Prof. Yasemin M. Akay学术报告
报告题目：The Effects of Nicotine Exposure on the Complexity and the Genetic Patterns of Dopamine Neurons in VTA.
报告人：Yasemin M. Akay, 美国休斯敦大学生物医学工程系教授
Nicotine, the biologically active substance of tobacco, increases the ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopaminergic (DA) neuron firing rate, bursting, and enhancement of dopamine release. Previous studies have shown that most of the recorded VTA DA neurons immediately responded to acute nicotine injection. Both firing rate and bursting were increased in these neurons. However, because of the complex neuronal networks in the VTA, the mechanism by which nicotine affects VTA DA neurons firing is still not clearly understood.
Our results have shown that the local field potentials corresponding to the neurons located in the PIF region of the VTA have higher complexity values in the maternal nicotine cases when compared to the saline. We speculate that the dopamine neurons located in the PIF sub-region of the VAT are very likely involved with the nicotine addiction.
We are currently exploring the effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy by analyzing the mRNA expressions of a single cell analysis of the infant rats’ dopamine neurons using patch-clamp electrophysiology and DNA microarrays. We identified nicotine-responsive mRNAs and nicotine-induced changes in gene expressions at the single cell level. By using microarray data, we can construct a network of the signi?cant genes to identify functional signi?cance with respect to gene ontology, molecular networks, and canonical pathways.
Yasemin M. Akay is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cullen College of Engineering, University of Houston. She received her B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey in 1980 and M.S. and Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering from the Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA in 1991 and 1998, respectively.
Her research focuses on novel technologies forcost-effective high-through put screening of novel cancer drugs and therapeutics and assessment of treatment responses.
She is currently exploring the effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy by analyzing the mRNA expressions of a single cell analysis of the infant rats’ dopamine neurons using patch-clamp electrophysiology and DNA microarrays.