Research objectives and content
Acute administration of drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamines and opioids, produces euphoria in humans and reward in animal models (1, 2). Repeated administration of these drugs with adequate doses, frequency, and chronicity produce significant adaptive changes in brain regions relevant to reinforcement. The dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) has been implicated in the reinforcing effects of several addictives substances and in the control of behavioural responses to opioids. The present research proposal is based on the investigation of the involvement of D2R, and particularly the long and short isoforms of this receptor in the mechanisms underlying drug addiction. As experimental approach, lines of mice with reduced (+/-) or absent (-/-) expression of D2R isoforms will be used to study these phenomena.
This research is of particular importance not only for the understanding of the involvement of D2 receptors in drug addiction, but also for its potential contribution in elucidating the molecular mechanisms leading to it.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
This project implies the use of different approaches in molecular biology, genetics and in behavioural studies. The possibility of carrying on the project in an institute of outstanding quality such as the IGBMC constitutes a unique opportunity to broaden my knowlodge and skills in neurobiology. I consider that such training is fondamental for my research carreer.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
This research might lead to the development of novel treatments as well as of preventive measures for drug addiction