Food intake is regulated by several neurotransmitters, including dopamine, GABA, norepinephrine, and serotonin, as well as by peptides and amino acids. Dopamine is of special interest because it seems to regulate food intake by modulating the “reward” circuitry of the brain.
The involvement of dopamine in pathological eating and obesity is not yet well understood, but it is an area of intense interest in our laboratory. Using mouse and rat models, our laboratory investigates how food intake regulates neurotransmitter transporter function. Neurotransmitter transporters are integral membrane proteins responsible for clearing neurotransmitters (e.g., dopamine) from the synaptic cleft, to control the magnitude and duration of synaptic signaling. They include the dopamine (DAT) and norepinephrine (NET) transporters. Substances of abuse such as cocaine and amphetamine, or drugs with clinical relevance such as Ritalin (used for treatment of ADHD), act upon these transporters to alter the concentration of dopamine in the synaptic cleft. The focus of our laboratory is to try to understand the mechanisms of action of these drugs with the intent to improve the pharmacological treatment of specific neurological disorders and substance abuse—and now perhaps also obesity and type 2 diabetes.


The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

  1. Insulin reveals Akt signaling as a novel regulator of norepinephrine transporter trafficking and norepinephrine homeostasis. Robertson SD, Matthies HJ, Owens WA, Sathananthan V, Christianson NS, Kennedy JP, Lindsley CW, Daws LC, Galli A (2010) J Neurosci 30(34): 11305-16
    › Primary publication · 20739551 (PubMed) · PMC3448453 (PubMed Central)
  2. Dysregulation of the norepinephrine transporter sustains cortical hypodopaminergia and schizophrenia-like behaviors in neuronal rictor null mice. Siuta MA, Robertson SD, Kocalis H, Saunders C, Gresch PJ, Khatri V, Shiota C, Kennedy JP, Lindsley CW, Daws LC, Polley DB, Veenstra-Vanderweele J, Stanwood GD, Magnuson MA, Niswender KD, Galli A (2010) PLoS Biol 8(6): e1000393
    › Primary publication · 20543991 (PubMed) · PMC2882427 (PubMed Central)
  3. Rab11 supports amphetamine-stimulated norepinephrine transporter trafficking. Matthies HJ, Moore JL, Saunders C, Matthies DS, Lapierre LA, Goldenring JR, Blakely RD, Galli A (2010) J Neurosci 30(23): 7863-77
    › Primary publication · 20534835 (PubMed) · PMC2935280 (PubMed Central)
  4. Dysregulation of dopamine transporters via dopamine D2 autoreceptors triggers anomalous dopamine efflux associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Bowton E, Saunders C, Erreger K, Sakrikar D, Matthies HJ, Sen N, Jessen T, Colbran RJ, Caron MG, Javitch JA, Blakely RD, Galli A (2010) J Neurosci 30(17): 6048-57
    › Primary publication · 20427663 (PubMed) · PMC2881830 (PubMed Central)
  5. Subcellular localization of the antidepressant-sensitive norepinephrine transporter. Matthies HJ, Han Q, Shields A, Wright J, Moore JL, Winder DG, Galli A, Blakely RD (2009) BMC Neurosci : 65
    › Primary publication · 19545450 (PubMed) · PMC2716352 (PubMed Central)
  6. A closer look at amphetamine-induced reverse transport and trafficking of the dopamine and norepinephrine transporters. Robertson SD, Matthies HJ, Galli A (2009) Mol Neurobiol 39(2): 73-80
    › Primary publication · 19199083 (PubMed) · PMC2729543 (PubMed Central)
  7. Syntaxin 1A interaction with the dopamine transporter promotes amphetamine-induced dopamine efflux. Binda F, Dipace C, Bowton E, Robertson SD, Lute BJ, Fog JU, Zhang M, Sen N, Colbran RJ, Gnegy ME, Gether U, Javitch JA, Erreger K, Galli A (2008) Mol Pharmacol 74(4): 1101-8
    › Primary publication · 18617632 (PubMed) · PMC2728020 (PubMed Central)
  8. Anomalous dopamine release associated with a human dopamine transporter coding variant. Mazei-Robison MS, Bowton E, Holy M, Schmudermaier M, Freissmuth M, Sitte HH, Galli A, Blakely RD (2008) J Neurosci 28(28): 7040-6
    › Primary publication · 18614672 (PubMed) · PMC2573963 (PubMed Central)
  9. PI3K signaling supports amphetamine-induced dopamine efflux. Lute BJ, Khoshbouei H, Saunders C, Sen N, Lin RZ, Javitch JA, Galli A (2008) Biochem Biophys Res Commun 372(4): 656-61
    › Primary publication · 18510945 (PubMed) · PMC2517853 (PubMed Central)
  10. Currents in response to rapid concentration jumps of amphetamine uncover novel aspects of human dopamine transporter function. Erreger K, Grewer C, Javitch JA, Galli A (2008) J Neurosci 28(4): 976-89
    › Primary publication · 18216205 (PubMed) · PMC2459309 (PubMed Central)

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465 21st Ave South, 7124 MRB III
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Insulin (3), Obesity (6), Diabetes (15), Neuroscience (8), Neurotransmitter (2), Transport (2), Amphetamine (1), Cocaine (1)