Research Team / Research Group Name (if any)
Neurobiology of amphetamine compounds and ethanol
Brief description of the Research Team / Research Group / Department
Our research group is focused on studying the neurobiological effects of various drugs to broaden knowledge of the mechanisms involved in the neuroinflammatory, neurotoxic and addictive properties of these drugs with a view to identifying targets for the development of preventative and protective treatments. The research group, led by Dr. María Isabel Colado, Professor of Pharmacology, includes Dr. Esther O"Shea and Dr. María Dolores Gutiérrez-López, both Associate Professors in Pharmacology and several postgraduate researchers. In addition, we supervise graduate students carrying out Master"s or Ph.D research as well as undergraduate students carrying out research as part of their degree project. Our laboratory regularly hosts both international and national undergraduate and postgraduate students undergoing research training. <br />We form part of the Addictive Disorders Network which is funded by Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Ministerio de Sanidad) and whose members collaborate in the study of the neurobiological, behavioural and clinical effects of drugs of abuse. We also belong to both the Neuroscience Institute and to the Campus of Excellence of Universidad Complutense de Madrid and to the Institute for Health Research of Hospital 12 de Octubre. We have twice been awarded the Prevention of Drug Addiction Research Prize by the Antidrug Agency of the Comunidad de Madrid. We dessiminate our results in prestigious journals principally in the area of Pharmacology or Neuroscience
Research lines / projects proposed
General<br />We are a multidisciplinary research group whose main field of research is in the neurobiology of amphetamines, in particular MDMA and methamphetamine, and of alcohol. Our main focus of our research is on the mechanisms involved in the neurotoxicity and neuroinflammation produced by amphetamines as well as in the changes induced by the drugs on the integrity of the blood-brain barrier and on the activity of the kynurenine pathway. With regard to ethanol our interest is also centered on the above aspects but in addition we also explore the mechanisms involved in the generation of dependence and relapse with a view to identifying targets with a potential to reduce the addictive effects of alcohol. We have recently embarked on the study of the potential use of kynurenine monooxygenase inhibitors for the treatment and/or prevention of opioid addiction and its relevance in models of neuropathic pain.<br />Specific on-going projects:<br />"Effect of kynurenine monooxygenase inhibition, by Ro 61-8048, on the development of addictive behaviours induced by fentanyl. Relevance in a model of neuropathic chronic pain.<br />" Role of AhR in the functional dysfunction induced by binge drinking.<br />" Increases in brain kynurenic acid levels as a therapeutic strategy in the alcohol abuse and dependency: role of AhR.<br />" Role of the kynurenine pathway of the blood-brain barrier disruption and its relevance in the consumption and reinforcing effects of the drug.<br />" Involvement of kynurenine pathway in blood-brain barrier disruption and its relevance in the acute and long-term effects induced by amphetamines.