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Personal profile

Research interests

My research focuses on the neuronal changes caused by drugs of abuse, and how they relate to drug tolerance and addiction.

Opioid Tolerance

Morphine and related opiates such as heroin act by activating the µ-opioid receptor and are effective as analgesics, as well as being abused on the street. Following prolonged administration, tolerance occurs, whereby there is a need for escalating dose of that drug to maintain effect. This complicates pain-relief therapy as well as contributing to the social problems inherent in heroin addiction.

The mechanism(s) underlying opiate tolerance are poorly understood, but we have recently provided evidence that µ-opioid receptor desensitization may be a key process.

Interestingly, we have recently uncovered the fact that different ligands at the µ-opioid receptor can cause receptor desensitization and internalization by entirely different intracellular signalling mechanisms. On-going research is designed to investigate the precise molecular mechanisms underlying mu-opioid receptor desensitization and internalization, and determine precisely how these events relate to tolerance using behavioural methods.

Synaptic Plasticity and Drug Addiction

Intake of drugs of abuse such as heroin, cocaine and ethanol can result in compulsive drug use. Synaptic plasticity is thought to underlie memory formation, and as compulsive drug use is a learned behaviour, current interest in the field of drug addiction is focusing on the role of synaptic plasticity in the responses to drugs of abuse. On-going research is designed to gain a better understanding of the molecular processes underlying synaptic plasticity caused by drugs of abuse in areas of the brain such as the ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex, how these processes can be modulated, and their effects on drug addiction.

Experimental Approaches

We use a combination of electrophysiological approaches and real-time cell imaging coupled with behavioural measures of reward, analgesia and respiratory depression.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Chris Bailey is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 6 Similar Profiles
mu Opioid Receptor Medicine & Life Sciences
Morphine Medicine & Life Sciences
Buprenorphine Medicine & Life Sciences
kappa Opioid Receptor Medicine & Life Sciences
Locus Coeruleus Medicine & Life Sciences
Naltrexone Medicine & Life Sciences
Opioid Analgesics Medicine & Life Sciences
Ala(2)-MePhe(4)-Gly(5)-enkephalin Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2007 2021

Research Output 1998 2019

A novel G protein-biased agonist at the δ opioid receptor with analgesic efficacy in models of chronic pain

Conibear, A. E., Asghar, J., Hill, R., Henderson, G., Borbely, E., Tekus, V., Helyes, Z., Palandri, J., Bailey, C. P., Starke, I., von Mentzer, B., Kendall, D. & Kelly, E., 8 Oct 2019, In : Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
AMPA Receptors
Nicotinic Receptors
2 Citations (Scopus)
Open Access
9 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)

Antidepressant-like effects of BU10119, a novel buprenorphine analogue with mixed κ/μ receptor antagonist properties, in mice

Almatroudi, A. M. I., Ostovar, M., Bailey, C., Husbands, S. & Bailey, S., 1 Jul 2018, In : British Journal of Pharmacology. 175, 14, p. 2869-2880 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
kappa Opioid Receptor
Narcotic Antagonists
mu Opioid Receptor


A Single Compound Alternative to a Buprenorphine/Naltrexone Combination

Author: Ridzwan, I. E., 31 Jul 2012

Supervisor: Husbands, S. (Supervisor) & Bailey, C. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Does the combination of buprenorphine/naltrexone have antidepressant efficacy in animal models?

Author: Almatroudi, A., 11 Jan 2016

Supervisor: Bailey, S. (Supervisor), Bailey, C. (Supervisor) & Husbands, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Motivational memory: role of nicotinic receptors in synaptic plasticity

Author: Palandri, J., 1 May 2019

Supervisor: Wonnacott, S. (Supervisor), Bailey, C. (Supervisor) & Heal, D. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Sex differences in the effects of kappa opioid receptors agonists and acute stress on the mouse brain

Author: Ma, Q., 15 Jan 2020

Supervisor: Bailey, C. (Supervisor), Wonnacott, S. (Supervisor) & Bailey, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Synaptic plasticity processes underlying consolidation and reconsolidation of Pavlovian conditioning

Author: Rigby, P., 23 Oct 2013

Supervisor: Bailey, C. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD