Dunbar Laboratory for Research on Memory and Fear
We study the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which memories of stressful events contribute to anxiety- and depression-like behavior. Specifically, our interest lies in neuronal receptors, signal transduction pathways and gene responses mediating: (i) formation and extinction of aversive memory; (ii) delayed enhancement of fear memory in the aftermath of stressful experiences; (iii) social modeling of fear; and (iv) the relationship between aversive memories and depression. We employ molecular biological, biochemical and histological techniques to establish the cells, molecules and brain areas relevant for these processes. Pre-clinical studies with pharmacological and/or genetic mouse models are employed to establish the roles of candidate molecules in fear, anxiety and depression-like behavior. Our long-term goal is to elucidate the key brain mechanisms linking cognitive and emotional processes and identify novel targets for treatment of anxiety and depression.
Jelena Radulovic, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor and Dunbar Scholar
Natalie C. Tronson, Ph.D., Postdoc
Can Gao, Ph.D., Postdoc
Kevin Corcoran, Ph.D., Postdoc
Yomayra Guzman, Ph.D. Student (NUIN, Climb fellow)
Kyu Hwan Huh, Ph.D. Student (NUIN)
Anita Guedea, M.S, Research Assistant
National Institutes for Mental Health
Tronson NC, Schrick C, Guzman YF, Huh KH, Srivastava DP, Penzes P, Guedea A, Gao C, Radulovic J. Segregated populations of hippocampal principal CA1 neurons mediating conditioning and extinction of contextual fear. J Neurosci 2009, (in press).
Radulovic J, Tronson NC. Protein synthesis inhibitors, gene superinduction and memory: too little or too much protein? Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2008, 89:212-218.
Tronson NC, Schrick C, Fischer A, Sananbenesi F, Pagès G, Pouysségur J, Radulovic J. Regulatory mechanisms of fear extinction and depression-like behavior. Neuropsychopharmacology 2008, 33:1570-1583.
Schrick C, Fischer A, Srivastava DP, Tronson NC, Penzes P, Radulovic J. N-cadherin regulates cytoskeletally associated IQGAP1/ERK signaling and memory formation. Neuron 2007, 55:786-798.
Sananbenesi F, Fischer A, Wang X, Schrick C, Neve R, Radulovic J, Tsai LH. A hippocampal Cdk5 pathway regulates extinction of contextual fear. Nat Neurosci 2007, 10:1012-1019.
Fischer A, Radulovic M, Schrick C, Sananbenesi F, Godovac-Zimmermann J, Radulovic J. Hippocampal Mek/Erk signaling mediates extinction of contextual freezing behavior. Neurobiol Learn Mem 2007, 87:149-158.
Lattal KM, Radulovic J, Lukowiak K. Extinction: does it or doesn’t it? The requirement of altered gene activity and new protein synthesis. Biol Psychiatry 2006, 60: 344-51.
Fischer A, Sananbenesi F, Schrick C, Spiess J, Radulovic J. Distinct roles of hippocampal de novo protein synthesis and actin rearrangement in extinction of contextual fear. J Neurosci. 2004, 24:1962-1966.
Sananbenesi F, Fischer A, Schrick C, Spiess J, Radulovic J. Mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling in the hippocampus and its modulation by corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 2: a possible link between stress and fear memory. J Neurosci. 2003, 23:11436-11443.