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GAO LAB (Laboratory of Dr. Wen-Jun Gao)

Selected Publications:

  1. Bo Xing, Yan-Chun Li, and Wen-Jun Gao (2016) GSK3β hyperactivity during an early critical period impairs prefrontal synaptic plasticity and induces lasting deficits in spine morphology and working memory. Neuropsychopharmacology (in press)
  2. Yan-Chun Li, Sha-sha Yang, and Wen-Jun Gao (2016) Disruption of Akt signaling decreases dopamine sensitivity in modulation of inhibitory synaptic transmission in rat prefrontal cortex. Neuropharmacology, 108:403-414 pdf
  3. Bo Xing, Yan-Chun Li, and Wen-Jun Gao (invited review, 2016) : Norepinephrine versus Dopamine and their Interaction in Modulating Synaptic Function in the Prefrontal Cortex. Brain Research 1641 (Pt B):217-233 pdf
  4. Meng-Lin (Merry) Li, Shasha Yang, Bo Xing, Brielle Ferguson, Yelena Gulchina, Yan-chun Li, Feng Li*,Xi-Quan Hu*, Wen-Jun Gao* (2015) LY395756, an mGluR2 agonist and mGluR3 antagonist, enhances NMDA receptor expression and function in the normal adult rat prefrontal cortex, but fails to improve working memory and reverse MK801-induced working memory impairment. Experimental Neurology 273:190-201 pdf
  5. Sarah A. Monaco#, Yelena Gulchina#, and Wen-Jun Gao (2015) NR2B subunit in the prefrontal cortex: A double-edged sword for working memory function and psychiatric disorders. (accepted) Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 56: 127-138 pdf (# These authors contribute equally)

  6. Meng-Lin (Merry) Li, Xi-Quan Hu, Feng Li, Wen-Jun Gao (review, 2015) Perspectives on the mGluR2/3 agonists as a therapeutic target for schizophrenia: Still promising or a dead end? Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 60:66-76 pdf

  7. Brielle R. Ferguson and Wen-Jun Gao (invited review, 2015) Development of thalamocortical connections between the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus and the prefrontal cortex and its implication in executive and cognitive function. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8(1027):1-10 pdf

  8. Daniel J. Chandler, Wen-Jun Gao, Barry D. Waterhouse (2014) Heterogeneous Organization of the Locus Coeruleus Projections to Prefrontal and Motor Cortices. PNAS, 111(18):6816-6821 pdf

  9. Daniel J. Chandler, Barry D. Waterhouse, Wen-Jun Gao (invited review, 2014) New Perspectives on Catecholaminergic Regulation of Executive Circuits:  Evidence for Independent Modulation of Prefrontal Functions by Midbrain Dopaminergic and Noradrenergic Neurons. Frontiers in Neural Circuits. May 23, 8:53 pdf
  10. Kimberly R. Urban and Wen-Jun Gao (invited review, 2014) Performance enhancement at the cost of potential brain plasticity: neural ramifications of nootropic drugs in the healthy developing brain. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, May 13, 8:38. featured article. pdf and a Press Release entitled: Smart drugs pose special risks to the developing brain of young people pdf

    media pick up:

    TIME: Bad News For Ivy Leaguers: ADHD Drugs Hurt Your Memory
    Newsweek: Our Sleep Problem and What to Do About It
    Deutche Welle: Smart drugs: generation self-optimization
    Mad in America: Psychostimulants Harm Performance, as Well as Neuroplasticity
    ReseachCareer: Brain drugs drag down later life functions Research News - ResearchCareer
    Medical Daily: Stimulants Used Among Young Adults Linked To Permanent Brain Impairment: A Call To Put Down The Smart Drugs
    MedicalXpress:  Smart drugs pose special risks to the developing brain of young people
    Examiner: Ritalin may damage brain in some young people
    Fox News: Ritalin may pose brain risks for young people without ADHD, study shows
    News Medical: Smart drugs have lasting side-effects on young people's brain
    Times of India: Memory boosting pills harmful for your kid's brain
    Scinexx: Hirndoping kann bleibende Folgen haben
    Heraldo de Aragon: Las "drogas inteligentes" generan más riesgos para el cerebro de los jóvenes

