SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Strichartz, G. R. (1981). Current concepts of the mechanisms of action of local anesthetics. Journal of Dental Research, 60, 1460-67.

Summary: The article reviews research on local anesthetics used in dental practice. These anesthetics act by blocking the sodium channels that are necessary to initiate the action potential.

Questions to Consider: [Critical thinking questions based on the article to gauge student comprehension and analysis]

  1. How does the charge of the anesthetic compound change its mechanism of action in blocking sodium channels?
  2. How does an inactivated sodium channel differ from a closed sodium channel?
  3. What is meant by voltage-clamping, and how is this used as a research tool?

Article 2: Hjorth, S., Bengtsson, H. J., Kullberg, A., Carlzon, D., Peilot, H., & Auerbach, S. B. (2000). Serotonin autoreceptor function and antidepressant drug action. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 14, 177-85.

Summary: This article summarizes research that suggests that serotonin autoreceptors limit increased serotonin levels as a function of SSRI treatment. It is suggested that future antidepressant treatment regimens may require blockade of these autoreceptors.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What is an SSRI, and what effects would it have on serotonin levels in the synapse?
  2. How might regional differences in autoreceptor distribution aid future treatment strategies for depression?
  3. Which of the autoreceptors seems most effective at restraining elevations in levels of serotonin as a function of SSRI treatment?

Article 3: Fitzgerald, P., & Dinan, T.G. (2008). Prolactin and dopamine: What is the connection? A review article. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 22(2 supplement), 12-19.

Summary: The paper describes the ways in which the dopamine pathways of the hypothalamus interact with prolactin secreted by the pituitary.

Questions to Consider:

  1. How is the regulation of prolactin secretion different from other pituitary hormones?
  2. What effects does dopamine have on the cells that produce prolactin?
  3. How does prolactin regulate dopamine production within the hypothalamus?