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Special Guest Lecture January 18, 2013, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm WPIC Auditorium

An Animal Model of Vulnerability to Depression and
Cardiovascular Disease:  Might Angiotensin Play a Role? 

    Alan Sved, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Neuroscience
University of Pittsburgh



Research being conducted in Dr. Sved’s laboratory is focused on three distinct themes: the central neural control of cardiovascular function and fluid homeostasis, particularly as it relates to the pathogenesis of hypertension; the general organization of central neural pathways controlling the autonomic nervous system; and the neuropharmacology of nicotine.

Studies on the central neural control of cardiovascular function are currently aimed at understanding the role of the brain in the long-term regulation of blood pressure. This line of research uses pharmacological, neurochemical, and neuroanatomical techniques to determine the brain circuitry involved in baroreceptor-independent control of blood pressure in rats, and how modulation of this circuitry can result in hypertension. Additional studies examine the influence of increased dietary salt intake on this neural circuitry.  

Studies aimed at understanding the organization of central neural pathways controlling the autonomic nervous system are currently using transynaptic retrograde transport of neurotropic viruses to delineate the central neural circuits that coordinate the regulation of autonomic control of different visceral targets in rats.

Studies examining the neuropharmacology are focused on why nicotine is a widely abused drug. Specifically, our current studies examine the interaction of nicotine with non-pharmacological environmental cues in sustaining robust nicotine self-administration in rats.

Learning Objectives:  At the conclusion of the lecture, attendees will be able to: 

  1. Understand the high comorbidity between cardiovascular disorders and depression
  2. Understand the utility of animal models of depression in studying this comorbidity, while also appreciating some the limitations in this
  3. Understand that the renin-angiotensin system is involved in much more than just regulation of the cardiovascular system

Continuing Education Credit: The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM. Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Other health care professionals are awarded .15 continuing education units (CEUs), which are equal to 1.5 contact hours. In accordance with Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education requirements on disclosure, information about relationships of presenters with commercial interests (if any) will be included in materials which will be distributed at the time of the conference.  WPIC is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists.  WPIC maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.  This program is being offered for 1.5 continuing education credits.


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