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Dr. Stephanie  L. Borgland

B.Sc. Biology
M.Sc. Pharmacology
Ph.D. Pharmacology

Position: Assistant Professor
Department: Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Email:  s.borgland@ucalgary.ca

Office telephone: 604-822-7826 (?)
Fax: 604-822-6012 (?)



My research interfaces cellular physiology, pharmacology, andbehavior, with the goal of understanding and treating disorders ofappetitive motivation such as obesity and addiction. Neuropeptides play acritical role in a number of homeostatic processes, including satiety,sleep/wake cycles, mood regulation, and response to stress. However, chronic drug taking can usurp these normal regulatory processes and profoundly alter motivational behavior. The main goal of my research is to understand synaptic plasticity induced by these peptides in brain regions relevant to addiction, and to understand the behavioral consequences of neuropeptide signaling in both naïve and drug exposed animals. I use slice electrophysiology to elucidate the synaptic and cellular events involved in plasticity of excitatory synapses in ventral tegmental area dopamine neuronsfrom acute animals or animals that have undergone a behavioural paradigm. I also employ immunohistochemistry techniques such as using retrograde labels to answer questions related to neural circuitry underlying the physiological effects. I believe the use of these techniques together build a powerful arsenal for answering questions related to obesity and adaptations to drugs of abuse. My research aims to understand the neurobiological mechanisms responsible for the homeostatic regulation of brain reward circuits and how drugs of abuse can hijack normal appetitive behaviour.

Selected References:

Sarti, F.*, Borgland, S.L.*, Kharazia, V., Bonci, A. (2007) Acute cocaine exposure alters spine density and long term potentiation inthe ventral tegmental area. Eur. J. Neurosci. 26: 749: 756.

de Lecea, L., Jones, B.E., Boutrel, B., Borgland, S.L., Nishino, S., Busber,M., di Leone, R. (2006) Addiction and Arousal: Alternative roles for hypothalamic peptides. J. Neurosci. 26: 10372-5.

Borgland, S.L., Taha, S., Sarti, F., Fields, H.L., Bonci, A. (2006) Orexin Asignaling in dopamine neurons is critical for cocaine induced synaptic plasticity and behavioral sensitization. Neuron 49, 589-601.

Suvarna, N., Borgland, S.L., Wang, J., Phamluong, K., Auberson, Y.P., Bonci,A., Ron, D. (2005) Ethanol alters trafficking and functional NMDA receptor NR2 subunit ratio. J. Biol. Chem. 280: 31450-9.

Borgland, S.L., Malenka R., Bonci, A. (2004) Acute and chronic cocaine-induced potentiation of synaptic strength in the VTA: electrophysiological and behavioral correlates in individual rats. J. Neurosci. 24: 7482-7490.

Borgland, S.L., Connor, M., Osborne, P.B., Furness J.B., Christie, M.J. (2003) Opioid agonists have different efficacy profiles for G-protein activation, rapid desensitization and endocytosis of µ-opioid receptors. J. Biol. Chem. 278: 18776-84.

Borgland, S.L. (2001) Acute opioid receptor desensitization and tolerance: is there a link? Clin. Exp. Pharmacol. Physiol. 28: 147-154.

Connor, M, Borgland, S.L. and Christie, M.J. (1999) Continued morphine modulation of calcium channel currents in acutely isolated locus coeruleus neurons from morphine-dependent rats. Br. J. Pharmacol. 128: 1561-1569.




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