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Reinscheid Lab


Reinscheid Scientific Photo

Rainer K. Reinscheid, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Department of Pharmacology
Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

PharmD, University of Muenster, Germany
PhD, University of Hamburg, Germany

Summary of Research: The Reinscheid lab is studying G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) involved in stress, emotional behavior, sleep-wakefulness, and memory functions. G-protein coupled receptors are the biggest gene family in the human genome and represent the most successful drug targets of modern pharmaceuticals.

With the sequence of the human genome at hand we now know that there are at least 150 so-called "orphan" GPCRs that still await discovery of their natural ligands. As one example, we have been working on the neuropeptide Orphanin FQ (OFQ; also called nociceptin), which we identified in 1995 as the endogenous ligand of an opioid-like receptor.

We could demonstrate that OFQ is involved in stress regulation and anxiety behavior. We identified a novel neuropeptide system (Neuropeptide S, NPS) in the brain that promotes arousal and anxiolytic-like effects. We are currently investigating the function of NPS in sleep and wakefulness, its role in stress responses and associations of genetic polymorphisms in the NPS receptor gene with human psychiatric disorders.

The Lab Personnel:

Postdoctoral Scholars:

  • Celia Garau Garcia, PhD
  • Xiaobin Liu, PhD
Technologies & Research Capabilities
  • Molecular and cell biology
  • In-situ hybridization and Immunohistochemistry
  • Microdialysis with HPLC detection
  • Transgenic animal models
  • Behavioral pharmacology