Northwestern University

Mon 4:00 PM

Dissecting Neuromodulatory Circuits in Affective Behaviors

When: Monday, December 3, 2018
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM  

Where: Ward Building, 5-230, 303 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Liz Murphy   312.503.4892

Group: Department of Pharmacology Seminars

Category: Lectures & Meetings


The Department of Pharmacology welcomes Michael Bruchas, Ph.D., Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, and Pharmacology at the University of Washington.

Synopsis: Stress and affective behaviors are largely controlled by specific neurotransmitters and their receptors in the central nervous system. Many of these signals are conveyed through activation of both neuropeptide (i.e. CRF and Opioid) and monoamine (norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin) receptor systems. These receptors are seven transmembrane spanning G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) and they can stimulate a variety of signaling cascades following neurotransmitter/neuropeptide release. The Bruchas laboratory uses a multimodal effort to uncover GPCR-mediated neuromodulation from the receptor, signaling, circuits, and systems level analysis. Here I will describe two recent developments in the laboratory. Neurobiological studies of neuropeptides in motivation and technology development for dissecting neuromodulation in vivo. I will also briefly discuss recent advances in optogenetic technology including development of opto-GPCRs and implementation of wireless devices for in vivo behavioral measures. I focus on presenting unpublished data of a novel brain region subnuclei containing a relatively novel neuropeptide and its cognate GPCR in the peri- ventral tegmental area (dopamine system) that act to gate motivated behavior. We find that chemogenetic and optical control of this neuropeptide-GPCR system results in altered motivation, reward and aversion behavior. We also identify a critical corresponding VTA opioid GPCR system that mediates this neuropeptide’s effects on motivation. In sum, I will highlight some recent biological advances from our laboratory that dissect the role of GPCR-mediate neuromodulation in motivated behavior as well as feature some new technology development associated with these long term efforts.

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