Chemogenetic Modulation of G Protein-Coupled Receptor Signalling in Visual Attention Research

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

Attention is a fundamental cognitive process involved in nearly all aspects of life. Abnormal attentional control is a symptom of many neurological disorders, most notably recognized in ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Although attentional performance and its malfunction has been a major area of investigation, it has proven difficult to accurately associate specific neuronal projections, cell types, neurotransmitter systems and receptors with distinct phenotypes owing to its complexity. In this MiniReview, we present a recently invented technology known as Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs). The DREADD technology is an emerging and transformative method that allows selective manipulation of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling, and its broad-ranging usefulness in attention research is now beginning to emerge. We first describe the different DREADDs available and explain how unprecedented specificity of neuronal signalling can be achieved using DREADDs. We next discuss various studies performed in animal models of visual attention, where different brain regions and neuronal populations have been probed by DREADDs. We highlight the interplay between the dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA) catecholamine systems in visual attention and explain why DREADD technology can untangle and help us better understand such complex systems in normal and malfunctioning conditions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBasic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)373-381
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, Review

ID: 186412135