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Kuei Yuan Tseng, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology

Kuei Tseng earned the M.D. degree in 1997 from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine (Argentina).  He earned the PhD degree in Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of Buenos Aires in 2002.  Following postdoctoral work at Albany Medical College in Albany, NY he was appointed Assistant Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the Chicago Medical School in 2006.  He was appointed Associate Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the Chicago Medical School in 2013.


Monoaminergic regulation of prefrontal cortex inhibition during adolescence

The goal of this project is to determine the cellular mechanisms underlying the age-dependent modulation of cortical activity, focusing on interneuronal circuits in the prefrontal cortex. Such developmental regulation is highly relevant to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia since converging findings stress interneuron deficits during development as a potential basis for this disorder ( The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is of particular interest due to its role in working memory and decision-making, two cognitive abilities impaired in schizophrenia. PFC impairment in schizophrenia is typically accompanied by reduced gamma (i.e., 30–50 Hz) oscillations in the EEG, an effect that is thought to be an expression of reduced cortical inhibitory transmission. What is missing is the link between the developmental regulation of cortical interneuronal function and PFC impairment. Our recently published work and preliminary studies indicate that PFC interneuronal activity is enhanced after puberty. This postpubertal/late adolescent facilitation is thought to be related to the delayed maturation of the mesocortical dopamine (DA) system and the enhanced facilitation of glutamatergic drive onto these GABAergic interneurons. If during development, such interneuronal activity does not become enhanced, PFC inhibitory control will be altered at maturity. Our preliminary studies indicate that multiple pre- and postsynaptic factors contribute to maintaining the age-dependent facilitation of prefrontal interneuron activity (Figure).


Based on this model, we predict that a dysregulation of any of these components (a, b, c, d) is sufficient to change the trajectory of the normal interneuronal facilitation observed during late adolescence. If interneuronal activity does not become enhanced during development, prefrontal inhibitory control will be altered at maturity. Such impairment would be important for the onset of prefrontal cognitive deficits as observed in schizophrenia and other psychiatric syndromes. Thus, elucidating the cellular mechanisms and synaptic events preceding and accompanying the periadolescent maturation of prefrontal interneuronal function is critical to our understanding of the role of cortical inhibitory control during development.

Neural Bases of Parkinson's Disease: non-dopaminergic neuronal adaptations within the cortico-basal ganglia system


Clinical manifestations in Parkinson’s disease (PD) do not emerge until the progressive loss of dopamine (DA) neurons reach to a critical level. Consequently, several non-DA systems become compromised, particularly within the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry. Although it remains to be determined how the non-DA synaptic changes are initiated and maintained, it is clear that these factors are tightly linked and are relevant to PD. The long term goal of this project is to unveil cortical and sub-cortical mechanisms that underlie the different dynamics of information processing that take place in the PD brain. Using a combined in vitro and in vivo electrophysiological approach, a proper analysis of the input-output transformations within the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry will be investigated in different animal models of PD.


Mizrahi R, Watts JJ, Tseng KY. Mechanisms contributing to cognitive deficits in cannabis users. Neuropharmacology. 2017 Apr 14. pii: S0028-3908(17)30168-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2017.04.018. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

Toval A, Baños R, De la Cruz E, Morales-Delgado N, Pallarés JG, Ayad A, Tseng KY, Ferran JL. Habituation Training Improves Locomotor Performance in a Forced Running Wheel System in Rats. Front Behav Neurosci. 2017 Mar 8;11:42. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00042. eCollection 2017.

Caballero A, Granberg R, Tseng KY. Mechanisms contributing to prefrontal cortex maturation during adolescence. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016 70:4-12. Review.

Tubert C, Taravini IR, Flores-Barrera E, Sánchez GM, Prost MA, Avale ME, Tseng KY, Rela L, Murer MG. Decrease of a Current Mediated by Kv1.3 Channels Causes Striatal Cholinergic Interneuron Hyperexcitability in Experimental Parkinsonism. Cell Rep. 2016 16:2749-62.

Caballero A, Tseng KY. GABAergic Function as a Limiting Factor for Prefrontal Maturation during Adolescence. Trends Neurosci. 2016 39:441-8. Review.

Glasgow J, Koshman Y, Samarel AM, Tseng KY, Scrogin K. Myocardial infarction sensitizes medial prefrontal cortex to inhibitory effect of locus coeruleus stimulation in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2016 233:2581-92.

Jayasinghe VR, Flores-Barrera E, West AR, Tseng KY.  Frequency-Dependent Corticostriatal Disinhibition Resulting from Chronic Dopamine Depletion: Role of Local Striatal cGMP and GABA-AR Signaling.  Cereb Cortex. 2015 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print]

Thomases DR, Cass DK, Meyer JD, Caballero A, Tseng KY. Early Adolescent MK-801 Exposure Impairs the Maturation of Ventral Hippocampal Control of Basolateral Amygdala Drive in the Adult Prefrontal Cortex. J Neurosci. 2014 34:9059-66.

