Bioscience seminar series

  • Date: –09:45
  • Location: Join Zoom Meeting
  • Lecturer: Joep Titulaer and Nikita Tjernström, PhD students, Neuropharmacology, Addiction and Behaviour, Pharmaceutical Biosciences.
  • Organiser: Bioscience Seminar Team
  • Contact person: Anna Nilsson
  • Seminarium

Joep Titulaer on the topic "Lumateperone increases glutamate release in the rat medial prefrontal cortex" and Nikita Tjernström on the topic "Experimental studies of gambling disorder".

Lumateperone increases glutamate release in the rat medial prefrontal cortex.

Joep Titulaer

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that affects approximately 0.4-1% of the global population. The treatment options that are available to the patients often have severe side effects and do not treat all the symptoms. Moreover, for up to 25% patients these currently available treatments are ineffective. A mechanistically novel agent recently approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in the US that simultaneously modulates serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate is lumateperone.

We have investigated the effect of lumateperone on rat behavior and used microelectrode arrays to measure glutamate release in the rat medial prefrontal cortex. We found that lumateperone has antipsychotic-like effects in rats and increased glutamate-release in the medial prefrontal cortex of anaesthetized male rats, indicating that lumateperone may improve the impaired cognition in schizophrenia.

Experimental studies of gambling disorder

Nikita Tjernström

The focus of my PhD thesis is preclinical studies of gambling disorder (GD). GD is the first non-substance addictive disorder to be listed along alcohol and substance use disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM-5). GD shares features with alcohol and substance use disorders, such as clinical presentation (e.g., tolerance and withdrawal), underlying personality traits (e.g., compulsivity and impulsivity) and pharmacological treatment options. Individuals with GD display deficits in decision-making in the Iowa Gambling task. The rat Gambling Task (rGT) is a rodent analog that we have used to investigate the mechanisms underlying gambling behavior. During this seminar I will describe the rGT and present some of the results acquired so far. The results from the rGT revealed subgroups of rats that preferred either the most strategic choice, the suboptimal safe choice or the disadvantageous choice, i.e. the riskiest gambling strategy. Based on this three strategy groups were formed: the strategic, safe and risky group. Associations between these gambling strategy groups and brain functional connectivity and voluntary alcohol intake was examined. Resting-state fMRI results revealed a correlation between gambling strategies and regions central for the brain reward networks, which are implicated in motivation, reward and reinforcement, emotional processing, learning and memory, and of relevance to addiction processes. Voluntary alcohol intake was assessed and the risky group had higher voluntary alcohol intake and preference than the strategic and the safe groups.