Author Date

2021-12-01

Degree Name

BS

Department

Neuroscience

College

Life Sciences

Defense Date

2021-12-06

Publication Date

2021-12-16

First Faculty Advisor

Dr. Scott Steffensen

First Faculty Reader

Dr. Jordan Yorgason

Honors Coordinator

Dr. Rebekka Matheson

Keywords

catharanthine, dopamine, alcohol, addiction

Abstract

This thesis discusses the history of catharanthine and related compounds, and their potential anti-addictive properties. Current research is exploring possible mechanisms of these properties. Past studies have found catharanthine has effects on neurons that project to the mesocorticolimbic system, an area implicated in addiction. We have seen that catharanthine decreases evoked dopamine (DA) release but increases basal DA release. This is the first study to investigate catharanthine’s effect on DA transmission in vivo. Using microdialysis, we determined the effect of catharanthine on DA in the nucleus accumbens of the striatum. This study determines the effect of different doses of catharanthine, kinetics of catharanthine, and the effect of catharanthine and ethanol injections. We also used the drink in the dark behavioral method to determine if catharanthine decreased drinking behavior in mice.

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