Dr. Christian Lüscher

Dr. Christian Lüscher


MDUniversity of BerneHans LüscherEffects of axon morphology on action pitential propagation



1996-99UCSFRoger NicollAMPA receptor mobility in LTP and LTD


Talk title: Drug-evoked synaptic plasticity, a cellular correlate of addiction-like behavior

In my talk, I will review experimental evidence for the “dopamine hypothesis” of drug addiction, explore the various forms of “drug-evoked synaptic plasticity” and demonstrate links of causality with adaptive behavior. The focus will be on circuits that control compulsion in vulnerable individuals, a defining symptom of addiction. We will see how this transition comes about and discuss predisposing elements for addiction vulnerability.

About Dr. Christian Lüscher:

The research in Dr. Christian Lüscher’s lab is aimed at elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanism of reward-driven learning. Their principal interest is on drug reward and how exposure to addictive substances can change behavior in rodent models of addiction. “Drug-evoked synaptic plasticity” has emerged as a mechanism underlying drug-adaptive behavior. Synapses throughout the mesolimbic system are affected, causing a remodeling of the mesocorticolimbic circuits and eventually change behavior. Their focus is on the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) where they study synaptic plasticity ex vivo after drug exposure and preparation of acute midbrain slices with whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology. In a recent proof of principle study, they were able to optogenetically reverse drug-evoked synaptic plasticity to erase drug-adaptive behavior.