Gerald J. LaHoste, Ph.D.
Villere Endowed Chair for Research in Neuroscience, Emeritus
Click here for Dr. LaHoste's lab info
Dr. LaHoste received his Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology from Tulane University in 1985. He received postdoctoral training in Bordeaux, France and at the University of California, Irvine. He served on the faculty at UCI for eight years before coming to UNO.
Dr. LaHoste's research program is unique in that it seeks to understand the biological bases of behavior at several levels of organization from molecular genetics to behavior as well as many of the levels in between (gene and protein expression, chemical neuroanatomy and physiology).The goal of this strategy is to obtain a comprehensive view of the complexity of normal and pathological human behavior. This strategy and the techniques involved have been applied mostly to behaviors that are profoundly influenced by the neurotransmitter dopamine. Not only are the effects of dopamine profound, but they extend to a remarkably wide range of behaviors including motor behavior, cognition, attention, motivation, drug addiction, and the translation of thought into movement.
Dr. LaHoste's research is "translational," or applied, in nature. His most recent findings promise to lead directly to a novel, superior treatment for schizophrenia and late-stage Parkinson's disease. These findings were prompted by behavioral results that led to the use of molecular genetics by which Dr. LaHoste co-discovered a novel gene. The function of this gene was, in turn, tested in behavioral models (genetically engineered mice). This gene was recently identified as being necessary for neuronal cell death in Huntington’s disease, which is untreatable and fatal. His lab is avidly pursuing this finding in hopes that it will lead to a treatment. Although molecular techniques are used, behavior represents the start-point and the end-point of all of Dr. LaHoste's research.
In earlier work, Dr. LaHoste was the first to discover the link between a dopamine-related gene and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This finding has been replicated in many laboratories world-wide, and the two original papers describing this discovery have been cited over 500 times in scientific journals. The previously unknown link between this gene and ADHD has had an important impact on current theories and represents a major new avenue for the development of better drugs in the treatment of this childhood disorder.
Harrison LM, LaHoste GJ, Ruskin DN. Ontogeny and dopaminergic regulation in brain of Ras homolog enriched in striatum (Rhes). (2008) Brain Research 1245:16-25.
Quintero GC, Spano D, LaHoste GJ, Harrison LM. (2008) The Ras homolog Rhes affects dopamine D1 and D2 receptor-mediated behavior in mice. (2008) Neuroreport 19:1563-6.
Ruskin DN, LaHoste GJ. Aspects of learned fear related to the hippocampus are sleep-dependent. (2008) Behavioural Brain Research 191:67-71.
Gold SJ, Hoang CV, Potts BW, Porras G, Pioli E, Kim KW, Nadjar A, Qin C, LaHoste GJ, Li Q, Bioulac BH, Waugh JL, Gurevich E, Neve RL, Bezard E. (2007) RGS9-2 negatively modulates L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine-induced dyskinesia in experimental Parkinson's disease. Journal of Neuroscience 27:14338-48.
Nolan EB, Harrison LM, LaHoste GJ & Ruskin DN. Behavioral synergism between D1 and D2 dopamine receptors in mice does not depend on gap junctions. (2007) Synapse 61:279-287.
Harrison LM & LaHoste GJ. (2006) Rhes, the Ras Homolog Enriched in Striatum, is reduced under conditions of dopamine supersensitivity. Neuroscience 137: 483-492.
Ruskin DN, Anand R & LaHoste GJ. (2006) Menthol and nicotine oppositely modulate body temperature in the rat. Eur J Pharmacol 559:161-164.
Chen C, Hardy M, Ruskin DN, Zhang J, LaHoste GJ & Bazan NG. (2006) Altered NMDA receptor trafficking contributes to sleep deprivation-induced hippocampal synaptic and cognitive impairments, submitted. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 340: 435-40.
LaHoste GJ, Henry BL & Marshall JF. (2000) Dopamine D1 receptors synergize with D2 but not D3 or D4 receptors in the striatum without involvement of action potentials. J Neurosci 20: 6666-6671.
LaHoste GJ, Swanson JM, Wigal S, Glabe C, Wigal T, King N & Kennedy JL. (1996) Dopamine D4 receptor gene polymorphism is associated with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Molecular Psychiatry 1: 128-131.
LaHoste GJ, Yu J & Marshall JF. (1993) Striatal Fos expression is indicative of dopamine D1/D2 synergism and receptor supersensitivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 90: 7451-7455.
LaHoste GJ & Marshall JF. (1992) Dopamine supersensitivity and D1/D2 synergism are unrelated to changes in striatal receptor density. Synapse 12: 14-26.
LaHoste, G.J., Swanson, J.M., Wigal, S., Glabe, C., Wigal, T., King, N. and Kennedy, J.L. (1996) Dopamine D4 receptor gene polymorphism is associated with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Molecular Psychiatry 1: 128-131.
LaHoste, G.J. and Marshall, J.F. (1994) Rapid development of D1 and D2 dopamine receptor supersensitivity as indicated by striatal and pallidal Fos expression. Neuroscience Letters 179: 153-156.
LaHoste, G.J., Yu, J. and Marshall, J.F. (1993) Striatal Fos expression is indicative of dopamine D1/D2 synergism and receptor supersensitivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 90: 7451-7455.
LaHoste, G.J. and Marshall, J.F. (1992) Dopamine supersensitivity and D1/D2 synergism are unrelated to changes in striatal receptor density. Synapse 12:14-26.