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Featured Research Papers

Jordi Bonaventura

Jordi Bonaventura

Featured paper of the Month!

February's Featured Paper!

Key role of the dopamine D4 receptor in the modulation of corticostriatal glutamatergic neurotransmission.

Sci Adv. 2017 Jan 11;3(1):e1601631. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1601631. eCollection 2017.

Bonaventura J, Quiroz C, Cai NS, Rubinstein M, Tanda G, Ferré S.

Polymorphic variants of the dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) have been repeatedly associated with numerous neuropsychiatric disorders. Yet, the functional role of the D4 receptor and the functional differences of the products of DRD4 polymorphic variants remained enigmatic. Immunohistochemical and optogenetic-microdialysis experiments were performed in knock-in mice expressing a D4 receptor with the long intracellular domain of a human DRD4 polymorphic variant associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)...

You can read more about this paper on PubMed.

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Hot off the Press paper!

Synaptic Plasticity onto Dopamine Neurons Shapes Fear Learning.

Neuron. 2017 Jan 18;93(2):425-440.

Pignatelli M, Umanah GK, Ribeiro SP, Chen R, Karuppagounder SS, Yau HJ, Eacker S, Dawson VL, Dawson TM, Bonci A.

Fear learning is a fundamental behavioral process that requires dopamine (DA) release. Experience-dependent synaptic plasticity occurs on DA neurons while an organism is engaged in aversive experiences. However, whether synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons is causally involved in aversion learning is unknown. Here, we show that a stress priming procedure enhances fear learning by engaging VTA synaptic plasticity. Moreover, we took advantage of the ability of the ATPase Thorase to regulate the internalization of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) in order to selectively manipulate glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on DA neurons. Genetic ablation of Thorase in DAT+ neurons produced increased AMPAR surface expression and function that lead to impaired induction of both long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP). Strikingly, animals lacking Thorase in DAT+ neurons expressed greater associative learning in a fear conditioning paradigm. In conclusion, our data provide a novel, causal link between synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons and fear learning.

You can read more about this paper on PubMed.

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Tsung-Ping Su

Dr. Tsung-Ping Su

Reviews to Read

The Sigma-1 Receptor as a Pluripotent Modulator in Living Systems

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2016 Apr;37(4):262-78.

Su TP, Su TC, Nakamura Y, Tsai SY.

The sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein that resides specifically in the mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane (MAM), an interface between ER and mitochondria. In addition to being able to translocate to the plasma membrane (PM) to interact with ion channels and other receptors, Sig-1R also occurs at the nuclear envelope, where it recruits chromatin-remodeling factors to affect the transcription of genes....

You can read more about this paper on PubMed.

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