Lew SE,Tseng KY. Dopamine Modulation of GABAergic Function Enables Network Stability and Input Selectivity for Sustaining working Memory in a Computational Model of the Prefrontal Cortex. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 39:3067-76.  Epub 2014 Jun 30.

Barry MD, Boddington LJ, Igelström KM, Gray JP, Shemmell J, Tseng KY, Oorschot DE, Reynolds JN. Utility of intracerebral theta burst electrical stimulation to attenuate interhemispheric inhibition and to promote motor recovery after cortical injury in an animal model. Exp Neurol. 261:258-66.  Epub 2014 Jun 3.

Cass DK, Flores-Barrera E, Thomases DR, Vital WF, Caballero A, Tseng KY. CB1 cannabinoid receptor stimulation during adolescence impairs the maturation of GABA function in the adult rat prefrontal cortex. Mol Psychiatry. 2014 19:536-43. Epub 2014 Mar 4.

Scheyer AF, Wolf ME, Tseng KY. A protein synthesis-dependent mechanism sustains calcium-permeable AMPA receptor transmission in nucleus accumbens synapses during withdrawal from cocaine self-administration. J Neurosci. 2014 34:3095-100.

Loweth JA, Scheyer AF, Milovanovic M, LaCrosse AL, Flores-Barrera E, Werner CT, Li X, Ford KA, Le T, Olive MF, Szumlinski KK, Tseng KY, Wolf ME. Synaptic depression via mGluR1 positive allosteric modulation suppresses cue-induced cocaine craving. Nat Neurosci. 2014 17:73-80. Epub 2013 Nov 24.

Flores-Barrera E, Thomases DR, Heng LJ, Cass DK, Caballero A, Tseng KY. Late Adolescent Expression of GluN2B Transmission in the Prefrontal Cortex Is Input-Specific and Requires Postsynaptic Protein Kinase A and D1 Dopamine Receptor Signaling. Biol Psychiatry. 2014 75:508-16. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Caballero A, Thomases DR, Flores-Barrera E, Cass DK, Tseng KY. Emergence of GABAergic-dependent regulation of input-specific plasticity in the adult rat prefrontal cortex during adolescence. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014 231:1789-96. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

Caballero A, Diah KC, Tseng KY. Region-specific upregulation of parvalbumin-, but not calretinin-positive cells in the ventral hippocampus during adolescence. 
Hippocampus. 2013 23:1331-6. Epub 2013 Sep 2.

Zhang Y, Meredith GE, Mendoza-Elias N, Rademacher DJ, Tseng KY, Steece-Collier K. Aberrant restoration of spines and their synapses in L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia: involvement of corticostriatal but not thalamostriatal synapses. J Neurosci. 2013 33:11655-67. 

Loweth JA, Tseng KY, Wolf ME. Adaptations in AMPA receptor transmission in the nucleus accumbens contributing to incubation of cocaine craving. Neuropharmacology. 2014 76 Pt B:287-300. Epub 2013 May 30.

Cass DK, Thomases DR, Caballero A, Tseng KY.  Developmental Disruption of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Function in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex by Noncontingent Cocaine Exposure During Early Adolescence.  Biol Psychiatry. 2013 74:490-501. Epub 2013 Apr 1.

Purgianto A, Scheyer AF, Loweth JA, Ford KA, Tseng KY, Wolf ME.  Different Adaptations in AMPA Receptor Transmission in the Nucleus Accumbens after Short vs Long Access Cocaine Self-Administration Regimens.  Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013 38:1789-97. Epub 2013 Apr 1.

Caballero A, Flores-Barrera E, Cass DK, Tseng KY.  Differential regulation of parvalbumin and calretinin interneurons in the prefrontal cortex during adolescence.  Brain Struct Funct. 2013 Feb 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Loweth JA, Tseng KY, Wolf ME.  Using metabotropic glutamate receptors to modulate cocaine's synaptic and behavioral effects: mGluR1 finds a niche.  Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2013 23:500-6. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

Thomases DR, Cass DK, Tseng KY.  Periadolescent exposure to the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 impairs the functional maturation of local GABAergic circuits in the adult prefrontal cortex.  J Neurosci. 2013 33:26-34.

Wolf ME, Tseng KY. Calcium-permeable AMPA receptors in the VTA and nucleus accumbens after cocaine exposure: when, how, and why? Front Mol Neurosci. 2012;5:72. Epub 2012 Jun 27

Caballero A, Tseng KY Association of cannabis use during adolescence, prefrontal CB1 receptor signaling, and schizophrenia. Front. Pharmacol. 3:101. Epub 2012 May 28.