  11. Jonathan Pitcher1,2 *, Anna Abt 1 *, Jaclyn Myers1 **, Rachel Han1, Melissa Snyder3, Alessandro Graziano1, Michele Kutzler4,2, Fernando Garcia5, Wen-Jun Gao3, Tracy Fisher-Smith6, Jay Rappaport6, and Olimpia Meucci1,2*** (2014) Impact of neuronal ferritin heavy chain in HIV/drug abuse patients. Journal of Clinical Investigation124(2)656-668  pdf

  12. Kimberly R. Urban and Wen-Jun Gao (2013) Methylphenidate and the juvenile brain: enhancement of attention at the expense of cortical plasticity? Medical Hypotheses 81:988-994, pdf

  13. Huai-Xing Wang, Barry Waterhouse, Wen-Jun Gao (2013) Selective suppression of excitatory synapses on GABAergic interneurons by norepinephrine in prefrontal cortical microcircuitry. Neuroscience 246:312-328 pdf

  14. Min-Juan Wang, Yan-Chun Li, Melissa A. Snyder, Huai-Xing Wang, Feng Li*, Wen-Jun Gao* (2013) Group II metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist LY379268 regulates AMPA receptor trafficking in prefrontal cortical neurons. PLOS ONE 8(4):e61787 pdf

  15. Melissa A. Snyder and Wen-Jun Gao (invited review, 2013) NMDA hypofunction as a convergence point for progression and symptoms of schizophrenia. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 7: 31, pdf

  16. Kimberly R. Urban, Yan-Chun Li, Wen-Jun Gao (2013) Treatment with a clinically-relevant dose of methylphenidate alters NMDA receptor composition and synaptic plasticity in the juvenile rat prefrontal cortex. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 101:65-74 pdf.

  17. Melissa A. Snyder, Alicia E. Adelman, and Wen-Jun Gao (2013) Gestational methylazoxymethanol (MAM) exposure leads to NMDAR dysfunction in hippocampus during early development and lasting deficits in learning.  Neuropsychopharmacology 38:328-340 pdf

  18. Kimberly R. Urban and Wen-Jun Gao (2013) Evolution of the Study of Methylphenidate and its Actions on the Adult versus Juvenile Brain. Journal of Attention Disorders 101:65-74 (Aug 24. [Epub ahead of print] pdf)

  19. Yan-Chun Li, Min-Juan Wang, and Wen-Jun Gao (2012) Hyperdopaminergic Modulation of Inhibitory Transmission Is Dependent on GSK-3β Signaling-Mediated Trafficking of GABAa Receptors. Joural of Neurochemistry 122:308-320 pdf

  20. Kimberly Urban, Barry Waterhouse, and Wen-Jun Gao (2012) Distinct age-dependent effects of methylphenidate on developing and adult prefrontal neurons. Biological Psychiatry 72(10):880-888 pdf

  21. Huai-Xing Wang and Wen-Jun Gao (2012) Prolonged exposure to NMDAR antagonist induces cell-type specific changes of glutamatergic receptors in rat prefrontal cortex. Neuropharmacology 62:1808-1822 pdf

  22. Yan-Chun Li, Christoph Kellendonk , Eleanor H. Simpson, Eric R. Kandel, Wen-Jun Gao (2011) D2 receptor overexpression in the striatum leads to a deficit in inhibitory transmission and dopamine sensitivity in prefrontal cortex. PNAS, 108(29): 12107-112. pdf Commentary in Schizophrenia Research Forum http://www.schizophreniaforum.org/new/detail.asp?id=1680

