Neuropharmacology, Addiction and Behaviour

Research within the group comprises studies of the central nervous system. The studies focus on basic neurobiology, physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms in the brain, and neuropharmacology of relevance for disorders such as drug addiction, neurodegenerative diseases and mood disorders.

In current studies, the neurobiological basis for alcohol addiction is studied. These studies include examination of alcohol actions in the brain and investigations of the impact of early environmental factors on brain transmitter networks, voluntary alcohol consumption and behaviour. Other examples of ongoing projects are studies on the role of neurosteroids for neurogenesis and of interactive processes that is ongoing in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer disease, with emphasis on neuroprotective properties of neurosteroids against amyloid-β-induced toxicity. Furthermore, behavioural profiling of rats and mice aiming at examining behavioural traits of relevance for voluntary alcohol intake and behavioural phenotyping is conducted.

Within the research group a variety of neurochemical techniques are employed for tissue analysis of transmitters, receptors and mRNA. Culturing of neuronal as well as non-neuronal cells are used for in vitro analysis of cell viability and apoptosis. In vivo techniques such as micro-dialysis and Fast Analytical Sensing technology (FAST) are used for in vivo analysis of neurotransmission. Various behavioural tests commonly used in the field of behavioural neuropharmacology are available for behavioural assessment and profiling. Development of ethoexperimental models and methods using a multivariate approach is central.

Principal investigators: Ingrid Nylander, Lena Bergström, Anne-Lie Svensson and Erika Roman