Our first publication of 2015! Nicotine, Curare, and Planarians, oh my…

I am very proud to announce the e-publication of our first paper of 2015! It was published in the journal Neurochemical Research.

Here’s the release:

Neurochem Res. 2015 Jan 23. [Epub ahead of print]

Evidence of Nicotine-Induced, Curare-Insensitive, Behavior in Planarians.

Pagán OR, Montgomery E, Deats S, Bach D, Baker D.

Department of Biology, West Chester University, West Chester, PA, 19383, USA, opagan@wcupa.edu.

Planarians are rapidly developing into very useful research subjects in pharmacology and neuroscience research. Here we report that curare, a cholinergic nicotinic receptor antagonist, alleviates the nicotine-induced planarian seizure-like movements (pSLM) by up to 50 % at equimolar concentrations of nicotine and curare (1 mM), while curare alone does not induce significant pSLMs. The simplest interpretation of our data is that there are nicotine induced behaviors insensitive to curare in our experimental organism. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on curare-insensitive, nicotine-induced effects in any organism.

PMID: 25614180 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/


Here’s a 2012 pic with the authors and a couple more former members of my research group (I put in yellow font the “where are they now” info). I remember fondly all of my good research students, but this particular group represents a “Golden Era” of my laboratory. Besides being smart, very responsible, and hardworking, they are some of the nicest and most kind-hearted people I have ever had the pleasure to work with.


God bless them all!

Here are the other three papers they were involved with (and there is another one coming soon besides the Neurochem Res one above; stay tuned!):

Pagán OR, Deats S, Baker D, Montgomery E, Wilk G, Tenaglia M, Semon J (2013) Planarians require an intact brain to behaviorally react to cocaine, but not to react to nicotine. Neuroscience. 246:265-70.

Pagán OR, Baker D, Deats S, Montgomery E, Tenaglia M, Randolph C, Kotturu D, Tallarida C, Bach D, Wilk G, Rawls S, Raffa RB (2012) Planarians in pharmacology: parthenolide is a specific behavioral antagonist of cocaine in the planarian Girardia tigrina. Int J Dev Biol. 56(1-3):193-6.

Baker D, Deats S, Boor P, Pruitt J, Pagán OR (2011) Minimal structural requirements of alkyl γ-lactones capable of antagonizing the cocaine-induced motility decrease in planarians. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 100(1):174-9.


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