Hugh M. Fentress, Ph.D.
Dr Fentress investigates the role of serotonin receptors in psychiatric diseases such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. To this end, we are focusing on a 7 transmembranespanning (7TM) G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR), the serotonin 2C (5-HT2C) receptor, that plays a role in hypolocomotion, hyperphagia, anxiety, penile erection, hyperthermia, neuronal excitability, and spatial learning. His laboratory studies how naturally occurring single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and mutations in the human 5-HT2C receptor may lead to psychiatric disease or endophenotypes within the disease. The objectives of research in his laboratory are to 1) introduce into heterologous cells, cDNAs encoding various polymorphic 5-HT2C receptors whose sequence modifications are in regions previously identified as critical for coupling to signaling pathways and ligand binding, 2) characterize the functional consequences of these SNP-encoded sequence modifications by examining receptor selectivity for receptor activators, G-protein dependent and independent signaling, and receptor trafficking, 3) examine associations of functional SNPs with endophenotypes within depressed patients, and 4) screen populations of psychiatric patients for novel SNPs in serotonin receptors.
Qiang Wei*, Hugh M. Fentress*, Mary T. Hoversten, Limei Zhang, Elaine K. Hebda-Bauer, Stanley J. Watson, Audrey F. Seasholtz, and Huda Akil. Early-Life Forebrain Glucocorticoid Receptor Overexpression Increases Anxiety Behavior and Cocaine Sensitization. 2011, Biological Psychiatry DOI: .2011.07.009. (* equal contribution).
Hebda-Bauer EK, Pletsch A, Darwish H, Fentress H, Simmons TA, Wei Q, Watson SJ, and Akil ‘H. Forebrain glucocorticoid receptor overexpression increases environmental reactivity and produces a stress-induced spatial discrimination deficit.’ Neuroscience. Aug 25;169(2):645-53.
Maureen K. Hahn, Jennifer Blackford, Kirsten Haman, Michelle Mazei-Robison, Harish C. Prasad, Angela Steele, Lisa Hazelwood, Hugh Fentress, Regina Myers, Randy D. Blakely, Elaine Sanders-Bush, and Richard Shelton. Multivariate Permutation Analysis Associates Multiple Polymorphisms With Subphenotypes Of Major Depression. Genes, Brain and Behavior. 7: 487-495, 2008.
Hugh M. Fentress, Ellinor Grinde, Joseph E. Mazurkiewicz, Jon R. Backstrom, Katharine Herrick-Davis, and Elaine Sanders-Bush. Pharmacological Properties of the Cys23Ser Single Nucleotide Polymorphism in Human 5-HT2C Receptor Isoforms. Pharmacogenomics J. 5:244- 54, 2005.
Elaine Sanders-Bush, Hugh Fentress, Lisa Hazelwood. 5-HT2 Receptors: Molecular and Genomic Diversity. Mol. Interventions. 3: 319-330, 2003.
James J.-L. Wang, Zhaolin Hua, Hugh M. Fentress, and Charles K. Singleton. JNK1 is inactivated during thiamine deficiency-induced apoptosis in human neuroblastoma cells. Nutr.Biochem. 11:208-215, 2000.
Hugh M. Fentress, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pharmacology
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
B.Sc. Tennessee State University, Department of Biology, Nashville, TN 1995-1999 Major: Biology Minor: Chemistry
Ph.D. Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 1999 –2005 . Neuroscience Graduate Program. Advisor: Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow 07/2005-10/2008. Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute,University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Advisor: Huda Akil, Ph.D.
Scientist-Educator Fellow 10/30/2008-7/31/2011. Division of Genetic Medicine. Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Advisor: Maureen K. Hahn, Ph.D.