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▶Subject: Role of BDNF as a negative modulator in morphine action
▶Speaker: Ja Wook Koo, Ph.D. (Department of Neuroscience, Mount Sinai Medical School )
▶Place: Life Science Bldg. #104
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a key positive regulator of neural plasticity, promoting for example, the actions of stimulant drugs of abuse such as cocaine. We discovered a surprising opposite role of BDNF in the control over the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system in responses to chronic morphine. Systematic morphine administration decreases BDNF expression in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) via specific transcriptional and epigenetic modifications at specific Bdnf gene promoters. The suppression of BDNF in the VTA enhanced the ability of morphine to increase DA neuron excitability and promote reward. Furthermore, we identify numerous genes in nucleus accumbens (NAc), a major target region of VTA DA neurons, whose regulation by BDNF in the context of morphine exposure mediates this counteractive function of BDNF on the VTA-NAc. These studies provide new insights into the molecular basis of morphine-induced neuroadaptations.
▶Inquiry: Prof. Joo-Yeon Yoo (279-2346)
* This seminar will be given in English