Component 5: Translational Service

Jennifer Loftis, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Marilyn Huckans, Ph.D., Dennis McCarty, Ph.D., and William Hoffman, Ph.D., M.D., Co-investigators; Arthur Vandenbark, Ph.D., Collaborator

Scientific Abstract

The primary objective of the TSC is to standardize the MARC’s procedures for collecting human neuropsychiatric data, processing and storing human blood, and measuring immune factors and responses in human and rodent samples.  A secondary objective is to establish a repository for human neuropsychiatric data and blood samples.These de-identified samples, linked to the neuropsychiatric data, will be available for use in future studies, and therefore have significant long-term value to the MARC.

Three of the four scientific components (Components 7, 8, & 9) analyze human or mouse tissue to evaluate the relationship between immune factors and neuropsychiatric outcomes (e.g., cognition, anxiety). Two of the four scientific components (Components 7 & 8) analyze neuropsychiatric data from human subjects. These components and the MARC benefit from a centralized service core to eliminate redundant recruitment efforts, standardize operating procedures, and improve cross-component and translational analyses.

The TSC is recruiting 300 subjects into three groups (100/group):

  1. Adults actively using methamphetamine (MA)
  2. Adults in early remission from MA dependence

Non-dependent adults

TSC staff run subjects through a neuropsychiatric study visit that includes:

  1. A clinical interview to collect biopsychosocial history
  2. A structured clinical interview to verify psychiatric and substance use disorders
  3. Psychiatric symptom questionnaires
  4. Neuropsychological tests covering a full range of cognitive domains
  5. Medical laboratory tests
  6. A blood draw for collection of plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells

 

Samples are stored in the TSC repository and transferred to components and pilot projects in service of their objectives. The TSC staff will also guide analyses of human and rodent tissue for immune-factor expression using standardized methods (e.g., ELISA, Luminex, ELISPOT, and FACS), thus increasing efficiency and collaboration among components.