Serotonin is believed to be involved in the regulation of emotion-related behavior and the etiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. Yet direct evidence for encoding of emotionally salient information has not been forthcoming largely due to the inability to investigate serotonin signaling in a highly time-resolved manner. We have developed paradigms for measuring serotonin neurotransmission on minute-by-minute (fast microdialysis) and second-by-second (voltammetry) time scales. These approaches enable us to record changes in extracellular serotonin in brain areas associated with affective and anxiety-related circuitry in behaving animals. We use chemical, electrical, and optical stimulation procedures for investigating endogenous serotonin release. We study behaviorally evoked serotonin transmission in the context of aversive learning, dysphoria, and stress. Moreover, we exploit highly resolved measurements of serotonin transporter activity in human peripheral blood cells as individualized predictors of antidepressant responsiveness. Looking to the future, we are developing in vivo nanoscale neurotransmitter sensors.
Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and
Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology, University of California, Los Angeles
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Natural Sciences Building, Auditorium, UC San Diego