Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology

Norma C. Adragna, Ph.D., Interim Chair

Dr. James B. Lucot

James B. Lucot, Ph.D.

Director, Dilute Nerve Agent Facility

Campus Address: 230 Health Sciences
Phone: (937) 775-3700
Fax: (937) 775-7221


Biology/Psychology, B.S. (1973), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Neurobiology, Ph.D. (1977), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Pharmacology and Toxicology, Postdoctoral (1977-1980), University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Research Foci
  • Intersection of toxicology and neuroscience at the level of behavior and neurochemistry
  • Evaluation of 5-HT1A agonists for the ability to rescue the CNS from toxicities produced by sarin poisoning. Funded by DoD (JSTO/DTRA)
  • Investigations into the co-morbidity of diabetes and psychiatric disorders
  • Searching for mechanisms underlying Gulf War Illness by measuring long term changes in brain neurochemical function

My research approach is to evaluate the interactions between behavior, drugs, and brain chemistry. This approach provides the flexibility to undertake a wide range of projects, to pursue interesting findings, and join in collaborative research. The laboratory is currently involved in the discovery of novel approaches to protect the civilian and military populations from neural damage produced by chemical warfare nerve agents. We have determined the toxic dose of sarin for our studies and characterized its effects on histopathology, inhibition of acetylcholinesterase in different brain regions, acute behavioral symptoms and its ability to inhibit fear conditioning. Using this baseline toxicity, we will characterize different agonists at the 5-HT1A receptor for their ability to reverse the toxic effects. We are also interested in how long after the poisoning the drug can be administered and provide protection. The results will also be applicable to emergency room treatment of pesticide poisoning.

I have collaborative projects using an animal model of type-2 diabetes. We have discovered that there is an age-dependent change in behaviors associated with specific psychiatric disorders and that the brain chemical function is consistent with the behavioral changes. We are pursuing this finding by testing hypothesis regarding the biological basis for these changes to lead to alternative methods for treating psychiatric disorders in diabetic patients.

We are also returning to investigation of novel antiemetic drugs using a shrew model. These studies are preclinical work for marketable new drugs.

Selected Publications

Lucot, J.B. Antiemetic effects of flesinoxan in cats: Comparisons with 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamine) tetralin. Eur. J. Pharmacol., 253:53-60, 1994.

Dubovicky, M., S. Paton, M. Morris, M. Mach, J.B. Lucot. Effects of combined exposure to pyridostigmine bromide and shaker stress on acoustic startle response, pre-pulse inhibition and open field behavior in mice. J. Appl. Tox, 27:276-283, 2007.

Mach, M., R.D. Grubbs, W.A. Price, M. Nagoaka, M. Dubovicky and J.B. Lucot. Delayed effect of subacute low-dose exposure to sarin combined with chronic intermittent shaker stress in mice. J. Appl. Tox., 14:28(2) 132-129, 2007.

Mauck, B.S., S.J.Paton, J.B. Lucot, R.D. Grubbs. Subcutaneous exposure to carbamate acetycholinesterase inhibitors does not induce apoptosis in mouse brain. J. Med. Chem. Biol. Rad. Defense, 6, 2008.

Garrett, T.L., C.M. Rapp, R.D. Grubbs, J.J. Schlager, and J.B. Lucot. A murine model for sarin exposure using the carboxylesterase inhibitor CBDP. Neurotoxicology, 2010, In press.

Sharma, A.N, K.M. Elased, T.L. Garrett, J.B. Lucot. Neurobehavioral deficits in db/db diabetic mice. Physiol. Behav., 2010, In Press.

Mauck, B., J.B. Lucot, S. Paton, R.D. Grubbs. Cholinesterase Inhibitors and Stress: Effects on Brain Muscarinic Receptor Density in Mice. Neurotoxicology, 2010, In Press.

Sharma, A.N, K.M. Elased, J.B. Lucot. Brain region-specific alterations in monoamine processing in db/db mice. In preparation for Physiology and Behavior, 2010.

Oswal, D.P., M. Morris, J.B. Lucot. Effect of low-dose sarin exposure on the neurochemistroy of different brain structures in mice. In preparation, 2010.

Joshi, K., C.R. Rapp, T.L. Garrett, M. Davidson, D.R. Cool, J.J. Schlager, and J.B. Lucot. The effect of 8-OH-DPAT on neurodegeneration after sarin exposure. Submitted to Neurotoxicology.