Conan Kornetsky, Ph.D.


Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology

Ph.D.: University of Kentucky

Laboratory of Behavioral Pharmacology

Research Interests

Neuronal Bases for the Rewarding Effects of Abused Substances

Research in the behavioral pharmacology laboratory is directed toward the determination of neuronal mechanisms involved in the behavioral effects of drugs. Much of this research is focused on the brain’s motivational systems. Changes in these systems are directly related to the rewarding effects associated with the action of the abused psychomotor stimulants, e.g., cocaine and opioids, e.g., heroin. There is reason to believe that these same systems are also affected, albeit in opposite ways, in clinical depression and anxiety. The research of graduate students in this laboratory will continue to study the mechanisms involved in the rewarding actions of these abused substances using the following techniques and procedures: stereotaxic surgery for implanting intercerebral stimulating electrodes and/or cannulae directly into specific brain sites, the use of psychophysical methods for determining thresholds for various types of intracerebral electrical stimulation (e.g., appetitive, aversive), the use of an intravenous drug self-administration model in rats, the use of the quantitative 2-[14C] deoxyglucose method for determining cerebral metabolic rates of glucose in specific brain areas., and the evaluation of brain-stimulation reward in knockout mice models.

Kornetsky C, Knapp CM, Tozier L, Pak A. Medial forebrain stimulation enhances intracranial nociception and attenuates morphine analgesia suggesting the existence of an endogenous opioid antagonist. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2010 May;95(3):273-7. Epub 2010 Feb 10.PMID: 20149816

Knapp CM, Tozier L, Pak A, Ciraulo DA, Kornetsky C. Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens reduces ethanol consumption in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 May;92(3):474-9. Epub 2009 Jan 31.PMID: 19463262

Vassoler FM, Schmidt HD, Gerard ME, Famous KR, Ciraulo DA, Kornetsky C, Knapp CM, Pierce RC. Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens shell attenuates cocaine priming-induced reinstatement of drug seeking in rats. J Neurosci. 2008 Aug 27;28(35):8735-9.PMID: 18753374

Kornetsky C. A walk through the history of research in drug abuse trends and fads. The Nathan B. Eddy Award address given at CPDD 2005: part II. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 Oct 8;90(2-3):312-6.

Knapp CM, Mercado M, Markley TL, Crosby S, Ciraulo DA, Kornetsky C. Zonisamide decreases ethanol intake in rats and mice. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2007 May;87(1):65-72. Epub 2007 Apr 11.

Crosby SJ, Knapp CM, Kornetsky C. Nociceptive threshold and analgesic response to morphine in aged and young adult rats as determined by thermal radiation and intracerebral electrical stimulation. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2006 May;84(1):148-57. Epub 2006 Jun 8.

Knapp CM, Jha SH, Kornetsky C. Increased sensitization to morphine-induced oral stereotypy in aged rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Nov;79(3):491-7.

Jha SH, Knapp CM, Kornetsky C. Effects of morphine on brain-stimulation reward thresholds in young and aged rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Nov;79(3):483-90.

Gill BM, Knapp CM, Kornetsky C. The effects of cocaine on the rate independent brain stimulation reward threshold in the mouse. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Sep;79(1):165-70.

Kornetsky C. Brain-stimulation reward, morphine-induced oral stereotypy, and sensitization: implications for abuse. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2004 Jan;27(8):777-86. Review.

Kornetsky C. Conversation with Conan Kornetsky. Addiction. 2003 Jul;98(7):875-82.

Knapp CM, Printseva B, Cottam N, Kornetsky C. Effects of cue exposure on brain glucose utilization 8 days after repeated cocaine administration. Brain Res. 2002 Sep 20;950(1-2):119-26.

Knapp CM, Lee K, Foye M, Ciraulo DA, Kornetsky C. Additive effects of intra-accumbens infusion of the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase inhibitor, rolipram and cocaine on brain stimulation reward. Life Sci. 2001 Aug 24;69(14):1673-82.

Knapp CM, Foye MM, Cottam N, Ciraulo DA, Kornetsky C. Adenosine agonists CGS 21680 and NECA inhibit the initiation of cocaine self-administration. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2001 Apr;68(4):797-803.

Kraus MA, Kornetsky C. Cue-induced changes in basal local cerebral glucose utilization 13 days after morphine sensitization in the Fischer 344 rat: relevance for drug craving. Brain Res. 2000 May 26;865(2):194-201.

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Office: L-602
Phone: 617-638-4320; Fax: 617-638-4329