Matching Items (12)

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Nicotinic Enhancement of Incentive Salience

Description

Incentive salience is a motivational-cognitive process that can transform an otherwise neutral stimulus into something that is wanted. The prolonged use of nicotine appears to enhance incentive salience; it has

Incentive salience is a motivational-cognitive process that can transform an otherwise neutral stimulus into something that is wanted. The prolonged use of nicotine appears to enhance incentive salience; it has been suggested that the nicotinic enhancement of incentive salience contributes to the potential of relapse in individuals with tobacco addiction. In order to determine whether (a) nicotinic enhancement of incentive salience for non-nicotinic stimuli occurs when rats self-administer nicotine and (b) a history of nicotine use facilitates such enhancement, rats were trained in a morning self-administration paradigm (SA), in combination with an afternoon 4-CS Pavlovian conditioned approach task (PCA) for 24 days. SA was followed by extinction and cue reinstatement. Nicotine SA enhanced incentive salience in the PCA. Upon extinction, incentive salience quickly declined to saline levels, indicating that the nicotinic enhancement of incentive salience is transient. Experimenter-administered nicotine enhanced incentive salience similarly regardless of nicotine history, suggesting that a previous history of nicotine use does sensitize the nicotinic enhancement of incentive salience. Taken together, these results suggest that nicotine must be onboard for the expression of nicotinic enhancement of incentive salience. This suggests that the role of incentive salience in the development and relapse of tobacco addiction may need to be revisited.

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  • 2017-05

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The role of nucleus accumbens NMDA receptors on rapid, transient synaptic plasticity induced by cued nicotine reinstatement

Description

Nicotine use is an outstanding public health problem with associated social and economic consequences. Nicotine is an active alkaloid compound in tobacco and is recognized as a psychoactive drug. Preclinically,

Nicotine use is an outstanding public health problem with associated social and economic consequences. Nicotine is an active alkaloid compound in tobacco and is recognized as a psychoactive drug. Preclinically, nicotine addiction and relapse can be modeled using a self-administration-reinstatement paradigm. Here, we used a nicotine self-administration and contingent cue-induced reinstatement model to examine rapid, transient synaptic plasticity (t-SP) induced by nicotine cue-triggered motivation. Although preliminary, treatment with the NMDA GluN2B subunit antagonist, ifenprodil, reduced reinstated nicotine seeking, and increased the percentage of spines with smaller head diameters. Thus, future studies are needed to fully parse out the role of NAcore GluN2B receptors in cued nicotine seeking and t-SP.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Suppressive and Enhancing Effects of Nicotine on Food-Seeking Behavior

Description

The present study examined how systemic low doses of nicotine affect the microstructure of food-reinforced behavior in rats. Rats were given an acute saline or nicotine treatment (0.1-0.6 mg/kg, resting

The present study examined how systemic low doses of nicotine affect the microstructure of food-reinforced behavior in rats. Rats were given an acute saline or nicotine treatment (0.1-0.6 mg/kg, resting at least 48 h between injections), and a chronic saline or nicotine treatment (0.3 mg/kg for 10 consecutive days). Immediately after treatment, rats were required to press a lever to obtain food, whose availability was unpredictable, but programmed at a constant rate (on average every 80 s). Acute nicotine dose-dependently suppressed behavior prior to the delivery of the first reinforcer, but enhanced food-reinforced behavior afterwards. This effect was primarily observed in the time it took rats to initiate food-seeking behavior, and not in the food-seeking behavior itself. A pre-feeding control procedure suggests that these effects cannot be explained only by changes in appetite. Over the course of chronic nicotine exposure, tolerance developed to the suppressive, but not to the enhancing effects of nicotine on food-seeking behavior. These results suggest that ostensive sensitization effects of nicotine on behavior may instead reflect a tolerance for its suppressive effects on behavior.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Peace, Love, Unity, Respect, and Responsibility: Attitudes on Psychedelic Harm Reduction in the EDM Community

Description

In this field study, 103 individuals from two different music festivals, one in California and one in Michigan, were surveyed to observe current attitudes surrounding harm reduction strategies associated with

In this field study, 103 individuals from two different music festivals, one in California and one in Michigan, were surveyed to observe current attitudes surrounding harm reduction strategies associated with psychedelic drug usage in the EDM scene. Topics from the survey included but were not limited to the chemical testing of substances, frequency of usage, spacing between usage, and adverse effects associated with usage. It was concluded that harm reduction education should become more integrated within the EDM scene in order to provide research-based evidence for ravers to make better decisions for their health. While authorities have pushed "just say no", the lack of education altogether in the community is life threatening. Education is the key to saving minds, bodies, and lives.

