Mouse models of stress-related emotional pathologies to understand neural circuitry and treatment
Stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders present with transdiagnostic pathologies of aversion and/or reward processing. In male mice, chronic social stress (CSS) leads to increased aversion sensitivity and decreased reward sensitivity, as measured in translational behavioural tests. Using various neuroimaging methods (bulk fibre photometry, MRI), the CSS-induced changes in neural circuitry that underlie the behavioural changes can be identified. Ex vivo methods (e.g. laser capture microdissection and RNA-Seq) then allow for molecular target discovery, followed by pharmacological validation. Examples of pharmacological mechanisms validated in the models and now being studied in clinical trials will also be presented.
Christopher Pryce, Professor for Neurobiology and Biological Psychiatry, Medical Faculty on University of Zurich since 2018, he leads the Preclinical Laboratory for Translational Research into Affective Disorders within the Department of Psychiatry at the Psychiatric Hospital at the University of Zurich. Along his scientific career he specialized in animal models for emotional-motivational states in affective disorders, pathophysiological processes underlying psychopathology, preclinical discovery and validation of drug targets for emotional symptoms and translational research in the affective disorders.