Mikhail Pletnikov MD, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology

Telephone Number: 716-829-2189
Fax Number: 716-829-2801

University at Buffalo
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
955 Main Street, Suite 3102
Buffalo, NY 14203

Lab Page
Areas of Research
Systems, Cognitive + Computational Neuroscience
Neural Circuits, Ensembles + Connectomes
Neurobiology of Disease
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    Our studies have demonstrated that inducible expression of mutant DISC1 was associated with mild but significant enlargement of the lateral ventricles in transgenic mice. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the brains and ventricles (green: lateral ventricles; purple: third and fourth ventricles) from the average MRI images of the control (control) and mutant (mutant) mice. Note that the ventricle enlargement occurs in the lateral ventricles in mutant mice. DISC1 is a strong candidate gene for schizophrenia and related disorders. Our transgenic mouse model expresses mutant human DISC1 that is a predicted protein product of the chromosomal translocation present in a large Scottish pedigree described previously.

Gene-environment interactions in neurodevelopmental disorders

Our laboratory is interested in the neurobiology of neurodevelopmental diseases such as schizophrenia and autism. The major focus of the laboratory is on identifying the molecular mechanisms whereby adverse environmental factors interact with one another and/or genetic variants associated to affect brain and behavior development. We explore these mechanisms in a cell type- and circuit-specific manner, using methods of cell and molecular biology, neuroimmunology, neurochemistry, psychopharmacology and developmental psychobiology. In collaboration with the laboratories of Drs. Dwight Bergles and Solange Brown (Neuroscience), we investigate the contribution of astrocyte bioenergetics to maturation of neuronal circuits involved in cognitive function. We also study the role of non-neuronal cells in mediating adverse effects of drugs of abuse, including opioids, cannabis, and psychedelic compounds. Projects include collaborations with the laboratories of the NIDA Center for Addiction Research directed by Dr. Solomon H. Snyder (Neuroscience). In collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Robert Yolken (Pediatrics), we elucidate the role of gut microbiome in the pathophysiological mechanisms of drug addiction and cognitive impairments. Undergraduate, graduate students, fellows, and faculty members are welcome to join the laboratory to participate in pre-clinical research training and/or collaborations.

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