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  • 2016-12

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Hyperactive ERK/MAPK Regulates Cortical GABAergic Neuron Development

Description

Aberrant signaling through the canonical RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK (ERK/MAPK) pathway leads to the pathology of a group of neurodevelopmental disorders called RASopathies. RASopathies are caused by germline mutations in the ERK/MAPK pathway

Aberrant signaling through the canonical RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK (ERK/MAPK) pathway leads to the pathology of a group of neurodevelopmental disorders called RASopathies. RASopathies are caused by germline mutations in the ERK/MAPK pathway and have an incidence of approximately 1:2000 births. The majority of RASopathies stem from mutations that cause gain-of-function in the ERK/MAPK pathway. In this study, we have begun to unravel the roles that GABAergic interneurons play in the pathology of RASopathies. Our data demonstrate that gain-of-function ERK/MAPK signaling expressed in a GABAergic interneuron-specific fashion leads to forebrain hyperexcitability in mutant mice. Further, some GABAergic interneurons experience activated-caspase 3 mediated apoptosis in the embryonic subpallium, leading to a loss of PV-expressing interneurons in the somatosensory cortex. We found that pharmaceutical intervention during embryogenesis using a MEK1 inhibitor may be effective in preventing apoptosis of these neurons. Future work is still needed to understand the mechanism of the death of GABAergic interneurons and to further pursue therapeutic approaches. Taken together, this study suggests potential roles of cortical GABAergic interneurons in ERK/MAPK-linked pathologies and indicates possible approaches to provide therapy for these conditions.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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The Effects of a Novel Serotonin-7 Receptor (5-HT7R) Antagonist, MC-RG19, on Cocaine-Related Behaviors

Description

The serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) system is implicated in the study of drug addiction. Of the 14 known serotonin receptor subtypes, the 5-HT7R is the most recently discovered and, therefore, one

The serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) system is implicated in the study of drug addiction. Of the 14 known serotonin receptor subtypes, the 5-HT7R is the most recently discovered and, therefore, one of the least rigorously studied. However, the 5-HT7R has been shown to play a role in multiple psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, and alcoholism. This is not surprising, as the 5-HT7R is expressed in brain regions associated with emotion and reward, such as the amygdala, dorsal raphe nucleus, and striatum. MC-RG19 is a novel 5-HT7R antagonist which has >114-fold selectivity for the 5-HT7 over other serotonin receptors. This compound was developed by our collaborators at the Temple University School of Pharmacy. Due to this specificity, and the implications of the 5-HT7 in behavior, we hypothesized that MC-RG19 would have an effect on addiction-related behaviors. We investigated the effects of MC-RG19 on spontaneous locomotion, cue-induced reinstatement, and cocaine/sucrose multiple schedule self-administration. We observed a dose-dependent decrease in spontaneous locomotor activity with significance at a MC-RG19 dose of 10 mg/kg. A dose of 5.6 mg/kg, which did not significantly decrease locomotion, significantly reduces cocaine-seeking behavior (active lever pressing) in response to the reintroduction of drug-paired cues after a period of extinction. No dose (3, 5.6, or 10 mg/kg) produced a significant effect on a multiple schedule of self-administration with alternating availability of sucrose and cocaine as the reinforcer. These results indicate that MC-RG19 has an effect on the incentive \u2014 motivational properties of reward-paired cues.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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The Role of Calcium Channel Genes in Childhood Psychiatric Symptoms

Description

Adolescent mental health problems are predicative of future problems such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, compulsive disorder, and substance use. Previous studies show that in emerging adulthood, the high prevalence and

Adolescent mental health problems are predicative of future problems such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, compulsive disorder, and substance use. Previous studies show that in emerging adulthood, the high prevalence and associated burdens of psychopathology increase vulnerability to disorders. These diagnoses are less common but are more severe and chronic (Tanner et al., 2009). The causes of these disorders are still being explored with recent studies showing that these mental health problems are genetically influenced. This makes understanding which gene that corresponds to what biological system is important in determining mental health. From recent studies, genes that code for calcium channels are good candidates for mental health problems. These voltage-gated channels are important mediators for physiological functions in the central nervous system and their activation provides unique responses within the brain. In a previous study, it supports the association of polymorphisms in calcium and potassium channels with the genetic risk for bipolar disorders and other mental illness (Imbrici et al., 2013). The purpose of the study was to examine if calcium channel genes influence childhood psychiatric symptoms. The first goal of this study was to form a polygenic risk score representing genetic influence on calcium channels. The second goal was to use this risk score in genetic association analyses to understand genetic risk for childhood psychopathology. Overall, the study did accomplish the goal as a polygenic risk score was created and was used to examine genetic association with child psychopathology. Based on the results, the polygenic risk score was not correlated with either parent or child- reported symptoms; however, results did show that disorders were related to each other and differed by race.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Analysis of Economic Demand for Nicotine Using an Abbreviated Behavioral Economic Protocol in Rats

Description

Nicotine addiction remains a prevalent public health issue, and the FDA has released a statement outlining the systematic reduction of nicotine to non-zero levels in the coming years. Current research

