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A. Leslie Morrow, Ph.D.Associate Director
Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies

Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology

UNC Neuroscience Center, Curriculum in Neurobiology, and Curriculum in Toxicology

Office | 3027 Thurston-Bowles Bldg, CB#7178
Email |
Lab Website | Molecular Neuropharmacology


Research Interests

Mechanisms of Addiction Pathogenesis: The major goal of this project is to determine GABAergic cortolimbic circuit mechanisms of alcohol addiction. This project will examine the overall hypothesis that chronic ethanol exposure alters local mPFC and amygdalar microcircuits as well as the mPFC projection to central amygdala in conjunction with GABA-A receptor adaptations that can be prevented by histone acetylation.

Gene Delivery of Neuroactive Steroids to Modulate Ethanol Reinforcement/Consumption: The goal of this project is to evaluate the hypotheses that elevated steroidogenesis in the ventral tegmental area will reduce operant ethanol self-administration and the escalation of voluntary drinking following deprivation in male and female rats.

Recent Publications

Click here for a full list of publications from PubMed

Histone deacetylases mediate GABAA receptor expression, physiology, and behavioral maladaptations in rat models of alcohol dependence. Bohnsack JP, Hughes BA, O’Buckley TK, Edokpolor K, Besheer J, Morrow ALNeuropsychopharmacology. 2018 Feb 27. doi: 10.1038/s41386-018-0034-8.  PMID: 29520058

Neuroactive Steroid (3α,5α)3-hydroxypregnan-20-one (3α,5α-THP) and Pro-inflammatory Cytokine MCP-1 Levels in Hippocampus CA1 are Correlated with Voluntary Ethanol Consumption in Cynomolgus Monkey. Beattie MC, Reguyal CS, Porcu P, Daunais JB, Grant KA, Morrow ALAlcohol Clin Exp Res. 2018 Jan;42(1):12-20. doi: 10.1111/acer.13545. 2017 Dec 5. PMID:29112774

Ethanol Exposure Regulates Gabra1 Expression via Histone Deacetylation at the Promoter in Cultured Cortical Neurons. Bohnsack JP, Patel VK, Morrow ALJ Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2017 Oct;363(1):1-11. doi: 10.1124/jpet.117.242446.  2017 Aug 10. PMID:28798030

Cellular GABAergic Neuroactive Steroid (3α,5α)-3-Hydroxy-Pregnan-20-One (3α,5α-THP) Immunostaining Levels Are Increased in the Ventral Tegmental Area of Human Alcohol Use Disorder Patients: A Postmortem Study. Hasirci AS, Maldonado-Devincci AM, Beattie MC, O’Buckley TK, Morrow ALAlcohol Clin Exp Res. 2017 Feb;41(2):299-311. doi: 10.1111/acer.13300.  2017 Jan 9. PMID:28068457

Initial genetic dissection of serum neuroactive steroids following chronic intermittent ethanol across BXD mouse strains. Porcu P, O’Buckley TK, Lopez MF, Becker HC, Miles MF, Williams RW, Morrow ALAlcohol. 2017 Feb;58:107-125. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2016.07.011. 2016 Nov 10. PMID:27884493