Kenneth D. Carr

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Kenneth Carr

Professor, Department of Psychiatry;Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Contact Info

450 East 29th Street
New York, NY 10016


Research Summary

Our laboratory has a general interest in the relationship between CNS mechanisms that regulate ingestive behavior and drug abuse, with a particular interest in neuroadaptations induced by food restriction that increase the reward magnitude of abused drugs and predispose subjects to binge-eating. In recent years we have established that unconditioned reward-related effects of numerous drugs of abuse and dopamine receptor agonists are increased by food restriction. In tissue preparations, we have identified a variety of dorsal and ventral striatal neuroadaptations that are hypothesized to mediate increased reward sensitivity and synaptic plasticity during chronic food restriction, including upregulation of D-1 dopamine receptor-mediated phosphorylation of NMDA receptor NR1 and AMPA receptor GluR1 subunits, and increased ERK 1/2 MAP kinase and CaM kinase II signaling. Current research is focused on striatal AMPA receptor trafficking and MAP kinase activation in response to palatable food and drugs of abuse, and their potential roles in the genesis of enduring maladaptive reward-directed behavior.

Research Interests

Neurobiology of Ingestive Behavior and Drug Addiction

Episodic sucrose intake during food restriction increases synaptic abundance of AMPA receptors in nucleus accumbens and augments intake of sucrose following restoration of ad libitum feeding
Peng, X-X; Lister, A; Rabinowitsch, A; Kolaric, R; Cabeza de Vaca, S; Ziff, E B; Carr, K D
2015-04-27; 1873-7544,Neuroscience - id: 1544082, year: 2015 Journal Article

Insulin enhances striatal dopamine release by activating cholinergic interneurons and thereby signals reward
Stouffer, Melissa A; Woods, Catherine A; Patel, Jyoti C; Lee, Christian R; Witkovsky, Paul; Bao, Li; Machold, Robert P; Jones, Kymry T; de Vaca, Soledad Cabeza; Reith, Maarten E A; Carr, Kenneth D; Rice, Margaret E
2015-11-01; 2041-1723,Nature communications - id: 1816772, year: 2015 Journal Article

Nucleus accumbens AMPA receptor involvement in cocaine-conditioned place preference under different dietary conditions in rats
Zheng, Danielle; Cabeza de Vaca, Soledad; Jurkowski, Zachary; Carr, Kenneth D
2015-01-19; 0033-3158,Psychopharmacology - id: 1436372, year: 2015 JOURNAL ARTICLE

Involvement of nucleus accumbens AMPA receptor trafficking in augmentation of D- amphetamine reward in food-restricted rats
Peng, Xing-Xiang; Cabeza de Vaca, Soledad; Ziff, Edward B; Carr, Kenneth D
2014-04-24; 0033-3158,Psychopharmacology - id: 900402, year: 2014 JOURNAL ARTICLE

Sucrose ingestion induces rapid AMPA receptor trafficking
Tukey, David S; Ferreira, Jainne M; Antoine, Shannon O; D'amour, James A; Ninan, Ipe; Cabeza de Vaca, Soledad; Incontro, Salvatore; Wincott, Charlotte; Horwitz, Julian K; Hartner, Diana T; Guarini, Carlo B; Khatri, Latika; Goffer, Yossef; Xu, Duo; Titcombe, Roseann F; Khatri, Megna; Marzan, Dave S; Mahajan, Shahana S; Wang, Jing; Froemke, Robert C; Carr, Kenneth D; Aoki, Chiye; Ziff, Edward B
2013-04-08; 0270-6474,Journal of neuroscience - id: 271462, year: 2013 Journal Article