Kenneth D. Carr

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Kenneth Carr

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


Contact Info

Address
450 East 29th Street
New York, NY 10016

212/263-5749
Kenneth.Carr@nyumc.org

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

Nucleus Accumbens AMPA Receptor Trafficking Upregulated by Food Restriction: An Unintended Target for Drugs of Abuse and Forbidden Foods
Carr, Kenneth D. Nucleus Accumbens AMPA Receptor Trafficking Upregulated by Food Restriction: An Unintended Target for Drugs of Abuse and Forbidden Foods. Current opinion in behavioral sciences. 2016 Jun ;9:32-39 (1901222)

Effects of food restriction on expression of place conditioning and biochemical correlates in rat nucleus accumbens
Jung, Caroline; Rabinowitsch, Ariana; Lee, Wei Ting; Zheng, Danielle; de Vaca, Soledad Cabeza; Carr, Kenneth D. Effects of food restriction on expression of place conditioning and biochemical correlates in rat nucleus accumbens. Psychopharmacology. 2016 Sep;233(17):3161-3172 (2211522)

Insulin receptor activation in the nucleus accumbens reflects nutritive value of a recently ingested meal
Woods, C A; Guttman, Z R; Huang, D; Kolaric, R A; Rabinowitsch, A I; Jones, K T; de Vaca, S Cabeza; Sclafani, A; Carr, K D. Insulin receptor activation in the nucleus accumbens reflects nutritive value of a recently ingested meal. Physiology & behavior. 2016 Mar 15;159:52-63 (2032102)

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. 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. Neuroscience. 2015 Mar 20;295:58-71 (1544082)

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. Insulin enhances striatal dopamine release by activating cholinergic interneurons and thereby signals reward. Nature communications. 2015 Oct 27;6:8543-8543 (1816772)