Universidad Central del Caribe, Department of Physiology
(787) 798-3001 x2053
I have been collaborating in several neuroscience related projects since a decade ago. The focus of those projects have been related to the role of neurons and glia in experimental models pertaining to ischemia, development of glioma and drug addiction. The latter group of studies have contributed to a better understanding of the role of adrenergic receptors in the activity of dopaminergic neurons of the VTA upon exposure to cocaine. The firing pattern of dopaminergic neurons of the VTA is critical for reward and it is common target of drugs of abuse. Therefore, one of my research interests is the study of neuronal excitability in the mesocorticolimbic (MCL) system, the circuitry responsible for motivational behaviors which are altered during drug addiction. More recently, we have obtained preliminary results on the effect of the drug adulterant, xylazine, on rat brain slices electrophysiology. In these studies we have observed that xylazine produces a dose-dependent alteration in the firing pattern of layer V pyramidal cells from rat prefrontal cortex.