Nicotine addiction remains a prevalent public health issue, and the FDA has released a statement outlining the systematic reduction of nicotine to non-zero levels in the coming years. Current research has not yet established the effects of abrupt nicotine dose reduction on vulnerability to relapse, nor has abrupt nicotine dose reduction been evaluated in terms of behavioral economic characteristics of demand and elasticity been evaluated for reduced doses of nicotine. Using a rat model, we first evaluated the comparability of between- and within-session protocols for establishing characteristics of demand and elasticity for nicotine to shorten experimental timelines for this study and future studies. We then tested environmental enrichment and sex as factors of elasticity of demand for nicotine. Using a rat model of relapse to cues, we also examined the effects of nicotine dose-reduction on vulnerability to relapse. We found differences in maximum consumption and demand between the between- and within-session protocols, as well as sex differences in elasticity of demand on the within-session protocol where male demand was more elastic than female demand. Additionally, we found that enrichment significantly increased elasticity of demand for nicotine for both males and females. Finally, preliminary analyses revealed that nicotine dose reduction yields more inelastic demand and higher maximum consumption, and these outcomes predict increased time to extinction of the association between nicotine and contingent cues, and increased rates of relapse. These studies highlight the usefulness and validity of within-session protocols, and also illustrate the necessity for rigorous testing of forced dose reduction on nicotine vulnerability.

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Date Created
  • 2017-12

The Effect of Ovarian Hormonal Status on 5HT1B Receptor Modulation of Cocaine Self-Administration

Description

Cocaine is a powerful psychomotor stimulant that can affect serotonin (5HT), dopamine, and norepinephrine systems in the brain. Previous studies with 5HT1B receptor agonist, CP94253, have shown dose-dependent decreases in

Cocaine is a powerful psychomotor stimulant that can affect serotonin (5HT), dopamine, and norepinephrine systems in the brain. Previous studies with 5HT1B receptor agonist, CP94253, have shown dose-dependent decreases in cocaine-self administration in male rats during maintenance. However, these studies do not take into consideration sex differences between male rats and female rats. Female rats introduce a new complexity because they constantly undergo an estrous cycle that consists of four phases, metestrus, diestrus, proestrus, and estrus. It was hypothesized that cocaine infusions and active lever response rates would greatly decrease during proestrus and estrus in comparison to metestrus and diestrus due to hormonal level differences of LH, FSH, progesterone, and estradiol. In this study, female rats were trained to self-administer a training dose of 0.75 mg/kg/infusion on a fixed progressive ratio (FR5). Rats were then pretreated with CP94253 to test the effects of this 5HT1B agonist on female rat cocaine self-administration during the estrous cycle. Results showed there was no three-way interaction between cycle phase, pretreatment, and cocaine dose on infusions or active lever responses. However, pretreatment with CP94253 decreased cocaine intake and active lever responses at high cocaine doses, regardless of cycle phase. Lastly, there was a two-way interaction between pretreatment and cycle phase in which active lever responses decreased during diestrus and proestrus. These results imply that CP94253 enhances cocaine's effect regardless of cycle phase. Future work can work with ovariectomized (OVX) female rats to observe cocaine self-administration during controlled cycle phases.

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  • 2018-05

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Establishing a Model of Opioid and Cocaine Co-Use

Description

With opioid use disorder (OUD) being an epidemic, it is important to investigate the mechanisms as to why this is so. This study established a self-administration paradigm to model and

With opioid use disorder (OUD) being an epidemic, it is important to investigate the mechanisms as to why this is so. This study established a self-administration paradigm to model and investigate the mechanisms of polysubstance, sequential use in conjunction with the analysis of withdrawal symptomatology driven by opioid withdrawal. The independent variables were dichotomized into the control group (food/cocaine) and the experimental group (oxycodone/cocaine). We hypothesized that more cocaine would be self-administered on the first day of oxycodone withdrawal. In addition, we hypothesized that somatic signs of withdrawal would increase at 16 hours post-oxycodone self-administration. Finally, we hypothesized that cocaine intake during oxycodone withdrawal would potentiate subsequent oxycodone self-administration. Our findings revealed that animals readily discriminated between the active (food or oxycodone) and inactive levers - but will however require more animals to achieve the appropriate power. Further, the average cocaine infusions across phases exhibited significance between the oxycodone/cocaine and food/cocaine group, with the average cocaine infusions being lower in food than in oxycodone-experienced animals. This implies that the exacerbation of the sequential co-use pattern in this case yields an increase in cocaine infusions that may be driven by oxycodone withdrawal. Further, to characterize withdrawal from oxycodone self-administration, somatic signs were examined at either 0 or 16 hrs following completion of oxycodone self-administration. The oxycodone/cocaine group exhibited significantly lower body temperature at 16 hrs of oxycodone withdrawal compared to 0 hrs. No differences in somatic signs of withdrawal in the food/cocaine group was found between the two timepoints. Oxycodone withdrawal was not found to potentiate any subsequent self-administration of oxycodone. Future research is needed to uncover neurobiological underpinnings of motivated polysubstance use in order to discover novel pharmacotherapeutic treatments to decrease co-use of drugs of abuse. Overall, this study is of importance as it is the first to establish a working preclinical model of a clinically-relevant pattern of polysubstance use. By doing so, it enables an exceptional opportunity to examine co-use in a highly-controlled setting.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05