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Mechanisms of receptor sensitization and desensitization have been identified and are currently being related to mechanisms of addictive syndromes.
Use of positron-emission tomography and single photon emission computed tomography imaging to evaluate drug action on dynamics of energy utilization and neurotransmitter function in living animals and humans.
Characterization of the nicotinic-cholinergic receptor within the central nervous system.
Demonstration that nicotine reward may be mediated by dopamine release.
Endogenous opioid receptors cloned and characterized (mu, kappa delta).
Mu, kappa, delta receptor locations mapped in the brain.
Regulation studies of opioid genes and processing of opioid peptides in normal and drug-treated states.
Receptor cloning increases the likelihood of developing more selective agonist and antagonist drugs for each receptor subtype.
Characterization of processes by which opioid receptor activation regulates neuronal function, secondary messenger systems, ion channel function, and gene expression.
Specific interaction sites for cocaine and amphetamine identified on dopamine transporter.
Genetically altered mice for dopamine receptors and transporter have produced exciting new models for role of dopamine in cocaine and amphetamine action and brain reward systems in general.
Excitatory amino acids implicated in dopamine-mediated effects of cocaine; potential therapeutic implications.