Waes V, Beverley JA, Siman H, Tseng KY, Steiner H. CB1 Cannabinoid Receptor Expression in the Striatum: Association with Corticostriatal Circuits and Developmental Regulation.  Front Pharmacol. 2012;3:21. Epub 2012 Mar 12.

Tseng KY, Caballero A, Dec A, Cass DK, Simak N, Sunu E, Park MJ, Blume SR, Sammut S, Park DJ, West AR. Inhibition of Striatal Soluble Guanylyl Cyclase-cGMP Signaling Reverses Basal Ganglia Dysfunction and Akinesia in Experimental Parkinsonism. PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27187. Epub 2011 Nov 2.

McCutcheon JE, Loweth JA, Ford KA, Marinelli M, Wolf ME, Tseng KY. Group I mGluR activation reverses cocaine-induced accumulation of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors in nucleus accumbens synapses via a protein kinase C-dependent mechanism. J Neurosci. 2011 Oct 12;31(41):14536-41.

West AR, Tseng KY. Nitric Oxide-Soluble Guanylyl Cyclase-Cyclic GMP Signaling in the Striatum: New Targets for the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease? Front Syst Neurosci. 2011;5:55. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

McCutcheon JE, Wang X, Tseng KY, Wolf ME, Marinelli M. Calcium-permeable AMPA receptors are present in nucleus accumbens synapses after prolonged withdrawal from cocaine self-administration but not experimenter-administered cocaine. J Neurosci. 2011 Apr 13;31(15):5737-43.

Heng LJ, Markham JA, Hu XT, Tseng KY. Concurrent upregulation of postsynaptic L-type Ca(2+) channel function and protein kinase A signaling is required for the periadolescent facilitation of Ca(2+) plateau potentials and dopamine D1 receptor modulation in the prefrontal cortex. Neuropharmacology. 2011 May;60(6):953-62. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Ferrario CR, Loweth JA, Milovanovic M, Ford KA, Galiñanes GL, Heng LJ, Tseng KY, Wolf ME. Alterations in AMPA receptor subunits and TARPs in the rat nucleus accumbens related to the formation of Ca(2+)-permeable AMPA receptors during the incubation of cocaine craving. Neuropharmacology. 2011 Jan 27. [Epub ahead of print]

Heng L, Beverley JA, Steiner H, Tseng KY. Differential developmental trajectories for CB1 cannabinoid receptor expression in limbic/associative and sensorimotor cortical areas. Synapse. 2011 Apr;65(4):278-86. doi: 10.1002/syn.20844.

Steiner H, Tseng, KY (eds.) Handbook of Basal Ganglia Structure and Function. Elsevier 2010

Salgado H, Garcia-Oscos F, Patel A, Martinolich L, Nichols JA, Dinh L, Roychowdhury S, Tseng KY, Atzori M. Layer-Specific Noradrenergic Modulation of Inhibition in Cortical Layer II/III. Cereb Cortex. 2011 Jan;21(1):212-21. Epub 2010 May 13.

Feleder C, Tseng KY, Calhoon GG, O'Donnell P. Neonatal intrahippocampal immune challenge alters dopamine modulation of prefrontal cortical interneurons in adult rats. Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Feb 15;67(4):386-92. Epub 2009 Nov 14.

Blume SR, Cass DK, Tseng KY. Stepping test in mice: a reliable approach in determining forelimb akinesia in MPTP-induced Parkinsonism. Exp Neurol. 2009 Sep;219(1):208-11. Epub 2009 May 19.

Tseng, KY (ed.) Cortico-Subcortical Dynamics in Parkinson’s Disease Cortico-Subcortical Dynamics in Parkinson’s Disease. Springer 2009.

Tseng KY. Facing the lack of anti-phase oscillation in the parafascicular nucleus after dopamine depletion. Exp Neurol. 2009 Sep;219(1):62-5. Epub 2009 Jun 6.

Tseng KY, Chambers RA, Lipska BK. The neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion as a heuristic neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia. Behav Brain Res. 2009 Dec 7;204(2):295-305. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Tseng KY, Lewis BL, Hashimoto T, Sesack SR, Kloc M, Lewis DA, O'Donnell P.
A neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion causes functional deficits in adult prefrontal cortical interneurons. J Neurosci. 2008 Nov 26;28(48):12691-9.

Paz RD, Tardito S, Atzori M, Tseng KY. Glutamatergic dysfunction in schizophrenia: from basic neuroscience to clinical psychopharmacology. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2008 Nov;18(11):773-86. Epub 2008 Jul 23.

