Ming Xu Laboratory

Ming Xu PhD | Director

Xu Research interest

My long-term research interest is to understand mechanisms underlying drug addiction and to find possible treatment.  We use behavioral, genetic, anatomical and molecular biological methods.  One major research project is to identify mechanisms and neuronal circuits associated with reconsolidation and extinction of cocaine-induced reward memory.  Another project is to develop a novel method of using skin stem cells to deliver therapeutic genes to combat the abuse of cocaine, ethanol, nicotine and their co-abuse. 

Xu Representative publications

Zhang, J., Zhang, L., Jiao, H., Zhang, Q., Zhang, D., Lou, D., Katz, J., and Xu, M. (2006). c-fos facilitates acquisition and extinction of cocaine-induced persistent change. J. Neurosci. 26: 13287-13296.

Jiao, H., Zhang, L., Gao, F., Lou, D., Zhang, J. and Xu, M. (2007). Dopamine D1 and D3 receptors oppositely regulate NMDA- and cocaine-induced MAPK signaling via NMDA receptor phosphorylation. J. Neurochem. 103: 840-848.

Caine, S.B., Thomsen, M., Gabriel, K.I., Berkowitz, J.S., Gold, L.H., Koob, G.F., Tonegawa, S., Zhang, J. and Xu, M. (2007). Decreased cocaine self-administration in dopamine D-1 receptor knockout mice. J. Neurosci. 27: 13140-13150.

Hu, X.T., Nasif, F.J., Zhang, J. and Xu, M. (2008). Fos regulates neuronal activity in the nucleus accumbens. Neurosci. Letters 448: 157–160.

Liu, X., Mao, L., Zhang, G., Papasian, C.J., Fibuch, E.E., Lan, H., Zhou, H., Xu, M.* and Wang, J.Q.* (2009). Activity-dependent modulation of limbic dopamine D3 receptors by CaMKII. Neuron 61: 425-438. *Co-correspondence.

Note: Work described in the Liu et al. paper received a special commentary. See Hell, J.W. (2009). Hooked on the D3 Receptor: CaMKII’s new addiction. Neuron 61: 335-336.

Campioni, M., Xu, M. and McGehee, D.S. (2009). Stress-induced changes in nucleus accumbens glutamate synaptic plasticity. J. Neurophys. 101: 3192-3198.

Zhou, F-W., Jin, Y., Matta, S., Xu, M. and Zhou, F-M. (2009). An ultra-short dopamine pathway regulates basal ganglia output. J. Neurosci. 29: 10424-10435.

Fan, X., Xu, M. and Hess, E.J. (2010). D2 dopamine receptor subtype-mediated hyperactivity and amphetamine responses in a model of ADHD. Neurobio. Dis. 37: 228-236.

Ren, Z., Sun, W., Jiao, H., Zhang, D., Kong, H., Wang, X. and Xu, M. (2010). Dopamine D1 and NMDA receptors and ERK mediate neuronal morphological changes induced by repeated cocaine administration. Neurosci. 168: 48-60.

Chen, L.P. and Xu, M. (2010). Dopamine D1 and D3 receptors are differentially involved in cue-elicited cocaine seeking. J. Neurochem. 114: 530-541.

Xing, B., Kong, H., Meng, X., Wei, S., Xu, M. and Li, S. (2010). Dopamine D1 but not D3 receptor is critical for spatial memory and related signaling in the hippocampus. Neurosci. 169: 1511-1519.

Kong, H., Kuang, W., Li, S. and Xu, M. (2011). Activation of dopamine D3 receptors inhibits reward-related learning induced by cocaine. Neurosci. 176: 152–161.

Kong, H. and Xu, M. (2011). Exploring mechanisms underlying extinction of cue-elicited cocaine seeking. Current Neuropharm. 9: 8-11.

Zhu, J., Chen, Y., Cao, G., Zhao, N., Xu, M. and Chen, T.  (2012).  Dopamine D3 receptors regulate methamphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization but not ultra-structural plasticity in the shell of nucleus accumbens.  J. Neurosci. Res.  90:895-904.

Caine, S.B., Thomsen, M., Barrett, A.C., Collins, G.T., Grundt, P., Newman, A.H., Butler,  P. and Xu, M.  (2012).  The dopamine D3 receptor is not necessary for cocaine self-administration: studies in D3 knockout mice.  Exp. Clinical Psychopharm.  20: 352-363.

Shao, W., Zhang, S., Tang, M., Zhang, X., Zhou, Z., Yin, Y., Zhou, X., Liu, Y., Huang, Y., Eric Wawrousek, E., Chen, T., Li, L., Xu, M., Zhou, J., Hu, G. and Zhou, J.  (2013).  Suppression of neuroinflammation by astrocytic dopamine D2 receptors via αB-crystallin.  Nature   494: 90-94.

Cao, G., Zhu, J., Zhong, Q., Shi, C., Dang, Y., Han, W., Liu, X., Xu, M. and Chen, T.  (2013).  Distinct roles of methamphetamine in modulating spatial memory consolidation, retrieval, reconsolidation and the accompanying changes of ERK and CREB activation in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.  Neuropharm.  67:144-154.

Yan, Y., Kong, H., Wu, E.J., Newman, A. H. and Xu, M.  (2013) Dopamine D3 receptors regulate reconsolidation of cocaine memory.  Neurosci.  241: 32-40.

Yan, Y, Newman, A. H. and Xu, M.  (2014).  Dopamine D1 and D3 receptors mediate reconsolidation of cocaine memories in mouse models of drug self-administration.  Neurosci.  278: 154-164.

Soto, P. L., Hiranita, T., Xu, M., Hursh, S. R., Grandy, D.K. and Katz, J. L.  (2016).  Behavioral economics of demand for food in mice lacking dopamine D2, D3, or D4 receptors.  Neuropsychopharm.  41: 971-978.

Kong, Q.Y. and Xu, M.  (2016). A brief review of dopaminergic mechanisms of reconsolidation of cocaine-seeking behaviors.  J. of Drug and Alcohol Res. Vol. 5

Solís, O., Garcia-Montes, J.R., Gonzalez-Granillo, A., Xu, M. and Moratalla, R.  (2017).  Role of dopamine D3 receptor in modulating l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia and related molecular markers in the striatum.  Cere Cortex  27: 435-446.    

Kesarwani, M., Kincaid, Z., Gomaa, A., Huber, E., Rohrabaugh, S., Siddiqui, Z.  et al.  (2017) c-Fos and Dusp1 mediate non-oncogene addiction in BCR-ABL induced leukemia.  Nature Medicine  23: 472-482.

Li, Y., Kong, Q, Yue, J, Gou, W, Xu, M* and Wu, X* (co-corresponding).  (2019).  Protection against cocaine-seeking and overdose by genome-edited skin epidermal stem cells. Nature BME 3: 105-113.

Work described in the Li et al. Nature BME paper received two special commentaries.   See Arney, K.  (2018).  Under the skin.  The largest organ in the body is a prime target for gene therapy.  Nature  564: 514-515; Liu, X. and Kenny, P.J.  (2019).  Cocaine-metabolizing skin grafts.  Nature BME  3: 81-82

Xu, M* and Wu, X* (co-corresponding).  (2019).  Grafting a safeguard against cocaine abuse.  Journal of Drug and Alcohol Research  In press.