The Vector and Imaging Core (Core Component 3) will provide centralized services, supplies, and shared equipment to all Research Components and Pilot Projects that propose use of viral vectors for gene silencing by RNA interference in select brain regions. Core personnel will design effective shRNA molecules, produce high titer viruses, and perform in vitro and in vivo testing. Core personnel will also produce viruses for overexpression of genes of interest. The Vector and Imaging Core will continue to provide a range of histological services for the Research Components and Pilot Projects, by providing feedback on stereotaxic coordinates of viral injections, volume of infections, and types of infected cells. The Core will analyze expression of targeted genes by laser capture microdissection combined with quantitative PCR mRNA analysis, and by immunocytochemistry. Core personnel will continue to perform experiments on the cellular localization of signaling proteins, and will further extend detection capabilities by performing high resolution in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry for signaling proteins in dendrites. Additional Core responsibilities include: oversight of digital stereotaxic equipment, imaging equipment;training in stereotaxic surgical techniques, histology, imaging and image processing;supervising students and postdoctoral trainees;and generating standard procedures for techniques used by the Core. By housing vector and imaging services in one core, efficiency and cost can be optimized since core personnel can focus their skills on techniques that are labor intensive and universal to several research projects. This will allow investigators of Research Components and Pilot Projects to focus on scientific questions involved in studies of specific candidate proteins, while avoiding technical errors and inconsistency in application of methods that the Vector and Imaging Core can perform to manipulate expression of these proteins.

Public Health Relevance

This Core has been a very valuable Component of the ACTG, allowing investigators to manipulate specific proteins in specific brain regions with genetic tools provided by the Core. The work of this Core is essential to the ACTG mission of understanding mechanisms by which novel proteins, identified as possible drug targets for treating alcohol use disorders, function in regulting binge drinking and relapse to alcohol use.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Specialized Center (P50)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California San Francisco
San Francisco
United States
Zip Code
Lei, Kelly; Wegner, Scott A; Yu, Ji-Hwan et al. (2016) Orexin-1 receptor blockade suppresses compulsive-like alcohol drinking in mice. Neuropharmacology 110:431-7
Ron, Dorit; Barak, Segev (2016) Molecular mechanisms underlying alcohol-drinking behaviours. Nat Rev Neurosci 17:576-91
Darcq, Emmanuel; Morisot, Nadege; Phamluong, Khanhky et al. (2016) The Neurotrophic Factor Receptor p75 in the Rat Dorsolateral Striatum Drives Excessive Alcohol Drinking. J Neurosci 36:10116-27
Lei, Kelly; Wegner, Scott A; Yu, Ji-Hwan et al. (2016) A single alcohol drinking session is sufficient to enable subsequent aversion-resistant consumption in mice. Alcohol 55:9-16
Yang, Sungchil; Ben-Shalom, Roy; Ahn, Misol et al. (2016) β-Arrestin-Dependent Dopaminergic Regulation of Calcium Channel Activity in the Axon Initial Segment. Cell Rep 16:1518-26
Laguesse, Sophie; Morisot, Nadege; Phamluong, Khanhky et al. (2016) Region specific activation of the AKT and mTORC1 pathway in response to excessive alcohol intake in rodents. Addict Biol :
Warnault, Vincent; Darcq, Emmanuel; Morisot, Nadege et al. (2016) The BDNF Valine 68 to Methionine Polymorphism Increases Compulsive Alcohol Drinking in Mice That Is Reversed by Tropomyosin Receptor Kinase B Activation. Biol Psychiatry 79:463-73
Beckley, Jacob T; Laguesse, Sophie; Phamluong, Khanhky et al. (2016) The First Alcohol Drink Triggers mTORC1-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine D1 Receptor Neurons. J Neurosci 36:701-13
Blasio, Angelo; Messing, Robert O (2016) Binge Drinking With Protein Kinase C Epsilon: A Role for Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Complex 2? Biol Psychiatry 79:425-6
Maiya, Rajani; McMahon, Thomas; Wang, Dan et al. (2016) Selective chemical genetic inhibition of protein kinase C epsilon reduces ethanol consumption in mice. Neuropharmacology 107:40-8

Showing the most recent 10 out of 57 publications