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Featured Research Papers

Authors of this month's paper.
Authors of this month's paper.

Featured Paper Archives
Featured paper of the Month!

January's Featured Paper!

SERCaMP: a carboxy-terminal protein modification that enables monitoring of ER calcium homeostasis

Mol Biol Cell. 2014 Sep 15;25(18):2828-39

Mark J. Henderson, Emily S. Wires, Kathleen A. Trychta, Christopher T. Richie, and Brandon K. Harvey

Abstract: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium homeostasis is disrupted in diverse pathologies, including neurodegeneration, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. Temporally defining calcium dysregulation during disease progression, however, has been challenging. Here we describe secreted ER calcium-monitoring proteins (SERCaMPs), which allow for longitudinal monitoring of ER calcium homeostasis. We identified a carboxy-terminal modification that is sufficient to confer release of a protein specifically in response to ER calcium depletion. A Gaussia luciferase (GLuc)–based SERCaMP provides a simple and sensitive method to monitor ER calcium homeostasis in vitro or in vivo by analyzing culture medium or blood. GLuc-SERCaMPs revealed ER calcium depletion in rat primary neurons exposed to various ER stressors. In vivo, ER calcium disruption in rat liver was monitored over several days by repeated sampling of blood. Our results suggest that SERCaMPs will have broad applications for the long-term monitoring of ER calcium homeostasis and the development of therapeutic approaches to counteract ER calcium dysregulation.

You can read more about this paper at the website for PubMed.

December's Featured Paper!

Intravenous ghrelin administration increases alcohol craving in alcohol-dependent heavy drinkers: a preliminary investigation.

Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Nov 1;76(9):734-41

Lorenzo Leggio, William H. Zywiak, Samuel R. Fricchione, Steven M. Edwards, Suzanne M. de la Monte, Robert M. Swift, and George A. Kenna

You can read more about this paper at the website for PubMed.

November's Featured Paper!

2-isoxazol-3-phenyltropane derivatives of cocaine: molecular and atypical system effects at the dopamine transporter

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2014 May;349(2):297-309

Takato Hiranita, Derek S. Wilkinson, Weimin C. Hong, Mu-Fa Zou, Theresa A. Kopajtic, Paul L. Soto, Carl R. Lupica, Amy H. Newman, and Jonathan L. Katz

You can read more about this paper at the website for PubMed.

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Hot off the Press Archives
Featured paper of the Month!

Serotonergic versus Nonserotonergic Dorsal Raphe Projection Neurons: Differential Participation in Reward Circuitry

Cell Reports Volume 8, Issue 6, p1857–1869, 25 September 20143

Ross A. McDevitt, Alix Tiran-Cappello, Hui Shen, Israela Balderas, Jonathan P. Britt, Rosa A.M. Marino, Stephanie L. Chung, Christopher T. Richie, Brandon K. Harvey, and Antonello Bonci

The dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) contains the largest group of serotonin-producing neurons in the brain and projects to regions controlling reward. Although pharmacological studies suggest that serotonin inhibits reward seeking, electrical stimulation of the DRN strongly reinforces instrumental behavior. Here, we provide a targeted assessment of the behavioral, anatomical, and electrophysiological contributions of serotonergic and nonserotonergic DRN neurons to reward processes. To explore DRN heterogeneity, we used a simultaneous two-vector knockout/optogenetic stimulation strategy, as well as cre-induced and cre-silenced vectors in several cre-expressing transgenic mouse lines. We found that the DRN is capable of reinforcing behavior primarily via nonserotonergic neurons, for which the main projection target is the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Furthermore, these nonserotonergic projections provide glutamatergic excitation of VTA dopamine neurons and account for a large majority of the DRN-VTA pathway. These findings help to resolve apparent discrepancies between the roles of serotonin versus the DRN in behavioral reinforcement.

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Cannabinoid CB2 receptors modulate midbrain dopamine neuronal activity and dopamine-related behavior in mice.

PNAS 2014 Nov 3. pii: 201413210. [Epub ahead of print]

Hai-Ying Zhang, Ming Gao, Qing-Rong Liu, Guo-Hua Bi, Xia Li, Hong-Ju Yang, Eliot L. Gardner, Jie Wu, and Zheng-Xiong Xia

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A glutamatergic reward input from the dorsal raphe to ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons

Nature Communications 5, Article number: 5390

Jia Qi, Shiliang Zhang, Hui-Ling Wang, Huikun Wang, Jose de Jesus Aceves Buendia, Alexander F. Hoffman, Carl R. Lupica, Rebecca P. Seal, and Marisela Morales

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