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A figure from this month's paper.
A figure from this month's paper.
Featured paper of the Month!

DECEMBER: Glutamate neurons are intermixed with midbrain dopamine neurons in nonhuman primates and humans

Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 1;6:30615.

David H. Root, Hui-Ling Wang, Bing Liu, David J. Barker, László Mód, Péter Szocsics, Afonso C. Silva, Zsófia Maglóczky & Marisela Morales

The rodent ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) contain dopamine neurons intermixed with glutamate neurons (expressing vesicular glutamate transporter 2; VGluT2), which play roles in reward and aversion. However, identifying the neuronal compositions of the VTA and SNC in higher mammals has remained challenging. Here, we revealed VGluT2 neurons within the VTA and SNC of nonhuman primates and humans by simultaneous detection of VGluT2 mRNA and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; for identification of dopamine neurons)....

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A figure from this month's paper.
A figure from this month's paper.
Featured paper of the Month!

NOVEMBER: Distinct Fos-Expressing Neuronal Ensembles in the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Mediate Food Reward and Extinction Memories

JNeurosci. 22 June 2016, 36 (25) 6691-6703

Brandon L. Warren, Michael P. Mendoza, Fabio C. Cruz, Rodrigo M. Leao, Daniele Caprioli, F. Javier Rubio, Leslie R. Whitaker, Kylie B. McPherson, Jennifer M. Bossert, Yavin Shaham and Bruce T. Hope

In operant learning, initial reward-associated memories are thought to be distinct from subsequent extinction-associated memories. Memories formed during operant learning are thought to be stored in “neuronal ensembles.” Thus, we hypothesize that different neuronal ensembles encode reward- and extinction-associated memories. Here, we examined prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles involved in the recall of reward and extinction memories of food self-administration....

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Dr. Anto Bonci
Dr. Anto Bonci
Special Announcement

Dr. Bonci Elected to National Academy of Medicine

This year, members of the National Academy of Medicine elected four NIH Intramural researchers to their ranks, one of the highest honors in science. Our very own Antonello Bonci, M.D., was one of the elected.

on-site page link More about this honor....

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Reviews to Read

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

Tsung-Ping Su, Tzu-Chieh Su, Yoki Nakamura, and Shang-Yi Tsai

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....

on-site page link Read the full review at PubMed.

A figure from this month's paper.
A figure from this month's paper.
Featured paper of the Month!

October: Insula Demonstrates a Non-Linear Response to Varying Demand for Cognitive Control and Weaker Resting Connectivity With the Executive Control Network in Smokers

Neuropsychopharmacology.2016 Sep;41(10):2557-65. Epub 2016 Apr 26.

Fedota JR, Matous AL, Salmeron BJ, Gu H1, Ross TJ, Stein EA.

Deficits in cognitive control processes are a primary characteristic of nicotine addiction. However, while network-based connectivity measures of dysfunction have frequently been observed, empirical evidence of task-based dysfunction in these processes has been inconsistent. Here, in a sample of smokers (n =35) and non-smokers (n= 21), a previously validated parametric flanker task is employed to characterize addiction-related alterations in responses to varying (ie, high, intermediate, and low) demands for cognitive control....

on-site page link More about this paper

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Reviews to Read

Mechanisms of the psychostimulant effects of caffeine: implications for substance use disorders.

Sergi Ferré

BACKGROUND: The psychostimulant properties of caffeine are reviewed and compared with those of prototypical psychostimulants able to cause substance use disorders (SUD). Caffeine produces psychomotor-activating, reinforcing, and arousing effects, which depend on its ability to disinhibit the brake that endogenous adenosine imposes on the ascending dopamine and arousal systems....

on-site page link Read the full review at PubMed.


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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the principal biomedical and behavioral research agency of the United States Government. NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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