| ||Principal Investigators
|W. Scott Young, M.D., Ph.D.
||Dr. Young received his B.A., M.D. and Ph.D from The Johns Hopkins University. The latter degree, obtained under the guidance of Michael Kuhar, described the development of in vitro receptor autoradiography and the first applications of the technique to the localization of neurotranmsitter receptors in human and other animal brains. Dr. Young then completed an internship in internal medicine at the University of Maryland and a residency in neurology at the University of Virginia. He joined the NIMH in 1984 where he has studied the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei in the hypothalamus. Dr. Young's laboratory is currently using and creating knock-out and transgenic mice to study the roles of vasopressin and oxytocin in the brain.
The Section on Neural Gene Expression investigates the roles and regulation of expression of vasopressin and oxytocin in the central nervous system. They are 9 amino acid peptide hormones that participate in the regulation of fluid balance, parturition and lactation. In addition, they have important roles in various behaviors, including social and maternal ones, through their actions mediated by at least 4 receptors. A schematic of their genes is shown below.
Our group uses a variety of techniques ranging from anatomical (hybridization histochemistry and receptor autoradiography) to molecular biological to transgenic animals to explore gene expression. For example, we have generated mice lacking functional oxytocin, as
well as mice that express green fluorescent protein in oxytocin neurons, in our attempts to determine the essential and non-essential roles of this hormone. Our latest work examines the vasopressin 1b receptor knockout mice that we made. These mice show a marked reduction in aggression and a modest decline in social recognition. We have recently begun studying the first
conditional knockout of the oxytocin receptor. These mice show decreased fear conditioning and deficits in intra-strain, but not inter-strain, social recognition. Our various studies with transgenic, including knockout mice, are listed here
|Representative Selected Recent Publications:
- Pagani JH, Lee HJ, Young WS:
Post-weaning, forebrain-specific perturbation of the oxytocin system impairs fear conditioning
Genes Brain Behav., [Epub Jun 13] 2011.
- Mok SI, Munasinghe JP, Young WS:
Infusion-based manganese-enhanced MRI: new imaging technique to visualize the mouse brain.
Brain Struct. Funct., [Epub May 20] 2011.
- Macbeth AH, Lee H-J, Edds J, Young WS:
Oxytocin and the oxytocin receptor underlie mouse intra-strain, but not inter-strain, social recognition.
Genes Brain Behav., 8 558-67, 2009.
- DeVito LM, Konigsberg R, Lyyken C, Sauvage M, Young WS, Eichenbaum H:
Vasopressin 1b receptor knockout impairs memory for temporal processing and social interactions: a selective role for CA2 in memory.
J. Neurosci., 29 2676-83, 2009. Erratum: 29 5044, 2009.
- Caldwell HR, Stephens SL, Young WS:
Oxytocin as a natural antipsychotic: a study using oxytocin knockout mice.
Mol. Psychiat., 14:190-6, 2009.
- Wersinger SR, Caldwell HK, Christiansen M., Young WS:
Disruption of the vasopressin 1b receptor gene impairs the attack component of aggressive behavior in mice.
Genes Brain Behav., 6:653-60, 2007.