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Pharmacology and Neuroscience


Dr. Susan E. Bergeson

Associate Professor
Pharmacology and Neuroscience

Graduate Student Adviser

Ph.D., 1997 - Oregon Health & Science University

South Plains Alcohol & Addiction Research Center

Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health

Office:  5B148C         
Phone:  806-407-9930
Lab:  5B148A
Lab Phone:  806-743-3497
FAX:  806-743-2744

Genetics and Molecular Neurobiology of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:

The Bergeson lab uses a combination of behavioral, biochemical, molecular and pharmacological approaches to study the genetics of predisposition, and the molecular neurobiology of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.  Through our use of bioinformatics technology, global transcriptional analyses of several genetic mouse models of alcohol drinking and dependence have uncovered new genes and biological pathways not previously known to be involved in alcohol-related behaviors and responses.  We have also recently uncovered that chromatin remodeling and miRNA expression play a role in the differential transcriptional response to alcohol drinking seen between adolescent and adult mice.   The current goals of the lab focus on:  1) alcohol-induced mRNA and miRNA transcriptome changes, 2) epigenetic consequences of alcohol drinking (histone modifications, H3.3 substitution and DNA methylation changes), 3) translational therapies targeting neuroimmune-related high alcohol consumption, 4) age-specific differences in alcohol mediated molecular neuroadaptation, 5) sexual dimorphic responses to alcohol, and in general, 6) the genetics of alcoholism.  Trainees have an opportunity to gain experience in a broad repertoire of laboratory technologies.

Current Funding: 

NIH, 1R21 AA021142 - Neuroimmune Interactions in High Alcohol Drinking
Laura Bush Institute for Women's Health - Sex and Gender-Based Medicine Triads
Texas Tech University Transdisciplinary Research Academy - System-based transdisciplinary approaches by "omics and bioinformatics" tools to identify biomarkers of at risk and progression of type I diabetes.

Recent Publications: 

Bubier JA, Jay JJ, Baker CL, Bergeson SE, Ohno H, Metten P, Crabbe JC, Chesler EJ. (2014) Identification of a QTL in Mus musculus for Alcohol Preference, Withdrawal and Ap3m2 Expression Using Integrative Functional Genomics and Precision Genetics. Genetics. In Press. PMID: 24923803.

Agrawal RG, Owen JA, Levin PS, Hewetson A, Berman AE, Franklin SR, Hogue RJ, Chen Y, Walz C, Colvard BD, Nguyen J, Velasquez O, Al-Hasan Y, Blednov YA, Fowler AK, Syapin PJ, Bergeson SE. (2014) Bioinformatics analyses reveal age-specific neuroimmune modulation as a target for treatment of high ethanol drinking. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 38(2):428-37. PMID: 24125126; PMCID: PMC3924867.

Shen CL, Syapin PJ, Graef JL, Smith BJ, Brackee G, Fowler AK, Segura-Ulate I, Wang SJ and Bergeson SE (2013) Alcohol-induced Bone Loss and Quality during Adolescence is Improved by Green Tea Polyphenols. J Clinic Toxicol S7:004. doi: 10.4172/2161-0495.S7-004

Hewitt B, Agrawal RG, Hewetson A, Bergeson SE. The Epigenetic Consequences of Drinking. Encyclopedia of Addictive Behaviors. (2012) Peter Miller, Ed. ISBN-10: 0123785987.

Fowler AK, Hewetson A, Agrawal RG, Dagda M, Dagda R, Moaddel R, Balbo S, Sanghvi M, Chen Y, Hogue RJ, Bergeson SE, Henderson GI, Kruman II. (2012)  Alcohol-induced one-carbon metabolism impairment promotes dysfunction of DNA base excision repair in adult brain. J Biol Chem. 287(52):43533-42. PMID: 23118224; PMCID: PMC3527940.

Kruman II, Henderson GI, Bergeson SE. (2012) DNA damage and neurotoxicity of chronic alcohol abuse. Exp Biol Med. 237(7):740-7. PMID: 22829701; PMCID: PMC3685494.

Nath V, Reneau JC, Dertien JS, Agrawal RG, Guerra I, Bhakta Y, Busari K, Neumann MK, Bergeson SE, Popp RL. (2012) An in vitro model for studying the effects of continuous ethanol exposure on N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor function. Alcohol. 46(1):3-16. PMID: 21925827; PMCID: PMC3258339.

Blednov YA, Ponomarev I, Geil C, Bergeson S, Koob GF, Harris RA. (2012) Neuroimmune regulation of alcohol consumption: behavioral validation of genes obtained from genomic studies. Addict Biol. 17(1):108-20. PMID: 21309947; PMCID: PMC3117922.

Agrawal RG, Hewetson A, George CM, Syapin PJ, Bergeson SE. (2011) Minocycline reduces ethanol drinking. Brain Behav Immun. 25 Suppl 1:S165-9. PMID: 21397005; PMCID: PMC3098317.

