The George lab in collaboration with the Messing lab (University of Texas at Austin), the Janak lab (University of San Francisco), and the National Institute of Health published a novel CRF-Cre transgenic rat that will allow researchers to precisely control and observe neurons expressing control corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) in rats.
This is a major advance for the neuroscience field as CRF neurons are involved in a wide variety of brain functions including endocrine, autonomic and behavioral responses to stress and are hypothesized to play a key role in several psychiatric disorders including drug addiction, alcoholism, tobacco smoking, anxiety and depression.
This novel transgenic rats will allow researchers to use optogenetics, pharmacogenetics and brain imaging tools to track the function of CRF neurons in real time.
Work in the George and Messing lab are currently using this new model to study the role of CRF in alcohol binge drinking, alcoholism, nicotine and methamphetamine addiction.
Article on Frontiers website:
Matthew B. Pomrenze, E. Zayra Millan, F. Woodward Hopf, Ronald Keiflin, Rajani Maiya, Angelo Blasio, Jahan Dadgar, Viktor Kharazia, Giordano De Guglielmo, Elena Crawford, Patricia H. Janak, Olivier George, Kenner C. Rice and Robert O. Messing. Front. Neurosci., 24 December 2015 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2015.00487. PDF