Yaragudri Lab

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a challenging psychiatric problem with variation in symptoms and response to treatment.

It remains a common and under-treated illness, resulting in a high degree of disability and mortality worldwide, with a higher prevalence of MDD occurring in women than men.

To this end, we are examining if there are any gender-specific differences in signaling pathways, mainly endocannabinoid systems associated with depressive behavior.

The other area of our research actively being pursued is to understand the neurochemical mechanisms of alcohol abuse disorder (reward, tolerance, dependence and relapse).

Our laboratory is also interested in examining the neurochemical and behavioral effects of gestational cannabis and alcohol exposure on offspring.

To achieve these goals, we utilize rodent models (mouse and rat) and human postmortem brains, and employ various biochemical, genetic, behavioral, and pharmacological approaches. 

Our long-term aim is to develop effective therapeutic interventions through understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying these disorders. 

Research Focus

To understand the role of brain signaling pathways in the neurobiology of depressive and alcohol abuse disorders, and their comorbidity, simultaneous or sequential presence, with anxiety behavior. 

Current Investigations

  • Delineation of the molecular mechanism/s of depressive behavior and increased alcohol consumption.  
  • Study of gender-specific differences in brain targets in depressive behavior.
  • Evaluation of pharmacological agents for the treatment of depressive and alcohol abuse disorders.