Scott J. Russo
- ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Neuroscience
Ph.D., Graduate School and University Center of CUNY
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
- Dr. Russo is Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. His research is focused on understanding how the brain adapts to stress and drugs to guide future behaviors that are relevant to addiction and depression.
Visit Dr. Scott Russo's Lab for more information.
The lab uses a wide variety of experimental approaches to understand how the brain adapts to stress and drugs leading to altered synaptic connectivity and behavioral changes relevant to depression and addiction. We do this by integrating well-established behavioral models, with molecular and biochemical techniques and traditional neuroanatomy.
Neurobiological mechanisms of stress
Aberrant growth or retraction of dendritic spines and neurite processes have been implicated in a multitude of psychiatric and neurological diseases, including drug addiction, stress disorders, X-linked mental retardation and schizophrenia. Features of these diseases often include one or more of the following: reward dysfunction and memory deficits, anxiety and depressed mood, hyperarousal and exaggerated startle responses. Many of these symptoms are core features of anxiety and mood disorders in humans and can be modeled to some extent, using chronic stress models in mice. The field currently uses a range of mild to severe stressors to study the behavioral symptoms of anxiety and depression and it is well established that stress can strongly influences neuronal morphology in key brain reward regions. We are currently uncovering fundamental biochemical pathways regulated by stress to alter cellular connectivity in brain reward regions to define more selective drug targets that reduce side effects and more effectively treating the core behavioral symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Gender and depression
The effects of chronic stress on neural and behavioral plasticity are far less characterized in female rodents compared with male rodents, despite the predominance of the human syndrome in women. In my lab we study biological determinants of sex differences in stress-induced depressive behavior. Although the biological mechanisms are not fully understood, it's likely that a female's increased sensitivity to stress-induced depressive-like behaviors is related to the presence of fluctuating ovarian hormones. In a recent study we showed that surgical ovariectomy blunted stress-induced gene expression in nucleus accumbens and decreased their sensitivity to stress induced depressive behavior. The goal of these studies are to uncover gender specific molecular targets for drug development to improve treatment outcomes for woman suffering from depression.
Visit Dr. Scott Russo's Lab for more information.
Berton O, McClung CA, Dileone RJ, Krishnan V, Renthal W, Russo SJ, Graham D, Tsankova NM, Bolanos CA, Rios M, E. Essential role of BDNF in the mesolimbic dopamine pathway in social defeat stress. Science 2006; 311(5762): 864-868.
Russo SJ, Bolanos CA, Theobald DE, DeCarolis NA, Renthal W, Kumar A, Winstanley CA, Renthal NE, Wiley MD, Self DW, Russell D, Neve RL, Eisch AJ, Nestler EJ. IRS2-Akt pathway in midbrain dopamine neurons regulates behavioral and cellular responses to opiates. Nat Neurosci 2007; 10(1): 93-99.
Krishnan V, Han MH, Graham DL, Berton O, Renthal W, Russo SJ, Laplant Q, Graham A, Lutter M, Lagace DC, Ghose S, Reister R, Tannous P, Green TA, Neve RL, Chakravarty S, Eisch AJ, Self DW, Lee FS, Tamminga C, Cooper DC, Gershenfeld HK, Nestler EJ. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Susceptibility and Resistance to Social Defeat in Brain Reward Regions. Cell 2007; 131(2): 391-404.
Lutter MR, Krishnan V, Russo SJ, Jung S, McClung CA, Nestler EJ. Orexin Mediates Behavioral Adaptations to Calorie Restriction. J Neurosci 2008; 28(12): 3071-3075.
Russo SJ. The potential for viral gene therapy in psychiatry. American Journal of Psychiatry 2008; 165(6).
Pulipparacharuvil S, Renthal W, Hale CF, Taniguchi M, Xiao G, Kumar A, Russo SJ, Sikder D, Dewey CM, Davis MM, Greengard P, Nairn AC, Nestler EJ, Cowan CW. Cocaine Regulates MEF2 to Control Synaptic and Behavioral Plasticity. Neuron 2008; 59(4): 621-633.
Russo SJ, Mazei-Robison M, Ables JA, Nestler EJ. Neurotrophic factors and structural plasticity in addiction. Neuropharmacology 2009; 56(Suppl 1): 73-82.
LaPlant Q, Chakravarty S, Vialou V, Mukherjee S, Koo JW, Kalahasti G, Bradbury KR, Taylor SV, Maze I, Kumar A, Graham A, Birnbaum SG, Krishnan V, Truong HT, Neve RL, Nestler EJ, Russo SJ. Role of NFkB in ovarian hormone mediated stress hypersensitivity in female mice. Biol Psychiatry 2009; 65(10): 874-880.
Russo SJ, Wilkinson MB, Mazei-Robison M, Dietz DM, Maze I, Krishnan V, Renthal W, Graham A, Birnbaum SG, Green TA, Robison B, Lesselyong A, Perrotti LI, Bolanos CA, Kumar A, Clark MS, Neumaier JF, Neve RL, Bhakar AL, Barker PA, Nestler EJ. Nuclear Factor kB signaling regulates neuronal morphology and cocaine reward. J Neurosci 2009; 29(11): 3529-3537.
Dietz DM, Dietz KC, Nestler EJ, Russo SJ. Molecular mechanisms of psychostimulant-induced structural plasticity. Pharmacopsychiatry 2009 May; 42(Suppl 1): S69-78.
Maze I, Covington HE, Dietz DM, LaPlant Q, Renthal W, Russo SJ, Mechanic M, Mouzon E, Neve RL, Haggarty SJ, Ren Y, Sampath SC, Hurd YL, Greengard P, Tarakhovsky A, Schaefer A, Nestler EJ. Essential Role of the Histone Methyltransferase G9a in Cocaine-induced Plasticity . Science 2010; 327(5962): 213-216.
Koo J, Russo SJ, Ferguson D, Nestler EJ, Duman RS. Nuclear factor-κB is a critical mediator of stress-impaired neurogenesis and depressive behavior. . PNAS 2010; 107(6): 2669-2674.
Russo SJ, Dietz DM, Dumtriu D, Morrison JH, Malenka RC, Nestler EJ. The addicted synapse: mechanisms of synaptic and structural plasticity in nucleus accumbens. [review]. Trends Neurosci;.
Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.
Dr. Russo did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2012 and/or 2013: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.
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