Conrad KL, Tseng KY, Uejima JL, Reimers JM, Heng LJ, Shaham Y, Marinelli M, Wolf ME. Formation of accumbens GluR2-lacking AMPA receptors mediates incubation of cocaine craving. Nature. 2008 Jul 3;454(7200):118-21. Epub 2008 May 25.

Snyder-Keller A, Tseng KY, Lyng GD, Graber DJ, O'Donnell P. Afferent influences on striatal development in organotypic cocultures. Synapse. 2008 Jul; 62(7):487-500. Epub 2008 Apr 24.

Tseng KY, Atzori M. (eds.) Monoaminergic Modulation of Cortical Excitability. Springer 2007

Tseng KY, O'Donnell P. D(2) dopamine receptors recruit a GABA component for their attenuation of excitatory synaptic transmission in the adult rat prefrontal cortex. Synapse. 2007 Oct;61(10):843-50.

Tseng KY, Lewis BL, Lipska BK, O'Donnell P. Post-Pubertal Disruption of Medial Prefrontal Cortical Dopamine-Glutamate Interactions in a Developmental Animal Model of Schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Oct 1;62(7):730-8. Epub 2007 Jan 3.

Tseng KY, O'Donnell P. Dopamine modulation of prefrontal cortical interneurons changes during adolescence. Cereb Cortex. 2007 May;17(5):1235-40. Epub 2006 Jul 3.

Tseng KY, Snyder-Keller A, O'donnell P. Dopaminergic modulation of striatal plateau depolarizations in corticostriatal organotypic cocultures. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2007 Apr;191(3):627-40. Epub 2006 Jun 7.

Tseng KY, Amin F, Lewis BL, O'Donnell P. Altered Prefrontal Cortical Metabolic Response to Mesocortical Activation in Adult Animals with a Neonatal Ventral Hippocampal Lesion. Biol Psychiatry 2006 Sep 15;60(6):585-90. Epub 2006 Jun 14.

Tseng KY, Mallet N, Toreson KL, Le Moine C, Gonon F, O'Donnell P. Excitatory response of prefrontal cortical fast-spiking interneurons to ventral tegmental area stimulation in vivo. Synapse. 2006 Jun 1;59(7):412-7.

Tseng KY, Kargieman L, Gacio S, Riquelme LA, Murer MG. Consequences of partial and severe dopaminergic lesion on basal ganglia oscillatory activity and akinesia. Eur J Neurosci. 2005 Nov;22(10):2579-86.

Tseng KY, O'Donnell P. Post-pubertal emergence of prefrontal cortical up states induced by D1-NMDA co-activation. Cereb Cortex. 2005 Jan;15(1):49-57. Epub 2004 Jun 24.

Tseng KY, O'Donnell P. Dopamine-glutamate interactions controlling prefrontal cortical pyramidal cell excitability involve multiple signaling mechanisms. J Neurosci. 2004 Jun 2;24(22):5131-9.

Tseng KY, Riquelme LA, Murer MG. Impact of D1-class dopamine receptor on striatal processing of cortical input in experimental parkinsonism in vivo. Neuroscience. 2004;123(2):293-8.

Tseng KY, O'Donnell P. Dopamine-glutamate interactions in the control of cell excitability in medial prefrontal cortical pyramidal neurons from adult rats. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003 Nov;1003:476-8.

Murer MG, Tseng KY, Kasanetz F, Belluscio M, Riquelme LA. Brain oscillations, medium spiny neurons, and dopamine. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2002 Dec;22(5-6):611-32. Review. Erratum in: Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2003 Jun;23(3):449.

Tseng KY, Kasanetz F, Kargieman L, Pazo JH, Murer MG, Riquelme LA. Subthalamic nucleus lesions reduce low frequency oscillatory firing of substantia nigra pars reticulata neurons in a rat model of Parkinson's disease. Brain Res. 2001 Jun 15;904(1):93-103.

Tseng KY, Kasanetz F, Kargieman L, Riquelme LA, Murer MG. Cortical slow oscillatory activity is reflected in the membrane potential and spike trains of striatal neurons in rats with chronic nigrostriatal lesions. J Neurosci. 2001 Aug 15;21(16):6430-9.

Tseng KY, Roubert C, Do L, Rubinstein M, Kelly MA, Grandy DK, Low MJ, Gershanik OS, Murer MG, Giros B, Raisman-Vozari R. Selective increase of Nurr1 mRNA expression in mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons of D2 dopamine receptor-deficient mice. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2000 Aug 14;80(1):1-6.

Tseng KY, Riquelme LA, Belforte JE, Pazo JH, Murer MG. Substantia nigra pars reticulata units in 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rats: responses to striatal D2 dopamine receptor stimulation and subthalamic lesions. Eur J Neurosci. 2000 Jan;12(1):247-56.