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Manipulating single cell receptor alters animal behavior

Researchers at the University at Buffalo and the University of Pennsylvania were the first to demonstrate that two intracellular events, both stimulated by the same cell receptor, can provoke different behaviors in mammals.

The broad implication of the findings may alter the way behavioral neuroscientists think about sub-cellular underpinnings of mammalian behavior, according to the researchers.

The study, "Divergent Behavioral Roles of Angiotensin Receptor Intracellular Signaling Cascades," was published in the journal Endocrinology (Vol. 146, No. 12). It can be found online at http://endo.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/146/12/5552.

The co-authors of the study are Derek Daniels, assistant professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo, and Daniel K. Yee, research associate professor, Department of Animal Biology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

Daniels says, "The research highlights the importance of intracellular events in the regulation of behavioral states and provides new information about the means through which a single hormone can influence multiple mammalian behaviors like learning and memory, eating, drinking, reproduction and social interaction."

The study examines intracellular signaling pathways stimulated by AT1, a receptor for angiotensin, a polypeptide hormone that regulates internal equilibrium among body fluids.

By using drugs to effect these neural signaling pathways in animal subjects, the team was able manipulate this equilibrium, a finding that Daniels says provides a better understanding of the regulation of blood pressure, and body fluid composition, and could lead to new strategies for treating cardiovascular diseases.

The study of intracellular events in the field of behavioral neuroscience has blossomed over the past 20 years as a result of increased NIH funding for neuroscie
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Contact: Patricia Donovan
pdonovan@buffalo.edu
716-645-5000 x1414
University at Buffalo
21-Mar-2006


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