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Nicotine addiction is a chronic brain disorder that is characterized by dysphoria upon smoking cessation and relapse after brief periods of abstinence. It has been hypothesized that the negative mood state associated with nicotine withdrawal is partly mediated by a heightened activity of brain stress systems. Animal studies suggest that blockade of(More)
Our previous research indicates that the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-cyclic AMP-responsive-element-binding protein (CREB) signal system may be involved in the molecular mechanism of depression. The present study further investigated the effect of antidepressant fluoxetine on the ERK-CREB signal system and the depressive-like behaviors in(More)
The anticonvulsant drug lamotrigine has been shown to produce antidepressant effects in patients with bipolar disorder. To date, only a few preclinical studies have been conducted using lamotrigine treatment in the forced swim test (FST), an animal model of depression with low face validity. The underlying mechanisms by which lamotrigine works have not been(More)
Revealing neural circuit mechanisms is critical for understanding brain functions. Significant progress in dissecting neural connections has been made using optical imaging with fluorescence labels, especially in dissecting local connections. However, acquiring and tracing brain-wide, long-distance neural circuits at the neurite level remains a substantial(More)
Neural circuits are fundamental for brain functions. However, obtaining long range continuous projections of neurons in the entire brain is still challenging. Here a two-photon fluorescence micro-optical sectioning tomography (2p-fMOST) method is developed for high-throughput, high-resolution visualization of the brain circuits. Two-photon imaging(More)
Tobacco addiction is characterized by a lack of control over smoking and relapse after periods of abstinence. Smoking cessation leads to a dysphoric state that contributes to relapse to smoking. After the acute withdrawal phase, exposure to stressors increases the risk for relapse. Blockade of melanocortin 4 (MC4 ) receptors has anxiolytic and(More)
Co-expression of a lesquerella fatty acid elongase and the castor fatty acid hydroxylase in camelina results in higher hydroxy fatty acid containing seeds with normal oil content and viability. Producing hydroxy fatty acids (HFA) in oilseed crops has been a long-standing goal to replace castor oil as a renewable source for numerous industrial applications.(More)
Leptin is an adiposity hormone that plays an important role in regulating food intake and energy homeostasis. This study investigated the effects of a high-fat (HF) and a low-fat, high-carbohydrate/sugar (LF) diet on leptin sensitivity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in rats. The animals were exposed to a HF or LF diet for 16 weeks. Then the effects of(More)
In the present study, 40 Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into forced swim stress group and controls, with 20 rats in each group (10 for behavioral tests, 10 for protein detection). The forced swim stress group received swim stress for 14 consecutive days, and the controls were stress-free. After stress, 20 rats were tested for behavioral observation using(More)
Our recent research demonstrates that the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signal pathway is impaired in depressed animals, and such disruption is effectively reversed following antidepressant treatment. These results indicate that the ERK pathway may participate in the molecular mechanism of depression. To provide direct evidence for the(More)