Faculty

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Ruth I. Wood, PhD
Chair and Professor of Integrative Anatomical Sciences Associate Dean For Appointments and Promotions
Integrative Anatomical Sciences
BMT 401 A 1333 San Pablo Street Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 442 1980

Overview

My research investigates neural circuits for behavior, including social behavior, addiction and mood. In particular, we are interested in how gonadal steroid hormones act in the brain, both during development and in the adult, to effect sex differences and modify behavior.

One line of research investigates the neurobiology of anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) abuse. AAS are drugs of abuse, but the potential for dependence and addiction remains unclear. Studies from our laboratory have shown that male and female rodents will voluntarily self-administer testosterone and other AAS. This suggests that AAS are potentially addictive, independent of their effects on muscle mass or athletic performance. We are currently exploring how AAS alter decision-making and response to risk.

We are also interested in the behavioral endocrinology of cooperation: how hormones modulate cooperative behavior. We have developed operant models to test cooperation in rats working for food reward. Our studies investigate the effects of oxytocin and prolactin to promote cooperation, and the effects of AAS to inhibit cooperative behavior.

Publications

Prosocial effects of prolactin in male rats: Social recognition, social approach and social learning. Horm Behav. 2017 Sep 24; 96:122-129. View in: PubMed

Male rats play a repeated donation game. Physiol Behav. 2017 May 15; 174:95-103. View in: PubMed

Sex differences and hormonal modulation of ethanol-enhanced risk taking in rats. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 May 01; 174:137-144. View in: PubMed

Anabolic-androgenic steroids decrease dendritic spine density in the nucleus accumbens of male rats. Neuroscience. 2016 Aug 25; 330:72-8. View in: PubMed

Cooperation in rats playing the iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game. Anim Behav. 2016 Apr 01; 114:27-35. View in: PubMed

Social housing conditions and oxytocin and vasopressin receptors contribute to ethanol conditioned social preference in female mice. Physiol Behav. 2015 Nov 01; 151:469-77. View in: PubMed

Anabolic-androgenic steroids and decision making: Probability and effort discounting in male rats. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2015 Jul; 57:84-92. View in: PubMed

Anabolic-androgenic steroids impair set-shifting and reversal learning in male rats. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Apr; 25(4):583-90. View in: PubMed

mRNA regulation of cardiac iron transporters and ferritin subunits in a mouse model of iron overload. Exp Hematol. 2014 Dec; 42(12):1059-67. View in: PubMed

Anabolic-androgenic steroids and appetitive sexual behavior in male rats. Horm Behav. 2014 Sep; 66(4):585-90. View in: PubMed

Adverse health consequences of performance-enhancing drugs: an Endocrine Society scientific statement. Endocr Rev. 2014 Jun; 35(3):341-75. View in: PubMed

Androgens and opiates: testosterone interaction with morphine self-administration in male rats. Neuroreport. 2014 May 07; 25(7):521-6. View in: PubMed

Ethanol induces conditioned social preference in male mice. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2014 Apr; 38(4):1184-92. View in: PubMed

Sex differences and steroid modulation of cardiac iron in a mouse model of iron overload. Transl Res. 2014 Feb; 163(2):151-9. View in: PubMed

Testosterone enhances risk tolerance without altering motor impulsivity in male rats. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2014 Feb; 40:201-12. View in: PubMed

Ethanol-induced conditioned partner preference in female mice. Behav Brain Res. 2013 Apr 15; 243:273-7. View in: PubMed

'Roid rage in rats? Testosterone effects on aggressive motivation, impulsivity and tyrosine hydroxylase. Physiol Behav. 2013 Feb 17; 110-111:6-12. View in: PubMed

Testosterone and sport: current perspectives. Horm Behav. 2012 Jan; 61(1):147-55. View in: PubMed

Testosterone as a discriminative stimulus in male rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011 Nov; 100(1):185-90. View in: PubMed

MPTP Neurotoxicity and Testosterone Induce Dendritic Remodeling of Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons in the C57Bl/6 Mouse. Parkinsons Dis. 2011; 2011:138471. View in: PubMed

Exercise effects on motor and affective behavior and catecholamine neurochemistry in the MPTP-lesioned mouse. Behav Brain Res. 2010 Dec 01; 213(2):253-62. View in: PubMed

Membrane androgen receptors may mediate androgen reinforcement. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2010 Aug; 35(7):1063-73. View in: PubMed

Sex differences in motor behavior in the MPTP mouse model of Parkinson's disease. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2010 Jun; 95(4):466-72. View in: PubMed

