Ashley Horner is associate professor at Mercer University in the department of Pharmacology. Her previous institution was University of Utah College of Pharmacy.
There are three projects currently underway in my laboratory. The first project centers on the hypothesis that enhanced signaling in the patch compartment of the striatum, relative to the surrounding matrix compartment, underlies the development of methamphetamine-induced repetitive behaviors, and that the mu opioid receptor system contributes to the expression of these behaviors by facilitating signaling within the neurons of the patch compartment of the striatum. In support of my hypothesis, recent data from my laboratory indicates that during methamphetamine treatment, mu opioid receptors on the neurons of the patch compartment are activated resulting in increased gene expression within those neurons, and that this increased gene expression within the patch compartment is related to the development of methamphetamine-induced repetitive behaviors. My research will focus on the mechanisms by which enhanced activity of the patch compartment striatum contributes to methamphetamine-induced repetitive behaviors.