My primary research interests are directed at the neurobiology of alcoholism. To study the central mechanisms involved with voluntary ethanol consumption, I use both genetic and pharmacological manipulations. There are many factors that may cause an individual to progress from a moderate or social drinker to an alcoholic. In addition to environmental influences, there is growing evidence in both the human and animal literature that genetic factors contribute to alcohol abuse. Furthermore, the risk for developing alcoholism is likely not associated with a single gene, but rather with multiple genes that interact with environmental factors to determine susceptibility for uncontrolled drinking. Much of my research has been aimed at identifying genes that contribute to increased ethanol consumption. To do this I am currently investigating alcohol ingestion, as well as physiological effects associated with ethanol administration, in gene knockout and transgenic mouse models.
Center Line Articles
Thiele Laboratory Neuropeptide Research Reveals Therapeutic Targets for Alcoholism (Vol. 18, No 3, 2007)
Alcoholism and Obesity: Overlapping Brain Pathways? (Vol. 14, No. 1, 2003)
Psychologist Probes the Genetic Secrets of Uncontrollable Drinking (Vol. 13, No.1, 2002)
Click here for a list of publications from PubMed
The alcohol deprivation effect in C57BL/6J mice is observed using operant self-administration procedures and is modulated by CRF-1 receptor signaling. Sparta DR, Ferraro FM 3rd, Fee JR, Knapp DJ, Breese GR, Thiele TE. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2009 Jan;33(1):31-42.
Effects of food availability and administration of orexigenic and anorectic agents on elevated ethanol drinking associated with drinking in the dark procedures. Lyons AM, Lowery EG, Sparta DR, Thiele TE. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008 Nov;32(11):1962-8.
Lowery EG, Sparrow AM, Breese GR, Knapp DJ, Thiele TE. The CRF-1 receptor antagonist, CP-154,526, attenuates stress-induced increases in ethanol consumption by BALB/cJ mice. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008 Feb;32(2):240-8.
Sparta DR, Sparrow AM, Lowery EG, Fee JR, Knapp DJ, Thiele TE. Blockade of the corticotropin releasing factor type 1 receptor attenuates elevated ethanol drinking associated with drinking in the dark procedures. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008 Feb;32(2):259-65.
Navarro M, Cubero I, Knapp DJ, Breese GR, Thiele TE. Decreased immunoreactivity of the melanocortin neuropeptide alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) after chronic ethanol exposure in Sprague-Dawley rats. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008 Feb;32(2):266-76.
Fee JR, Sparta DR, Picker MJ, Thiele TE. Corticotropin releasing factor-1 receptor antagonist, CP-154,526, blocks the expression of ethanol-induced behavioral sensitization in DBA/2J mice. Neuroscience. 2007 Sep 8.
Sparta DR, Fee JR, Knapp DJ, Breese GR, Thiele TE. Elevated anxiety-like behavior following ethanol exposure in mutant mice lacking neuropeptide Y (NPY). Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 Oct 8;90(2-3):297-300. Epub 2007 May 4.
Ferraro FM 3rd, Sparta DR, Knapp DJ, Breese GR, Thiele TE. Increased consumption but not operant self-administration of ethanol in mice lacking the RIIbeta subunit of protein kinase A. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2006 May;30(5):825-35.
Fee JR, Knapp DJ, Sparta DR, Breese GR, Picker MJ, Thiele TE. Involvement of protein kinase A in ethanol-induced locomotor activity and sensitization. Neuroscience. 2006 Jun 19;140(1):21-31.
van Dijk G, de Vries K, Nyakas C, Buwalda B, Adage T, Kuipers F, Kas MJ, Adan RA, Wilkinson CW, Thiele TE, Scheurink AJ. Reduced anorexigenic efficacy of leptin, but not of the melanocortin receptor agonist melanotan-II, predicts diet-induced obesity in rats. Endocrinology. 2005 Dec;146(12):5247-56.