Some psychostimulants of abuse can cause persistent damage to dopaminergic and/or serotonergic neurons in rodents, non-human primates, and humans. For example, methamphetamine administration causes persistent dopaminergic deficits that, in part, resemble deficits occurring in Parkinson's disease.

Dr. Fleckenstein's laboratory investigates receptor-mediated and subcellular mechanisms contributing to these deficits. Our research interests include neuropharmacology, neurochemistry, and aminergic transporters.

Stimulants & Monoaminergic Transporters

A particular focus of the laboratory involves investigating the effects of stimulants on monoaminergic transporters, both because of their relevance to the neurotoxicity of stimulants, and because of the laboratory's ongoing interest in the abuse liability of these agents.

A variety of techniques are employed in Dr. Fleckenstein's laboratory including radioligand-binding, rotating disk electrode voltammetry, monoamine uptake assays, western blotting, and high performance liquid chromatography to assess alterations in monoaminergic neuronal function after both non-contingent, and more recently, contingent drug administration.

Learn more about the Fleckenstein lab’s research >>