Faculty: Jose N. Nobrega, PhD
Professor, Pharmacology, Psychiatry and Psychology
Senior Scientist and Head, Behavioral Neurobiology Laboratory
Research Imaging Centre, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
General Research Areas: Neuropharmacology; Behavioural Pharmacology; Neuroreceptors and Behaviour
Research is focused on regional brain differences in neuroreceptor regulatory mechanisms both in normal and pathological conditions. To this end, receptor autoradiographic techniques, in situ hybridization and quantitative immunohistochemistry are used in preclinical models. Current projects include regional brain changes induced by: (a) drugs of abuse; (b) treatments used in neuropsychiatric conditions including pharmacological agents and deep brain stimulation; and (c) specific behavioural states, including stress-induced behaviours, impulse control and movement disorders. Neurochemical systems currently studied in these preparations include dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, acetylcholine, GABA and glutamate.
Bambico FR, Li Z, Oliveira C, McNeill S, Diwan M, Raymond R, Nobrega JN. Rostrocaudal subregions of the ventral tegmental area are differentially impacted by chronic stress. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2019 Feb 22;. doi: 10.1007/s00213-019-5177-8. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30796492.
Bambico FR, Comai S, Diwan M, Hasan SMN, Conway JD, Darvish-Ghane S, Hamani C, Gobbi G, Nobrega JN. High frequency stimulation of the anterior vermis modulates behavioural response to chronic stress: involvement of the prefrontal cortex and dorsal raphe?. Neurobiol Dis. 2018 Aug;116:166-178. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2018.03.011. Epub 2018 May 2. PubMed PMID: 29727711.
Volle J, Bregman T, Scott B, Diwan M, Raymond R, Fletcher PJ, Nobrega JN, Hamani C. Deep brain stimulation and fluoxetine exert different long-term changes in the serotonergic system. Neuropharmacology. 2018 Jun;135:63-72. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2018.03.005. Epub 2018 Mar 2. PubMed PMID: 29505786.
Nobrega JN, Raymond RJ, Pollock, BG. An improved, high-efficiency assay for assessing serum anticholinergic activity using cultured cells stably expressing M1 receptors. Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods, 2017, 86, 28-33.
Nobrega JN, Hedayatmofidi PS, Lobo DS. Strong interactions between learned helplessness and risky decision-making in a rat gambling model. Scientific Reports, 2016, 6, 37304.
Reznikov R, Binko M, Nobrega JN, Hamani C. Deep Brain Stimulation in animal models of fear, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2016, 41, 2810-2817
Reznikov R, Diwan M, Nobrega JN, Hamani C. Towards a better preclinical model of PTSD: Characterizing animals with weak extinction, maladaptive stress responses and low plasma corticosterone. Journal of Psychiatry Research, 2015, 61,158-165.
Lobo DSS, Aleksandrova L, Knight J, Casey DM, el-Guebaly N, Nobrega JN, Kennedy J. Addiction-related genes in Gambling Disorders: new insights from parallel human and pre-clinical models. Molecular Psychiatry, 2015, 20, 1002-1010.
Hamani C, Amorim BO, Wheeler AL, Diwan M, Driesslein K, Covolan L, Butson CR, Nobrega JN. Deep brain stimulation in rats: Different targets induce similar antidepressant-like effects but influence different circuits. Neurobiology of Disease, 2014, 71, 205-214.
Wheeler AL, Creed MC, Voineskos AN, Nobrega JN. Changes in brain functional connectivity after chronic haloperidol in rats: a network analysis. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2014, 17, 1129-1138.
Mahar I, Bambico FR, Mechawar N, Nobrega JN. Stress, serotonin, and hippocampal neurogenesis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 2014, 38, 173-192.
Nona C, Guirgis S, Nobrega JN. Susceptibility to ethanol sensitization is differentially associated with changes in pCREB, trkB and BDNF mRNA expression in mouse brain. Behavioural Brain Research, 2013, 242, 25-33.
Hamani C, Nobrega JN. Preclinical studies modeling deep brain stimulation for depression. Biological Psychiatry, 2012, 72, 916-923.
Creed MC, Hamani C, Bridgman A, Fletcher PJ, Nobrega JN. Contribution of decreased serotonin release to the antidyskinetic effects of deep brain stimulation in a rodent model of tardive dyskinesia: comparison of the subthalamic and entopeduncular nuclei. Journal of Neuroscience, 2012, 32, 9574-9581.
Centre for Addiction & Mental Health
Behavioural Neurobiology Laboratory
Research Imaging Centre
250 College Street
Phone:  535-8501. Ext. 6259
FAX:  979-4739