  23. Agster K, Clark B, Gao WJ, Shumsky J, Wang HX, Berridge C and Waterhouse B (invited review, 2011) Experimental strategies for investigating drug actions in ADHD and related attention disorders. Anatomical Record, 294:1698-1712 pdf
  24. Dong Xi*, Yan-Chun Li*, Melissa A. Snyder*, Ruby Y. Gao, Alicia E. Adelman, Wentong Zhang, Jed S. Shumsky, and Wen-Jun Gao (2011) Group II metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist ameliorates MK-801-induced dysfunction of NMDA receptors via Akt/GSK-3b pathway. Neuropsychopharmacology. 36:1260-1274 (*these authors contribute equally). pdf

  25. Yan-Chun Li and Wen-Jun Gao (2011) GSK-3 and hyperdopaminergic behaviors. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 35:645-654 pdf

  26. Huai-Xing Wang and Wen-Jun Gao (2010) Development of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors and their correlation with NMDA receptors in fast-spiking interneurons of rat prefrontal cortex. The Journal of Physiology, 588(15):2823-2838. [selected for Faculty of 1000 Medicine (www.f1000medicine.com) and evaluated by Dr. Antonio Pisani, http://www.f1000medicine.com/article/wrlpf8s7ydqdhqh/id/5451956. pdf
  27. Jian-Li Hu *, Gang Liu *, Yan-Chun Li *, Wen-Jun Gao, Yue-Qiao Huang (2010) Dopamine D1 receptor-mediated NMDA receptor insertion depends on Fyn but not Src kinase pathway in prefrontal cortical neurons. Molecular Brain, 3:20 (* these authors contribute equally). pdf

  28. Yan-Chun Li 1, Gang Liu 1, Jian-Li Hu 1, Wen-Jun Gao * and Yue-Qiao Huang * (2010) Dopamine D1 receptor-mediated enhancement of NMDA receptor trafficking requires rapid PKC-dependent synaptic insertion in the prefrontal neurons. The Journal of Neurochemistry. 114:62-73 (1 these authors contribute equally). pdf

  29. Yan-Chun Li, Dong Xi, Joy Roman, Yue-Qiao Huang,  and Wen-Jun Gao (2009) Activation of GSK-3b is required for hyperdopamine and D2 receptor mediated inhibition of synaptic NMDA receptor function in the rat prefrontal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(49):15551-15563. pdf

  30. Ji Y, Yang F, Papaleo F, Wang HX, Gao WJ, Weinberger DR, Lu B (2009). Role of dysbindin in dopamine receptor trafficking and cortical GABA function. PNAS, 106:19593-19598. pdf

  31. Xi D , Zhang W, Wang HX, Stradtman GG III and Gao WJ (2009). Dizocilpine (MK-801) induces distinct changes of N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor subunits in parvalbumin-containing interneurons in young adult rat prefrontal cortex. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol, 12:1395-1408. pdf

  32. Wang HX and Gao WJ (2009). Cell-type specific development of NMDA receptors in the interneurons of rat prefrontal cortex. Neuropsychopharmacology, 34(8):2028-2040. pdf

  33. Xi D, Keeler B, Zhang W, Houle JD, and Gao WJ (2009). NMDA receptor subunit expression in GABAergic interneurons in the prefrontal cortex: application of laser microdissection technique. Journal of Neuroscience Method, 176:172-181. pdf

  34. Wang HX, Stradtman GG III, Wang X-J, and Gao WJ (2008). A specialized NMDA receptor function in the recurrent microcircuitry of the adult prefrontal cortex. PNAS, 105(43):16791-16796. pdf

  35. Gao WJ (2007). Acute clozapine suppresses synchronized pyramidal synaptic network activity by increasing inhibition in the prefrontal cortex. The Journal of Neurophysiology 97:1196-1208. pdf

  36. Gao WJ and Goldman-Rakic PS (2006). NMDA receptor-mediated epileptiform persistent activity requires calcium release from internal stores. Experimental Neurology 197: 495-504. pdf

  37. Gao WJ and Zheng ZH (2004). Target-specific differences in somatodendritic morphology of layer V pyramidal neurons in rat motor cortex. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 476:174-185. pdf

  38. Gao WJ and Goldman-Rakic PS (2003). Selective Modulation of Excitatory and Inhibitory Microcircuits by Dopamine. PNAS, 100(5):2836-41. pdf

