Faculty Advisor

Ryder, Elizabeth F.


Cigarette smoking has become a worldwide problem leading to millions of fatalities annually. Research is focused on unraveling the neurobiology behind nicotine dependence. The present study evaluated the role of glutamate in nicotine sensitization by measuring both locomotor and brain activities in nicotine-sensitized rats given the Group II metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist LY341495. Contrary to the hypothesis, rats treated with LY341495 did not show an increase in locomotor activity. fMRI results appeared to show slight activation in parts of the reward pathway but no apparent activity in the motor loop. To better understand the effects of glutamate and LY341495, the present study should be repeated with an increased dosage of the drug and greater sample size for imaging.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

August 2011


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology

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