Hahn, Maureen K., Department of Medicine and Pharmacology
Maureen K. Hahn
Department of Medicine and Pharmacology
8410E MRB IV
The neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) is involved in brain activities of attention, responses to novelty and stress, learning and memory. NE is alsothe primary neurotransmitter mediating
autonomic sympathetic nervous system processes such as heart rate. The duration and intensity of NE signaling islimited by the presynaptically localized norepinephrine transporter (NET). NET clears released NE through active transport into terminals. NET is alsoa target for tricyclic antidepressants, NET-selective reuptake inhibitors(NSRIs), and psychostimulants, such as cocaine and is an importantcontributor to dopamine clearance in the cortex region of the brain. Theresearch in the laboratory investigates genetic variation in the human NET(hNET) and the consequences for transporter function and contribution topsychiatric and cardiovascular disease, with an emphasis on understandinginteraction with developmental stages and the environment, particularly instress-related disorders. The research moves between identifying geneticvariation in humans, and studies in cell culture and animal models to answerthese questions. SNP
discovery and genotyping methods are used to identifygenetic variation in hNET in human psychiatric (e.g. attention-deficithyperactivity disorder (ADHD), major depression) and cardiovasculardisorders and to link genetic variation to phenotypes shared acrossdisorders. The lab analyzes the functional impact of transporter genevariants on NET protein expression and trafficking, transporter activity,and regulation by signal transduction pathways. Transgenic mouse modelsallow for in vivo assessment of the effects of NET variants on cognitive and cardiovascular phenotypes.