Hewitt BD, Bergeson SE. (2011). Targeting Alcohol-induced Epigenetic Changes as a Pharmacotherapeutic Approach for Alcoholism Treatment. Alcohol Treatment Quarterly 29(2), 116-122.

Dawes MA, Roache JD, Javors MA, Bergeson SE, Richard DM, Mathias CW, Ait-Daoud N, Dougherty DM, Johnson BA.(2009) Drinking histories in alcohol-use-disordered youth: preliminary findings on relationships to platelet serotonin transporter expression with genotypes of the serotonin transporter. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 70(6):899-907. PMID: 19895766; PMCID: PMC2776120.

Song MJ, Lewis CK, Lance ER, Chesler EJ, Yordanova RK, Langston MA, Lodowski KH, Bergeson SE. (2009) Reconstructing generalized logical networks of transcriptional regulation in mouse brain from temporal gene expression data. EURASIP J Bioinform Syst Biol. 2009:545176. PubMed PMID: 19300527; PMCID: PMC3171431.

Mulligan MK, Ponomarev I, Boehm SL 2nd, Owen JA, Levin PS, Berman AE, Blednov YA, Crabbe JC, Williams RW, Miles MF, Bergeson SE. Alcohol trait and transcriptional genomic analysis of C57BL/6 substrains. Genes Brain Behav. 2008 Aug;7(6):677-89. PMID: 18397380.

Johnson BA, Javors MA, Roache, JD, Seneviratne, C, Bergeson, SE, Ait-Daoud N, Dawes, MA, Ma, J.Z. (2008) Can serotonin transporter genotype predict serotonergic function, chronicity, and severity of drinking?  Prog Neuropsychopharm. Biol. Psych.  32(1):209-16.

Song M, Lewis CK, Lance ER, Chesler EJ, Kirova R, Langston MA, and Bergeson SE (2007) Inferring transcriptional networks from temporal mouse brain gene expression data.  Proceedings of 2nd Conference on Foundations of Systems Biology in Engineering (FOSBE), 31-36.

Job MO, Tang A, Hall FS, Sora I, Uhl GR, Bergeson SE, and Gonzales RA. (2007) Opioid Receptor Regulation of Ethanol-induced Dopamine Response in the Ventral Striatum: Evidence of Genotype Specific Sexual Dimorphic EpistasisBiol. Psychiatry, 62(1-2):627-34.

Ramazani RB, Krishnan HR, Bergeson SE and Atkinson NS. (2007) Computer automated movement detection for the analysis of behaviorJ. Neurosci. Methods, 162:171-9.

Ponomarev I, Maiya R, Harnett MT, Schafer GL, Ryabinin AE, Blednov YA, Morikawa H, Boehm SL 2nd, Homanics GE, Berman AE, Lodowski KH, Bergeson SE, Harris RA. (2006) Transcriptional signatures of cellular plasticity in mice lacking the alpha1 subunit of GABAA receptors.  J Neurosci.,  26(21):5673-83.

Mulligan MK, Ponomarev I, Hitzemann RJ, Belknap JK, Tabakoff B, Harris RA, Crabbe JC, Blednov YA, Grahame NJ, Phillips TJ, Finn DA, Hoffman PL, Iyer VR, Koob GF, Bergeson SE  (2006) Toward Understanding the Genetics of Alcohol Drinking Through Transcriptome Meta-analysis.  PNAS., 103(16):6368-6373.

Corbin WR, Fromme K, and Bergeson SE. (2006) Preliminary data on the association among the serotonin transporter polymorphism, subjective alcohol experiences, and drinking behavior.  J of Studies on Alcohol,  67(1):5-13.

YA Blednov, P Metten, DA Finn, JS Rhodes, SE Bergeson, RA Harris, and JC Crabbe.  (2005)  Hybrid C57Bl/6J x FVB/NJ mice drink more alcohol than C57BL/6J.  Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res., 29(11):1949-58.

YA Blednov, SE Bergeson, D Walker, VMM Ferreira, WA Kuziel, and RA Harris (2005) Perturbation of chemokine  networks by gene deletion alters the reinforcing actions of ethanol.  Beh. Brain Res., 165(1):110-25.

Bergeson SE, Berman AE, Dodd PR, Edenberg HJ, Hitzemann RJ, Lewohl JM, Lodowski KH, Sommer W. (2005)  Expression Profiling in Alcoholism Research.  Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res., 29(6):1066-1073.

Javors MA, Seneviratne C, Roache JD, Ait-Daoud N, Bergeson SE, Walss-Bass MC, Akhtar FZ, Johnson BA. (2005)  Platelet serotonin uptake and paroxetine binding among allelic genotypes of the serotonin transporter in alcoholics.   Prog Neuropsychopharm Biol Psych., 29(1):7-13.

For further information contact: Dr. Susan E. Bergeson

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