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Dr. David Wirtshafter
Office 1042D BSB
Phone (312)-413-2631/996-5248
E-Mail to DaveW@UIC.EDU.

Work in my laboratory has centered on the neural mechanisms involved in the control of behavioral arousal and activation For the past fifteen years we have focused on the median raphe nucleus and adjacent midbrain structures. We have utilized a highly interdisciplinary approach in our investigations and, in addition to examining the effects of brain lesions and intracrainal drug injections on a variety of behaviors, we have also employed anatomical and neurochemical techniques in order to explore the functional organization of the raphe nuclei. These studies suggest that interconnections between limbic and hypothalamic structures and the midbrain raphe nuclei are likely to play an important role in the control of motivated behavior.

A second focus of research in my laboratory relates to the basal ganglia. We have recently begun to concentrate on the expression of the immediate early gene c-fos within these structures in response to both pharmacological and behavioral manipulations and have studied gene expression both within the basal ganglia and within other anatomically related structures.. These studies will advance our understanding of the functional organization of the basal ganglia and will hopefully have implications for the understanding and treatment of diseases related to these brain structures such as Parkinsonism and schizophrenia.

Representative Recent Publications:

Wirtshafter, D. (1998). Clozapine antagonizes the induction of striatal Fos expression by typical neuroleptics. European Journal of Pharmacology, 350, 1-3 .(Abstract)

Cook, D. F., & Wirtshafter, D. (1998). Quinpirole attenuates striatal c-Fos induction by 5-HT, opioid, and muscarinic receptor agonists. European Journal of Pharmacology, 349, 41-47. (Abstract)

Wirtshafter, D., Stratford, T. R., & Shim, I. (1998). Placement in a novel environment induces Fos-like immunoreactivity in supramammillary cells projecting to the hippocampus and midbrain. Brain Research, 789, 331-334. (Abstract)

Wirtshafter, D., Schardt, G., & Asin, K. E. (1997). Compartmentally specific effects of quinpirole on the striatal Fos expression induced by stimulation of D1 dopamine receptors in intact rats. Brain Research, 771, 271-277. (Abstract)

Shim, I., Javaid, J., & Wirtshafter, D. (1997). Dissociation of hippocampal serotonin release and locomotor activity following pharmacological manipulations of the median raphe nucleus. Behavioural Brain Research, 89, 191-198. (Abstract)

Asin, K. E., Wirtshafter, D., & Nikkel, A. (1996). Amphetamine induces Fos-like immunoreactivity in the striatum of primates. Brain Research, 719, 138-142. (Abstract)

Wirtshafter, D., & Asin, K. E. (1995). Dopamine antagonists induce Fos-like immunoreactivity in the substantia nigra and entopeduncular nucleus of the rat. Brain Research, 670, 205-214. (Abstract)

Klitenick, M. A., & Wirtshafter, D. (1994). Behavioral and neurochemical effects of opioids in the paramedian midbrain tegmentum including the median raphe nucleus and ventral tegmental area. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 273, 327-336. (Abstract)

Wirtshafter, D., Stratford, T. R., & Pitzer, M. R. (1993). Studies on the behavioral activation produced by stimulation of GABAB receptors in the median raphe nucleus. Behavioural Brain Research, 59, 83-93. (Abstract)

Wirtshafter, D., & Stratford, T. R. (1993). Evidence for GABAergic projections from the tegmental nuclei of Gudden to the mammillary body in the rat. Brain Research, 630, 188-194. (Abstract)

Asin, K. E., Wirtshafter, D., & Fibiger, H. C. (1985). Electrolytic, but not 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine, lesions of the nucleus medianus raphe impair acquisition of a radial maze task. Behavioral and Neural Biology, 44, 415-424. (Abstract)

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