Yamamoto Lab: Laboratory of Brain Injury and Drugs of Abuse

Research from the lab of Bryan K Yamamoto, PhD, over the last 27 years has focused on how drugs of abuse affect the neurochemistry of brain. Research in this laboratory has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health since 1987.

The laboratory has studied how amphetamines and their interaction with stress and the immune system alter the blood-brain barrier, brain neurochemistry, and produce damage to regions of the brain that are critically involved in controlling movement and memory processes.

Active Research

Efforts are underway to understand how inflammatory, oxidative and excitatory processes converge to damage the dopamine and serotonin systems in the brain and how antagonism of these processes can protect or mitigate the neurodegenerative effects of drugs of abuse.

Research Funding

NIH RO1 DA 007606
NIH RO1 DA 035499

Recent Publications

Natarajan, R., Forrester, L., Chiaia, N. and Yamamoto, B.K. Chronic Stress-induced Behavioral Changes Associated with Subregion Selective Serotonin Cell Death in the Dorsal Raphe. Journal of Neuroscience (in press)

Collins, S., Huff, C., Chiaia, N., Gudelsky, G.A., and Yamamoto, B.K. MDMA Increases Excitability in the Dentate Gyrus: Role of 5HT2A Receptor Induced PGE2 Signaling. J. Neurochemistry, 136: 1074-1084, 2016 PMID: PMC4755867

Northrop, N.A., Halpin, L.E., and Yamamoto, B.K. Peripheral Ammonia and Blood Brain Barrier Structure and Function after Methamphetamine. Neuropharmacology, 107: 18-26, 2016. PMID: 26972828

Northrop, N.A. and Yamamoto, B.K. Methamphetamine Effects on Blood-Brain Barrier Structure and Function, Frontiers in Neuroscience-Neuropharmacology, 9: article 69, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2015.00069

Collins, S.A., Gudelsky, G.A. and Yamamoto, B.K.  MDMA-induced loss of parvalbumin interneurons within the dentate gyrus is mediated by 5HT2a and NMDA receptors.  Eur. J. Pharmacology, 761:95-100, 2015. PMCID: PMC4532576

Natarajan, R., Northrop, N.A. and Yamamoto, B.K.  Protracted effects of chronic stress on serotonin dependent thermoregulation. Stress, 18: 668-676, 2015. PMID: 26414686

Stansley, B. and Yamamoto, B.K. Chronic L-dopa decreases serotonin neurons in a sub-region of the dorsal raphe nucleus, Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 351: 440-447, 2014. PMID: PMC4201267

Stansley, B.J. and Yamamoto, B.K.  L-dopa-induced dopamine synthesis and oxidative stress in serotonergic cells. Neuropharmacology 67: 243-251, 2013. PMCID: PMC3638241

Halpin, L.E., Northrop, N.S. and Yamamoto, B.K. Ammonia Mediates Methamphetamine-Induced Increases in Glutamate and Excitotoxicity. Neuropsychopharmacology, 39: 1031-1038, 2013. PMCID: PMC3924538

Halpin, L. and Yamamoto, B.K. Peripheral ammonia as a mediator of methamphetamine neurotoxicity.  Journal of Neuroscience 32: 13155–13163, 2012. PMCID: PMC3464918

Faculty Research Team

Bryan K. Yamamoto, PhD

Bryan K. Yamamoto, PhD

Chair, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology
Reka Natarajan, PhD

Reka Natarajan, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow in Pharmacology & Toxicology

Additional Research Team Members

Other research team members in the Yamamoto Lab include Eric A. Rodriquez, PhD (Postdoctoral Research Associate); Joanne Kays, MS (Research Associate); Amanda Blaker (Graduate Student); Carman Mitchell (Graduate Student); Omar El Jordi, MS (Graduate Student); and James Baek (MD/PhD Student).