ is a bacteriostatic antibiotic, designed to block microbes in their growth. In this study,(More)
Complex radiating elements like planar inverted F (PIFA) antennas, patches, flared notches, ultrawideband radiators, electronic bandgap elements, and emerging metamaterial antennas are often designed using powerful 3D electromagnetic field solvers. Traditionally only single or small collections of elements have been simulated using 3D field solvers. New(More)
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