  39. Gao WJ, Wang Y and Goldman-Rakic PS (2003). Dopamine modulation of peridendritic and perisomatic inhibition in prefrontal cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience, 23:1622-30. pdf

  40. Gao WJ, Krimer LS and Goldman-Rakic PS (2001). Presynaptic regulation of recurrent excitation by D1 receptor in prefrontal circuits. PNAS, 98:295-300. pdf

  41. Gao WJ, Wormington AB, Newman DE and Pallas SL (2000). Development of inhibitory circuitry in visual and auditory cortex of postnatal ferrets: immunocytochemical localization of parvalbumin and calbindin-containing neurons. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 422:140-157. pdf

  42. Gao WJ and Pallas SL (1999). Cross-modal reorganization of horizontal connectivity in auditory cortex without altering thalamocortical input. The Journal of Neuroscience 19(18):7940-7950. pdf

  43. Gao WJ, Newman DE, Wormington AB and Pallas SL (1999). Development of inhibitory circuitry in visual and auditory cortex of postnatal ferrets: immunocytochemical localization of GABAergic neurons. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 409(2):261-273. pdf

 

Recent Review and Book Chapters

  1. Sarah A. Monaco#, Yelena Gulchina#, and Wen-Jun Gao (2015) NR2B subunit in the prefrontal cortex: A double-edged sword for working memory function and psychiatric disorders. (accepted) Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 56: 127-138 pdf (# These authors contribute equally)
  2. Meng-Lin Li, Xi-Quan Hu, Feng Li, Wen-Jun Gao (review, 2015) Perspectives on the mGluR2/3 agonists as a therapeutic target for schizophrenia: Still promising or a dead end? Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology& Biological Psychiatry. 60:66-76 pdf

  3. Brielle R. Ferguson and Wen-Jun Gao (invited review, 2015) Development of thalamocortical connections between the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus and the prefrontal cortex and its implication in executive and cognitive function. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8(1027):1-10 pdf

  4. Daniel J. Chandler, Barry D. Waterhouse, Wen-Jun Gao (invited review, 2014) New Perspectives on Catecholaminergic Regulation of Executive Circuits:  Evidence for Independent Modulation of Prefrontal Functions by Midbrain Dopaminergic and Noradrenergic Neurons. Frontiers in Neural Circuits. May 23, 8:53 pdf
  5. Kimberly R. Urban and Wen-Jun Gao (invited review, 2014) Performance enhancement at the cost of potential brain plasticity: neural ramifications of nootropic drugs in the healthy developing brain. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, May 13, featured article. pdf and a Press Release entitled: Smart drugs pose special risks to the developing brain of young people pdf

  6. Melissa A. Snyder and Wen-Jun Gao (invited review, 2013) NMDA hypofunction as a convergence point for progression and symptoms of schizophrenia. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 7: 31, pdf

  7. Kimberly R. Urban and Wen-Jun Gao (2012) Evolution of the Study of Methylphenidate and its Actions on the Adult versus Juvenile Brain. Journal of Attention Disorders (in press)

  8. Yan-Chun Li and Wen-Jun Gao (2011) GSK-3 and hyperdopaminergic behaviors. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 35:645-654 pdf

  9. Agster K, Clark B, Gao WJ, Shumsky J, Wang HX, Berridge C and Waterhouse B (invited review, 2011) Experimental strategies for investigating drug actions in ADHD and related attention disorders. Anatomical Record, 294:1698-1712 pdf

  10. Gao WJ: Dopaminergic and Glutamatergic Dysfunctions in the Neuropathophysiology of Schizophrenia. In “Dopamine: Functions, Regulation and Health Effects”, edited by Endo Kudo and Yuriko Fujii. Nova Publishers, 2011 pdf

  11. Wen-Jun Gao, Huai-Xing Wang, Melissa A. Snyder, and Yan-Chun Li: The unique properties of the prefrontal cortex and mental illness. In “When Things Go Wrong – Diseases and Disorders of the Human Brain”, edited by Theo Mantamadiotis, Intech Publisher, 2012 pdf