1. ALK and Midkine as Novel Neuroimmune Regulators of Alcohol Consumption We are examining brain immune signaling mediated by anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), a receptor tyrosine kinase, and midkine (MDK), an ALK ligand, and will determine how, where, and in which cell types these proteins function to regulate excessive alcohol drinking.
2. Compulsive Alcohol Drinking and Cortical Extracellular Matrix Specialized extracellular matrix structures in the brain, known as perineuronal nets, are important for neuronal activity and learning and memory. We found that perineuronal nets are increased in intensity in a specific region of the cerebral cortex after chronic alcohol drinking. We are determining how different protein components of perineuronal nets regulate compulsive drinking in mice. These studies will lead to novel insights into the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the transition from moderate alcohol drinking to alcohol use disorder.
3. Epigenetic Mechanisms of Glia and Neuron Interactions in Alcoholism This research project will evaluate epigenetic modifications, such as histone acetylation, histone methylation, and DNA methylation after chronic alcohol exposure and withdrawal in astrocytes that may be involved in neural plasticity and depression-like symptoms during withdrawal after chronic ethanol exposure.
Binge‐like Ethanol Drinking Activates Anaplastic Lymphoma
Perineuronal Nets In The Insula Regulate Aversion‐resistant Alcohol Drinking
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