Dr. Alan Frazer’s primary research interest is the mechanism of action of
antidepressants, with a focus on how treatment with such drugs affects the
functioning of two central monoamine systems, noradrenergic and serotonergic,
that are important targets for their clinical effects.
Current projects in his
laboratory include an examination of (1) the effect of female sex steroids on
the ability of drugs such as Prozac to alter the function of the serotonin
transporter in rats; (2) neurochemical and behavioral effects produced by both
acute and chronic vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), which is approved for treatment
resistant depression; (3) the involvement of the neurotrophin receptor, TrkB,
in the effects of VNS and other antidepressants, including the NMDA receptor
Carreno FR, Frazer A. Activation of signaling
pathways downstream of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor receptor, TrkB, in
the rat brain by vagal nerve stimulation and antidepressant drugs. Int J
Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Feb;17(2):247-58.
Benmansour S, Weaver RS, Barton AK,
Adeniji OS, Frazer A. Comparison of the effects of
estradiol and progesterone on serotonergic function. Biol Psychiatry. 2012
Furmaga H, Sadhu M, Frazer A. Comparison of ΔFosB
immunoreactivity induced by vagal nerve stimulation with that caused by
pharmacologically diverse antidepressants. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2012
Furmaga H, Shah A, Frazer A. Serotonergic and noradrenergic
pathways are required for the anxiolytic-like and antidepressant-like
behavioral effects of repeated vagal nerve stimulation in rats. Biol
Psychiatry. 2011 Nov 15;70(10):937-45.
Frazer A, Morilak DA. What should animal models of
depression model? Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2005;29(4-5):515-23.