Tammy N. Jessen

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The catecholamine dopamine (DA) functions as a powerful modulatory neurotransmitter in both invertebrates and vertebrates. As in man, DA neurons in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans express a cocaine-sensitive transporter (DAT-1), presumably to regulate synaptic DA signaling and limit DA spillover to extrasynaptic sites, although evidence supporting this(More)
Fifty years ago, increased whole-blood serotonin levels, or hyperserotonemia, first linked disrupted 5-HT homeostasis to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). The 5-HT transporter (SERT) gene (SLC6A4) has been associated with whole blood 5-HT levels and ASD susceptibility. Previously, we identified multiple gain-of-function SERT coding variants in children with(More)
The presynaptic dopamine (DA) transporter (DAT) is a major determinant of synaptic DA inactivation, an important target for psychostimulants including cocaine and amphetamine, and a mediator of DA neuron vulnerability to the neurotoxins 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) and 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion. To exploit genetic approaches for the study of DATs and(More)
1. Aims: In this review, we highlight the identification and analysis of molecules orchestrating dopamine (DA) signaling in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, focusing on recent characterizations of DA transporters and receptors. 2. Methods: We illustrate the isolation and characterization of molecules important for C. elegans DA synthesis, packaging,(More)
Serotonin [i.e., 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)]-targeted antidepressants are in wide use for the treatment of mood disorders, although many patients do not show a response or experience unpleasant side effects. Psychostimulants, such as cocaine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (i.e., "ecstasy"), also impact 5-HT signaling. To help dissect the contribution(More)
The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) modulates brain circuits involved in attention, reward, and motor activity. Synaptic DA homeostasis is primarily controlled via two presynaptic regulatory mechanisms, DA D(2) receptor (D(2)R)-mediated inhibition of DA synthesis and release, and DA transporter (DAT)-mediated DA clearance. D(2)Rs can physically associate(More)
Each olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) expresses a single odorant receptor (OR) from a large repertoire of clustered OR genes. It has been hypothesized that OR gene regulation may involve stochastic DNA rearrangement, which in lymphocytes requires the recombination activating genes, rag1 and rag2. We have recently demonstrated that rag1 is expressed in(More)
Recent studies indicate multiple roles for integrin αvβ3 in adult neurons, including response to pharmacological agents such as cocaine and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. In this study, we examined the role of the integrin β3 gene (Itgb3) in the response to environmental stimuli by subjecting Itgb3(+/+) and Itgb3(-/-) mice to unpredictable chronic(More)
Alterations in dopamine (DA) signaling underlie the most widely held theories of molecular and circuit level perturbations that lead to risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The DA transporter (DAT), a presynaptic reuptake protein whose activity provides critical support for DA signaling by limiting DA action at pre- and postsynaptic(More)
Alterations in peripheral and central indices of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) production, storage and signaling have long been associated with autism. The 5-HT transporter gene (HTT, SERT, SLC6A4) has received considerable attention as a potential risk locus for autism-spectrum disorders, as well as disorders with overlapping symptoms, including(More)