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Laboratory of T. Celeste Napier, PhD

T. Celeste Napier, PhD, is a professor in the department of Psychiatry. She also is the Director for the research and education Center for Compulsive Behavior and Addiction. Dr. Napier's research is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Foundations, and Philanthropic Organizations.

Current Projects

Methamphetamine abuse 

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive psychostimulant, and its long-term use results in numerous pathologies. This project seeks to determine in rats the subcellular, neurophysiological and behavioral consequences of methamphetamine-mediated reward. We are evaluating the effects on the brain/gut axis, including the blood brain barrier and gut mucosal barrier. 

Methamphetamine abuse and Parkinson’s disease 

Recent studies of methamphetamine-abusing humans indicate an increase in the propensity to develop Parkinson’s disease later in life. This project seeks to determine the underlining mechanisms that drive this phenomenon. We use methamphetamine self-administering rats to examine Parkinson’s disease-like pathology in behavior, brain and gut. We are determining if the methamphetamine-induced pathology can be accelerated by subsequent exposure to small doses of rotenone, a herbicide known to be neurotoxic in humans. 

Psychostimulant abuse comorbidity with HIV/AIDS 

We are determining the neurophysiological changes imposed by cocaine or methamphetamine self- adminstration in HIV-1 transgenic rats. We also are evaluating the comorbid effects on inflammation and barriers to the circulation system by the brain and gut.

Impulse control disorders in Parkinson’s disease

Dopamine agonists are effective and widely used treatments that improve the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. But a significant portion of treated patients develop various forms of impulse control disorders, including problem gambling, hypersexuality, and compulsive behaviors (shopping, eating).

We are studying impulsivity using delayed and probability discounting tasks that we developed for rats wherein intracranial self-stimulation serves as the positive reinforce. We also are evaluating the changes in dopamine receptor-mediated signal transduction imposed by chronic exposure to dopamine agonists. We are using these approaches to identify therapeutic targets that have high potential for treating the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease without engaging neuronal pathways that regulate impulsivity.

Medication development for addictions

We are using many of the above described methods to test the utility of compounds to reduce drug and behavioral addictions, and impulse control disorders. We focus on compounds that engage GABAergic, glutamatergic and serotonergic systems. 

Selected publications

Napier TC and Persons AL. (2019) Opioid use and abuse liability in adolescents; Relevance to orthopaedics. Special Issue of Orthopaedic Nursing on Opioids. Accepted October 2018. 

Naptier TC and Persons AL. (2019) Pharmacological insights into impulsive-complusive spectrum disorders associated with dopaminergic therapy. Special Issue of The European Journal of Neuroscience: Addiction. Eds: B Everitt, R. Goldstein, B Barrot and A. Bonci. Accepted September 2018. doi: 10.1111/ejn.14177. PMID: 30269390

Ohene-Nyako M, Persons AL, Napier TC. (2019) Region-specific changes in markers of neuroplasticity revealed in HIV-1 transgenic rats by low dose methamphetamine. Brain Structure and Function.  Accepted June 21, 2018. doi: 10.1007/s00429-018-1701-6. PMID: 29931627

Persons AL, Bradaric BD, Dodiya HB, Ohene-Nyako M, Forsyth CB, Keshavarzian A, Shaikh M, Napier TC. (2018). Colon dsyregulation in methamphetamine self-adminstering HIV-1 transgenic rats. PLoS One. Jan 2,13: e0190078. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0190078

Napier TC (2018) Integrating addiction into the undergraduate Neuroscience curriculum. PJournal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education. Sep 15;16(3):E35-E38. PMID:30254548, PMCID: PMC6153018

Eloge J, Napier TC, Dantz B. (2018) OPQRST(U): Intergrating susbstance use disorders or "use" into the medical history. Substance Abuse.  April 25, 1-4. doi:10.1080/08897077.2018.1469104

Napier TC (2017) Impact on cortical function of cocaine abuse co-ocurring with HIV. Neuropsychopharmacology. 42:365. doi: 10.1038/npp.2016.222. PMID: 27909321

Voon V, Napier TC, Frank M, Sgambato-Faure V, Grace AA, Rodriguez-Oroz M, Obeso J, Bezard E, Fernagut P-O. (2017) Impulse conyrol disorders and levodopa-induced dyskinesias in Parkison's disease: and update. Lancet Neurol. 16:238-250. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(17)30004-2.PMID: 28229895

Persons AL, Tedford SE, Napier TC. (2017) Mirtazapine and Ketanserin alter preference for gambling-like schedules of reinforcement in rats. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 77:178-184. PMID: 28412411

Flack A, Persons AL, Kousik SM, Napier TC, Moszcynska A. (2017) Self-adminstration of methamphetamine alters gut biomarkers of toxicity. Eur J Neurosci.  46:1918-1932. doi: 10.1038/srep14356. PMID: 26463126

Wayman WN, Chen L, Hu X-T,  Napier TC. (2016) HIV-1 transgenic rat prefrontal cortex hyper-excitability in enhanced by cocaine self-adminstration. Neuropsychopharmacology. 41:1965-73. doi: 10.1038/npp.2015.366. PMID: 26677947

Holtz NA, Tedford SE, Persons AL, grasso SA, Napier TC. (2016) Pharmacologically distinct pramipexolemediated akinesia vs. risk-taking in a rat model of Parkinson's disease. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 70:77-84. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2016.05.044 PMID: 27216282

Wayman WN, Chen L, Persons AL, Napier TC. (2015) Cortical consequences of HIV-1 Tat exposure in rats are enhanced by chronic cocaine. Curr HIV Res. 13:80-87. PMID: 25760043

Tedford SE, Persons AL, Napier TC. (2015) Dopaminergic lesions of the dorsal lateral striatum in rats increase delayed discounting in an implusive choice task. PLoS One 10:e0122063. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122063. PMID:25927685

Root DH, Melendez RI, Zaborszky L, Napier TC. (2015) The ventral pallidum: subregion-specific functional anatomy and roles in motivated behaviors. Prog Neurobiol. 130:29-70. doi:10.1016/j.pneurobio.2015. PMID: 25857550

Napier TC, Corvol J-C, Grace AA, Roitman JD, Rowe J, Voon V, Strafella AP. (2015) Linking neuroscience with modern concepts of impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 30:141-149. doi:10.1002/mds.26068. PMID: 25476402

Mata MM, Napier TC, Graves SM, Mahood F, Raeisi S, Baum LL. (2015) Methamphetamine decreases CD4 T cell frequency and akters pro-inflammatory cytokine production in a model of drug abuse. Eur J Pharmacol. 752:26-33. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar,2015.02.002. PMID: 25678251

For complete bibilography, see