Seminar – Chris Dayas

Chris’ laboratory focuses on the brain pathways that are involved in motivated behaviours and stress. His group studies the basic wiring of circuits controlling the activity of specific cell types in the hypothalamus and other nodes of the brain reward-seeking pathway including the amygdala, nucleus accumbens and midbrain. His group’s primary aim is to dissect the maladaptive rewiring that occurs in the brain which promotes pathological motivational states that can manifest as addictions, obesity and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. He will present data on his lab’s recent work studying the molecular substrates of addiction vulnerability and the synaptic mechanisms responsible for potent reward and stress-induced rewiring of hypothalamic circuits. Part of his presentation will outline the contribution of the molecular signalling pathway mTOR in the development and expression of addiction relevant behaviours. Specifically, recent work from his lab has shown that central and peripheral  ntra-nucleus accumbens injections of the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin can have long lasting protective effects on relapse-like behaviour by reducing synaptic protein translation.

Selected publications

Chemogenetic activation of the lateral hypothalamus reverses early life stress-induced deficits in motivational drive. Campbell EJ, Mitchell CS, Adams CD, Yeoh JW, Hodgson DM, Graham BA, Dayas CV. Eur J Neurosci. 2017 Oct;46(7):2285-2296. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13674. Epub 2017 Sep 22.

Temporally specific miRNA expression patterns in the dorsal and ventral striatum of addiction-prone rats. Quinn RK, James MH, Hawkins GE, Brown AL, Heathcote A, Smith DW, Cairns MJ, Dayas CV. Addict Biol. 2017 Jun 13. doi: 10.1111/adb.12520. [Epub ahead of print]

Rapamycin reduces motivated responding for cocaine and alters GluA1 expression in the ventral but not dorsal striatum. James MH, Quinn RK, Ong LK, Levi EM, Smith DW, Dickson PW, Dayas CV. Eur J Pharmacol. 2016 Aug 5;784:147-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2016.05.013. Epub 2016 May 12.

mTORC1 inhibition in the nucleus accumbens ‘protects’ against the expression of drug seeking and ‘relapse’ and is associated with reductions in GluA1 AMPAR and CAMKIIα levels. James MH, Quinn RK, Ong LK, Levi EM, Charnley JL, Smith DW, Dickson PW, Dayas CV. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 Jun;39(7):1694-702. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.16. Epub 2014 Jan 28.

Publication: 23/03/18
Last update 19/06/18