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Synaptic plasticity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) has been implicated in the acquisition of a drug-dependent state. Even a single exposure to cocaine in naive animals is sufficient to trigger sustained changes on VTA glutamatergic synapses that resemble activity-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) in other brain regions. However, an insight into(More)
AMPA receptors mediate the majority of the fast excitatory transmission in the central nervous system. Much evidence suggests that the fast trafficking of AMPA receptors into and out of the postsynaptic membrane underlies changes in synaptic strength thought to be necessary for higher cognitive functions such as learning and memory. Despite the abundance of(More)
Changes in visual cortical responses that are induced by monocular visual deprivation are a widely studied example of competitive, experience-dependent neural plasticity. It has been thought that the deprived-eye pathway will fail to compete against the open-eye pathway for limited amounts of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which acts on TrkB and is(More)
Trk tyrosine kinases are receptors for members of the neurotrophin family and are crucial for growth and survival of specific populations of neurons. Yet, the functions of neurotrophin-Trk signaling in postnatal development as well as maintenance and plasticity of the adult nervous system are less clear. We report here the generation of mice harboring Trk(More)
AMPA (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isooxazole) receptors, a major subtype of ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs), mediate the majority of the fast communication between neurons, and the activity-dependent trafficking of AMPA receptors at synapses plays a role in mammalian learning and memory. Here we describe the design, synthesis, and evaluation of(More)
AMPA receptors mediate fast excitatory synaptic transmission and are essential for synaptic plasticity. ANQX, a photoreactive AMPA receptor antagonist, is an important biological probe used to irreversibly inactivate AMPA receptors. Here, using X-ray crystallography and mass spectroscopy, we report that ANQX forms two major products in the presence of the(More)
The ability of the mammalian brain to undergo experience-based adaptations is among its most important and fascinating properties. Such plasticity is reflected in the capacity of neuronal activity to continuously modify the neural circuitry that underlies thought, feeling and behavior. The locus of this plasticity occurs at the level of synapses, the(More)
Activation of primary afferent nociceptors produces acute, short-lived pain, and tissue or nerve injury induces long-term enhancement of nociceptive processing, manifested as hypersensitivity to thermal and mechanical stimulation. Here we used a chemical-genetic and pharmacological approach to study the contribution of the receptor tyrosine kinase, type 2(More)
An approach to identify backbone conformational changes underlying nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) gating was developed. Specific backbone peptide bonds were replaced with an ester, which disrupts backbone hydrogen bonds at the site of mutation. At a conserved proline residue (alphaPro221) in the first transmembrane (M1) domain, the amide-to-ester(More)