The many facets of sex and drugs. Horm Behav. 2010 Jun; 58(1):1. View in: PubMed

Treatment of anabolic-androgenic steroid dependence: Emerging evidence and its implications. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010 Jun 01; 109(1-3):6-13. View in: PubMed

Anabolic-androgenic steroid dependence: an emerging disorder. Addiction. 2009 Dec; 104(12):1966-78. View in: PubMed

Issues for DSM-V: clarifying the diagnostic criteria for anabolic-androgenic steroid dependence. Am J Psychiatry. 2009 Jun; 166(6):642-5. View in: PubMed

Estrogen receptor immunoreactivity in late-gestation fetal lambs. Biol Reprod. 2009 Jun; 80(6):1152-9. View in: PubMed

Neuroprotection against excitotoxic brain injury in mice after ovarian steroid depletion. Brain Res. 2009 Apr 10; 1265:37-46. View in: PubMed

Memory, mood, dopamine, and serotonin in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-lesioned mouse model of basal ganglia injury. Neurobiol Dis. 2008 Nov; 32(2):319-27. View in: PubMed

Cell proliferation and survival in the mating circuit of adult male hamsters: effects of testosterone and sexual behavior. Horm Behav. 2008 Nov; 54(5):735-40. View in: PubMed

Anabolic-androgenic steroid dependence? Insights from animals and humans. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2008 Oct; 29(4):490-506. View in: PubMed

Adolescents and androgens, receptors and rewards. Horm Behav. 2008 May; 53(5):647-58. View in: PubMed

Testosterone and nucleus accumbens dopamine in the male Syrian hamster. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2008 Apr; 33(3):386-94. View in: PubMed

Sex and drugs: comment on "Evidence for involvement of erbeta and rgs9-2 in 17-beta estradiol enhancement of amphetamine-induced place preference behavior" by Silverman and Koenig. Horm Behav. 2007 Aug; 52(2):143-5. View in: PubMed

Partner preference in male hamsters: steroids, sexual experience and chemosensory cues. Physiol Behav. 2007 May 16; 91(1):1-8. View in: PubMed

Region-specific mechanisms for testosterone-induced Fos in hamster brain. Brain Res. 2007 Apr 13; 1141:197-204. View in: PubMed

Self-administration of estrogen and dihydrotestosterone in male hamsters. Horm Behav. 2006 Apr; 49(4):519-26. View in: PubMed

Anabolic steroids: a fatal attraction? J Neuroendocrinol. Anabolic steroids: a fatal attraction? J Neuroendocrinol. 2006 Mar; 18(3):227-8. View in: PubMed

ICV testosterone induces Fos in male Syrian hamster brain. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2006 Feb; 31(2):237-49. View in: PubMed

Chemosensory cues are essential for mating-induced dopamine release in MPOA of male Syrian hamsters. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2005 Aug; 30(8):1436-42. View in: PubMed

Intracerebroventricular self-administration of commonly abused anabolic-androgenic steroids in male hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus): nandrolone, drostanolone, oxymetholone, and stanozolol. Behav Neurosci. 2005 Jun; 119(3):752-8. View in: PubMed

Reinforcing aspects of androgens. Physiol Behav. 2004 Nov 15; 83(2):279-89. View in: PubMed

Circulating androgens enhance sensitivity to testosterone self-administration in male hamsters. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Oct; 79(2):383-9. View in: PubMed

Testosterone self-administration in female hamsters. Behav Brain Res. 2004 Sep 23; 154(1):221-9. View in: PubMed

Testosterone and chemosensory detection in male Syrian hamster. Horm Behav. 2004 Sep; 46(3):341-8. View in: PubMed

Testosterone reinforcement: intravenous and intracerebroventricular self-administration in male rats and hamsters. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2004 Jan; 171(3):298-305. View in: PubMed

Castration, dopamine and food choice: a cost/benefit test in male hamsters. Behav Brain Res. 2002 Oct 17; 136(1):137-42. View in: PubMed

Oral testosterone self-administration in male hamsters: dose-response, voluntary exercise, and individual differences. Horm Behav. 2002 May; 41(3):247-58. View in: PubMed

Steroidal control of male hamster sexual behavior in Me and MPOA: effects of androgen dose and tamoxifen. Physiol Behav. 2001 Apr; 72(5):727-33. View in: PubMed

Central Inhibition of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Secretion in the Growth-Restricted Hypogonadotropic Female Sheep1. Endocrinology. 2000 Feb 01; 141(2):520-527. View in: PubMed

Prenatal Androgens Time Neuroendocrine Puberty in the Sheep: Effect of Testosterone Dose. Endocrinology. 1997 Mar 01; 138(3):1072-1077. View in: PubMed

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