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Gonzales, Rueben

Rueben A Gonzales

Professor, Other University Affiliate
College of Pharmacy

Jacques P. Servier Regents Professorship in Pharmacy (Emeritus)


Phone: 512-471-5192

Office Location

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

The overall goal is to understand the neurochemical basis for ethanol drinking behavior. Since the brain controls behavior, and neurons are the basic functional unit of the brain, it follows that neuronal activity underlies ethanol drinking behavior. Neuronal activity is controlled in part by the chemical microenvironment, so a major objective of the lab is to characterize the chemical changes in the brain that may underlie alcohol drinking. The research entails a combination of behavioral and chemical techniques.

Current interests include the effects of ethanol on basic dopaminergic neuronal activity in vivo, and the involvement of dopamine in ethanol self-administration behavior. Other interests include the physical characterization and theoretical description of diffusion behavior of solutes during in vivo microdialysis. Two new projects have been undertaken in the lab in the last few years. We have begun development of microdialysis for opioid peptides. This new analytical technique will enable analysis of larger messenger molecules and their roles in ethanol-related behaviors.  Secondly, we are exploring new models of ethanol self-administration to better investigate the transition from controlled to uncontrolled ethanol self-administration.

  1. Valenta JP, Gonzales RA.  Chronic intracerebroventricular infusion of monocyte chemoattractant protein – 1 leads to a persistent increase in sweetened ethanol consumption during operant self-administration but does not influence sucrose consumption in Long-Evans rats, Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 40:187-195, 2016.

  2. Barker JM, Corbit LH, Robinson DL, Gremel CM, Gonzales RA, Chandler LJ.  Corticostriatal circuitry and habitual alcohol seeking, Alcohol, in press.

  3. Doherty, J.M. and Gonzales, R.A.  Lack of effect of nucleus accumbens dopamine D1 receptor blockade on consumption during the first two days of operant self-administration of sweetened ethanol in adult Long-Evans rats, Alcohol, 49:543-51, 2015

  4. Reno, J., Thakore, N., Gonzales, R.A., Schallert, T., Ribell, Maddox, T., Duvauchelle, C.L.  Alcohol-preferring P rats emit spontaneous 22-28kHz ultrasonic vocalizations that are altered by acute and chronic alcohol experience, Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 39: 843-52, 2015

  5. Doherty, J.M. and Gonzales, R.A.  Operant self-administration of sweetened ethanol and time course of blood ethanol levels in adolescent and adult male Long-Evans rats, Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 39:485-95, 2015.

  6. Vena, A.A. and Gonzales, R.A.  Temporal Profiles Dissociate Regional Extracellular Ethanol versus Dopamine Concentrations, ACS Chem Neurosci 6: 37-47, 2015.

  7. Mangieri, R.A., Cofresí, R.U., Gonzales, R.A.  Ethanol exposure interacts with training conditions to influence behavioral adaptation to a negative instrumental contingency, Front Behav Neurosci. 8: 220. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00220, 2014.