Achucarro Seminars

13 Dec [2019]

at 13.00 CET

Advanced transgenic approaches to understand the neurobiological processes in reward-related brain diseases: a therapeutic perspective

Ainhoa Bilbao Leis

Central Institute of Mental Health - Mannheim (Germany)


The brain reward system mediates motivational responses to natural rewards such as drinking, eating and reproduction and also drug rewards. Those motivational responses are importantly compromised in pathological processes such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative pathologies. Indeed, the use of pharmacotherapies targeting motivational processes is suggested as a protective factor in many of these disorders.

In this seminar, I will present an overview of my research activity during the last years at the RG Behavioral Genetics at the Central Institute of Mental Health (Germany). First I will review behavioral paradigms for modeling reinforcement processes and natural and drug rewards-induced behavioral phenotypes in mice. The second part will show the current data available using genetic models targeting the main neurotransmitter and neuropeptide systems involved in the reinforcement pathways focusing on diseases like addiction, chronic pain or Parkinson's disease. Finally, the third part will discuss the current findings and future directions, and proposes a behavioral genetic approach combining advanced transgenic mouse models and behavioral paradigms for their potential use in brain diseases to discover new therapies.

Host: Pedro Grandes

This seminar is partially supported by the Campus of Biscay of the UPV/EHU.