Lori Knackstedt, Ph.D.


Contact Information

Dr. Lori Knackstedt
Department of Psychology
University of Florida
PO Box 112250
Gainesville, FL 32611-2250
Office: 322 PSY
Phone: (352) 273-2185
Email: knack@ufl.edu
Website: Department of Psychology Profile


Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Florida

Research Area

Dr. Knackstedt is interested in the neurobiology of drug addiction with a focus on the glutamate neurotransmitter system.


B.S. in Biology, Magna cum laude, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA (Advisor: Aaron Ettenberg)

Current Research

Dr. Knackstedt is focusing on gaining a better understanding of the neurochemical and molecular changes that occur following the learned response of drug self-administration in order to develop effective behavioral and pharmacological therapies for addiction.  Therefore, the primary goal of her research is to determine biological factors contributing to the long-term behavioral adaptations produced by cocaine and alcohol self-administration in rodents. Secondary to this is goal is exploring methods of counteracting these pathological neuroadaptations to reverse the pathologies of learning and memory which drive relapse to drug-seeking. Her current research is working to assess the role of the neurotransmitter glutamate in the nucleus accumbens in relapse to alcohol and cocaine. To do so, she uses animal models of drug self-administration and relapse to identify alterations in glutamate levels using microdialysis procedures and protein expression using western blotting. She targets the identified pathologies with pharmacotherapies and genetic approaches, such as AAV-mediated over-expression.

Recent Publications:

  • Logan CN, LaCrosse AL, Knackstedt LA. (2018). Nucleus accumbens GLT-1a overexpression reduces glutamate efflux during reinstatement of cocaine-seeking but is not sufficient to attenuate reinstatement. Neuropharmacology. 135:297-307. PMID: 29567092.
  • Padovan Hernandez, Y and Knackstedt LA. (2018). Dose-dependent effects of Clozapine-N-Oxide on cocaine-induced locomotion in rats with a history of cocaine self-administration. Neuroscience Letters. 674:132-135. PMID: 29571824.
  • Weber RA, Logan, CN, Leong, K-C, Peris, J, Knackstedt, L, and Reichel, CM. (2018). Regionally specific effects of oxytocin on reinstatement of cocaine seeking in male and female rats. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 21(7): 677-686. PMID: 29566161.
  • Bechard A, Hamor P, Schwendt M, Knackstedt LA. (2018). The estrous cycle influences surface GluA1 expression in the nucleus accumbens and the ability of ceftriaxone to attenuate cue-primed reinstatement of cocaine-seeking. Psychopharmacology, 235(3):837-848. PMID: 29197981.
  • Stennett B, Frankowski, JC, Peris J, and Knackstedt, LA. 2017. Ceftriaxone reduces alcohol intake in outbred rats while upregulating xCT in the nucleus accumbens core. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 159: 18-23. PMID: 28687200
  • Lacrosse AL, O’Donovan S, Sepulveda-Orengo MT, McCullumsmith R, Reissner KJ, Schwendt M, and Knackstedt LA. Contrasting the role of xCT and GLT-1 upregulation in the ability of ceftriaxone to attenuate the reinstatement of cocaine-seeking and normalize AMPA receptor subunit expression. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(24): 5809-5821. PMID: 28495973
  • Hadad NA, Wu L, Hiller H, Krause EG, Schwendt M, Knackstedt LA. (2016). Conditioned stress prevents cue-primed cocaine reinstatement only in stress-responsive rats. Stress, 19(4):406-18. PMID: 27181613
  • Pati D, Kelly K, Stennett B, Frazier CJ, Knackstedt LA. (2016). Alcohol self-administration increases basal glutamate in the nucleus accumbens of outbred rats without affecting pre-synaptic release properties. European Journal of Neuroscience, 44(2):1896-1905. PMID: 27207718.
  • Knackstedt LA, Schwendt M. (2016). mGlu5 receptors and relapse to cocaine-seeking: the role of receptor trafficking in post-relapse extinction learning deficits. Neural Plasticity, 2016:9312508. PMID: 26881139
  • Lacrosse AL, Hill K, Knackstedt LA. (2016) Ceftriaxone attenuates cocaine relapse after abstinence through modulation of nucleus accumbens AMPA subunit expression. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 26(2):186-94. PMID: 26706696
  • Massie A, Boillee S, Hewett S, Knackstedt L, Lewerenz J.(2015). System xc- in the central nervous system: a wolf in sheep’s clothing? J Neurochem, 135(6):1062-79. PMID:26336934
  • Griffin, WC, Ramachandra, VS, Knackstedt, LA, Becker, HC. (2015). Repeated cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol exposure increases basal glutamate in the nucleus accumbens of mice without affecting glutamate transport. Frontiers in Pharmacology 6(27). PMID: 25755641
  • Weiland, A, Garcia. S, Knackstedt, LA. (2015). Cefazolin and ceftriaxone attenuate the cue-primed reinstatement of alcohol-seeking. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 6 (44). PMID:25805996