My primary focus in the department is teaching. My major research interest deals with receptor isolation and characterization in a variety of tissues and disease states. It is very possible that many diseases cause or are caused by receptor changes. By characterizing these alterations, we may learn more about the disease at the biochemical level and possibly be able to develop drugs specifically designed to affect the altered receptors.
One particular interest involves investigating potential toxicities of artificial sweeteners and what receptors systems might be altered with long-term use. It appears that prolonged ingestion of aspartame may cause some receptor changes in the brain. My ongoing research is primarily devoted to determining potential receptor or enzyme alterations, as well as some behavioral changes, after chronic aspartame consumption.
McConnaughey, M.M., Wong , S.C. and Ingenito, A.J. Dynorphin receptor changes in hippocampus of the spontaneously hypertensive rats. Pharmacology, 45:52-57, 1992.
McConnaughey, M.M. and Iams, S.G. Sex hormones change adrenoceptors in blood vessels of the spontaneously hypertensive rats. Clin. Exp. Hypertens, 15:153-170, 1993.
McConnaughey, M.M., Zhai, Q.Z. and Ingenito, A.J. Effects on rat brain K1- and K2-opioid receptors after chronic treatment with non-peptide K-agonists. J. Pharm Pharmacol. 50:1121-1125, 1998.
McConnaughey, M.M., McConnaughey, J.S. and Ingenito, A.J. Practical considerations of the pharmacology of angiotensin receptor blockers. J Clin Pharmacol. 39:547-559, 1999.
Wright, R.C., McConnaughey, M.M. and Ingenito, A.J. Decreased dynorphin levels and increased kappa opioid receptor binding in male rats with isolation-induced hypertension. Peptides. 21:1881-1884, 2000.
McConnaughey, M., Sheets, K., Davis, J., Privette, J., Hickner, R., Christian, B., Barakat, H. Differences in b-adrenergic receptor densities in omental and subcutaneous adipose tissue from obese African American and Caucasian Women. Metabolism. 53: 247-251, 2004.
Christian, D., McConnaughey, K., Bethea, E., Brantley, S., Coffey, A., Hammond, L., Harrell, S., Metcalf, K., Muehlenbein, D., Spruill, W., Brinson, L., and McConnaughey, M. Chronic aspartame affects T-maze performance, brain cholinergic receptors and Na+,K+-ATPase in rats. Pharmacol., Biochem. Behav. 78: 121-127, 2004.
Barakat, H., Davis, J., Lang, D., Mustafa, S.J. and McConnaughey, M.M. Differences in the expression of the adenosine A1 receptor in adipose tissue of obese black and white women. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 91: 1882-1886, 2006.