Molecular Neuropsychiatry Research Branch - The Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

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Branch Overview

Branch Chief: Jean Lud Cadet, M.D. on-site page link

The Molecular Neuropsychiatry Research Branch is comprised of two sections: The Molecular Neuropsychiatry Section and the Neural Protection and Regeneration Section.

The Branch investigates cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration and regeneration. Studies have focused on the role of oxidative stress, ER stress, and mitochondrial pathways in the pathogenesis of psychostimulant toxicity as well as in models of Parkinson’s disease and strokes. The Branch also investigates the potential role of specific agents in the treatment of these disorders. We are also investigating the role of epigenetic modifications in methamphetamine (METH) addiction.

Molecular Neuropsychiatry Section

Section Chief: Jean Lud Cadet, M.D. on-site page link

Our approaches are:

  • To identify changes in METH-induced gene expression in the rodent brain.
  • To investigate specific METH-induced cognitive dysfunctions in rodents.
  • To identify specific METH-induced epigenetic changes in the rodent brain.
  • To investigate the effects of METH preconditioning on gene expression and histone modifications in the brain.

Psychobiology Section

Section Chief: Jonathan L. Katz, Ph.D. on-site page link
  • Behavioral analysis of drug abuse using various procedures with animals, including intravenous drug self-administration, drug discrimination, and conditioned place preference.  These procedures are used to assess mechanisms involved in the abuse of drugs.
  • The relation between pharmacodynamic actions in the CNS, assessed using various techniques including in vivo microdialysis and in vivo binding and behavioral effects of abused drugs.
  • Quantitative radioligand binding and in vitro functional assays to assess target affinity and selectivity of compounds designed to elucidate mechanisms underlying the behavioral effects of abused drugs.
  • The application of these methods to provide new insights into the functioning of behaviorally active agents in the CNS and how these actions may lead to drug abuse, and how actions of novel compounds may be used to discover new treatments for drug dependence.

Related Information...

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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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