Office: 3005 Thurston-Bowles Bldg, CB 7178
Phone: (919) 966-0505
Lab Website | Preclinical Neuropsychopharmacology
Dr. Knapp continues to focus on research on the pharmacology of alcohol intoxication and withdrawal with a focus on select neurotransmitter systems. Dr Knapp’s research interests focus on adaptive neural processes in brain as reflected in molecular and behavioral indices following chronic exposure to alcohol, stress, and/or cytokines and other select pharmacological agents. A primary current focus is to employ a repeated ethanol exposure and withdrawal paradigm in rodent models to examine the contribution of different neurotransmitter systems to the progressive worsening of alcohol withdrawal (e.g., sensitization or “kindling’ of anxiety-like behavior) that is unique to cycled, as opposed to continuous, ethanol exposure and withdrawal. His group has found that selective repeated stress exposures interact with future chronic ethanol exposure to increase anxiety-like behavior and to render animals vulnerable to future stress or ethanol. They have also found that pharmacological agents for corticotrophin releasing factor, benzodiazepine, or 5-HT2C receptors can strongly influence this sensitization process as do select cytokines that may manifest their effects via the GABA receptor system. Comparable studies with adolescent rats are examining the impact of cycled stress, withdrawal, and select pharmacological treatments on this sensitization process. His collaborative efforts have expanded research into the interactions of peptide systems, including NPY, oxytocin, and the melanocortin system in alcohol preference and related behaviors.
Representative Publications: Click here for a full list of publications from PubMed
1. Huang MM, Overtstreet DH, Knapp DJ, Angel R, Wills TA, Navarro M, Rivier J, Vale W, Breese GR (2010) Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) sensitization of ethanol withdrawal-induced anxiety-like behavior is brain site specific and mediated by CRF-1 receptors: Relation to stress-induced sensitization. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 332(1):298-307.
2. Overstreet DH, Fredericks K, Knapp D, Breese G, McMichael J. (2010) Nerve growth factor (NGF) has novel antidepressant-like properties in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 94(4):553-60.
3. Overstreet DH, Knapp DJ, Breese GR, Diamond I (2009) A Selective ALDH-2 Inhibitor Reduces Anxiety in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 94(2):255-61.
4. Wills TA, Knapp DJ, Overstreet DH, Breese GR (2009) Sensitization, duration, and pharmacological blockade of anxiety-like behavior following repeated ethanol withdrawal in adolescent and adult rats. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 33(3):455-63.
5.Wills TA, Knapp DJ, Overstreet DH, Breese GR (2008) Differential dietary ethanol intake and blood ethanol levels in adolescent and adult rats: effects on anxiety-like behavior and seizure thresholds. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 32(8):1350-60.