I maintain several research areas within behavioral pharmacology. A key line of research involves the determination of the role of ghrelin (an orexigenic peptide) on nicotine and cocaine reinforcement. A second line of research involves characterizing the impact of chronic nicotine on meal pattern and body weight in male and female rats as a function of maintenance diet. A final line of research involves social influence on opiate effects in mice (with S. Eitan). My research has been funded by NIDA (collaboration with Jack Nation) and by corporate sponsors such as Thompson Medical Company and Knoll Pharmaceutical.
NIH (2005-2007) “Psychostimulants and Alpha1-adrenergic receptors”
NIH (2007-2012) “Heavy Metal and Drug Self-Administration: mechanisms”
Davis, K. W., Wellman, P. J., & Clifford, P. S. (2007). Augmented cocaine conditioned place preference in rats pretreated with systemic ghrelin. Regulatory Peptides, 140 (3): 148-52.
Wellman, P. J., Clifford, P., Rodriguez, R. et.al., (2011) Pharmacologic Antagonism of Ghrelin Receptors Attenuates Nicotine Induced Locomotor Sensitization in Rats. Regulatory Peptides, 172(1-3):77-80.
Wellman, P. J., Clifford, P. S., Rodriguez, R., et al., (2011) Brain Reinforcement System Function is Ghrelin Dependent: Studies in the Rat Using Pharmacological fMRI and Intracranial Self-Stimulation. Addiction Biology, Oct 21.
Clifford PS, Rodriguez J, Schul D, Hughes S, Kniffin T, Hart N, Eitan S, Brunel L, Fehrentz JA, Martinez J, Wellman PJ. (2012) Attenuation of cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization in rats sustaining genetic or pharmacologic antagonism of ghrelin receptors. Addict Biol. Nov;17(6):956-63.
Wellman PJ, Clifford PS, Rodriguez JA, Hughes S, Di Francesco C, Melotto S, Tessari M, Corsi M, Bifone A, Gozzi A. (2012) Brain reinforcement system function is ghrelin dependent: studies in the rat using pharmacological fMRI and intracranial self-stimulation. Addict Biol. Sep;17(5):908-19.
Wellman PJ, Clifford PS, Rodriguez JA. (2013) Ghrelin and ghrelin receptor modulation of psychostimulant action. Front Neurosci. Sep 25;7:171.
Bates ML, Emery MA, Wellman PJ, Eitan S. Social housing conditions influence morphine dependence and the extinction of morphine place preference in adolescent mice. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014
Emery MA, Bates ML, Wellman PJ, Eitan S. Differential effects of oxycodone,hydrocodone, and morphine on the responses of D2/D3 dopamine receptors. Behav Brain Res. 2015
Emery MA, Bates MLS, Wellman PJ, Eitan S. Hydrocodone, but Neither Morphine nor Oxycodone, Is Effective in Suppressing Burn-Induced Mechanical Allodynia in the Uninjured Foot Contralateral to the Burn. J Burn Care Res. 2017 Sep/Oct;38(5):319-326.
Emery MA, Bates MLS, Wellman PJ, Eitan S. Burn injury decreases the antinociceptive effects of opioids. Behav Pharmacol. 2017 Jun;28(4):285-293.
Mendez IA, Carcoba L, Wellman PJ, Cepeda-Benito A. High-fat diet meal patterns during and after continuous nicotine treatment in male rats. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2016 Dec;24(6):477-488.
Shannonhouse JL, DuBois DW, Fincher AS, Vela AM, Henry MM, Wellman PJ, Frye GD, Morgan C. Fluoxetine disrupts motivation and GABAergic signaling in adolescent female hamsters. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2016 Aug 1;69:19-30.