Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer 2013 Research Objectives

This summer the Pittman Lab at Wofford College is investigating the effect of injecting chlordiazepoxide (CDP), a benzodiazepine GABA-A agonist), directly into the parabrachial nucleus (PBN) of rats on their ability to lick to taste solutions during brief-access trials.
This is a diagram of the ascending taste signaling pathway from a rat’s mouth to its taste centers of the brain. We are limiting the effect of the drug to the PBN area of the hindbrain. This is an area that we think is responsible to modifying the taste signal as it travels up to the taste perception area of the brain. And we think that the neurotransmitter GABA is involved in the modification of the taste signal.

This summer the Baird Lab at Amherst College is screening several different GABA-A agonist and antagonist chemicals that are more selective than the CDP, benzodiazepine. Once we can determine the effectiveness of the agonist and antagonist chemicals, we will try to block the effect of CDP with the antagonist drugs injected directly into the PBN in the rat’s brain.

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