Thesis topic proposal
László Lénárd
The role of dopamine- neuropeptide interactions in the regulation of learning, reinforcement and addictive behavior


Institute: University of Pécs
theoretical medicine
Doctoral School of Basic Medicine

Thesis supervisor: László Lénárd
Location of studies (in Hungarian): PTE ÁOK Pécs, Szigeti u. 12.
Abbreviation of location of studies: ÁOK

Description of the research topic:

It is well known that during rewarding learning processes and after intracerebral amphetamine microinjections dopamine is released. The rewarding reinforcing effects of endogenous opioids and cannabinoids have also been verified. Based on recent data it can be supposed that other neuropeptides (substance P, neurotensin, oxytocin) being released in the central nervous system can also play essential roles in the rewarding-reinforcing processes. Less is known about the importance of dopamine-neuropeptide interactions in learning and reinforcement. Effects of dopamine, dopamine receptor agonists and antagonists, as well as neuropeptides and their antagonists on single neurons will be studied in the limbic system by means of multibarreled microelectrophoretic method. After intracerebral microinjections dopamine and metabolite levels will be examined by HPLC microdialysis method. In different behavioral paradigms (conditioned place preference, Morris water maze, elevated plus maze, passive avoidance) after combined intracerebral microinjections of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor agonists and antagonists, neuropeptides and their antagonists behavior of wistar rats will be studied. Results may contribute to the better understanding of neurochemical processes of learning and drug addiction.

Number of students who can be accepted: 1

Deadline for application: 2023-05-19

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