Antonello Bonci MD

Adjunct Professor in Neuroscience
Telephone Number: 443-740-2463
Fax Number: 443-740-2855

Biomedical Research Center, Suite 200
251 Bayview Blvd.
Baltimore, Maryland 21224
Room: Biomedical Research Center, Suite 200 Bayview Room 040521
Areas of Research
Systems, Cognitive + Computational Neuroscience
Neural Circuits, Ensembles + Connectomes
Cellular + Molecular Neuroscience

Synaptic plasticity, dopamine and substance use disorders

Chronic exposure to drugs of abuse causes several cellular and behavioral adaptations such as tolerance, dependence, and sensitization. The main goal of my laboratory is to understand the synaptic properties of neurons in brain areas relevant to drug addiction, such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC). Our studies have demonstrated that the VTA principal neurons are able to express various forms of synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). My laboratory combines optogenetic and transgenic approaches with electrophysiology and behavioral procedures to define the cellular mechanisms underlying the long-term changes that are produced by chronic administration of drugs of abuse such as ethanol and cocaine. This will allow us to gain a better understanding of the synaptic modifications produced at the synaptic level by chronic treatment with these drugs, and possibly open new avenues for therapeutic strategies.

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