Natalie Hirth

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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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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