The main research directions of the Laboratory are:
- Investigation of molecular and physiological mechanisms involved in the genetic control of normal and pathological behavior. Search for the pathways for modulation of genetically determined pathological behavior
- Study of the brain neurotransmitter systems’ role in the regulation of different physiological functions and kinds of behavior.
- Revelation of functional interactions between different serotonin receptors and mechanisms of regulation of the serotonin receptors functioning.
- Investigation of the brain neurotrophic factors’ role in the regulation of different kinds of behavior. Research of the cross-talk between neurotrophic factors and brain neurotransmitter systems.
In the studies of the Laboratory, special attention is focused on the investigation of such classic neurotransmitter systems like brain serotonin and dopamine systems that are known to be involved in regulation of different physiological functions and kinds of normal (sleep, aggression, feeding behavior, etc.) and pathological (depression, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s deceases, etc.) behavior.
In recent years, the role of neurotrophic factors in the regulation of behavior is intensively investigated in the Laboratory. This is due to the uniqueness of these peptides involved in neurogenesis both in developing and adult brain and, hence, possessing a great potential for clinical usage.
In our studies, we combine molecular genetic, biochemical, pharmacological and physiological approaches. To study the animal behavior we use the unique System for Ethological Tests Automation EthoStudio developed together with the Institute of Automation and Electrometry SD RAS. To study the level of monoamines and their metabolites in the brain. the method of High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) is utilized. The Western blot analysis is used for investigation of protein levels . Measurement of gene expression in the brain is performed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR (SYBR-Green, hybridization probes).