Matching Items (11)

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The Therapeutic Potential of Serotonin 1B Receptor Agonists for Treating Psychostimulant Use Disorders

Description

Serotonin 1B receptor (5-HT1BR) agonists enhance cocaine intake in rats during daily self-administration (SA) sessions, yet decrease cocaine intake after prolonged abstinence. The goal of my dissertation was to examine

Serotonin 1B receptor (5-HT1BR) agonists enhance cocaine intake in rats during daily self-administration (SA) sessions, yet decrease cocaine intake after prolonged abstinence. The goal of my dissertation was to examine if 5-HT1BRs are suitable targets for treatment development to attenuate psychostimulant intake. I first investigated if 5-HT1BR agonist effects that had been observed with cocaine generalize across psychostimulants, i.e., methamphetamine. Rats trained to self-administer methamphetamine received either CP 94,253 or the clinically-available but less selective 5-HT1D/1BR agonist, zolmitriptan, prior to tests for effects on SA both before and after a 21-day abstinence period. I found that CP 94,253 and zolmitriptan decreased the reinforcing and incentive motivational effects of methamphetamine, regardless of abstinence, unlike the pre-abstinence increase in cocaine SA observed previously with 5-HT1BR agonists. The attenuating effects of CP 94,253 on methamphetamine were antagonized in a 5-HT1BR-mediated manner. Subsequently, I investigated the efficacy and mechanism involved in effects of zolmitriptan on cocaine SA in male and female rats. Rats trained to self-administer cocaine received zolmitriptan prior to tests for effects on SA before a 21-day abstinence period. I found that zolmitriptan decreased cocaine intake in both sexes regardless of abstinence and without altering sucrose intake. I further demonstrated that the zolmitriptan effects on cocaine SA were mediated by both 5-HT1BRs and 5-HT1DRs. Finally, I examined if the abstinence-induced decrease in cocaine intake observed with the selective 5-HT1BR agonist, CP 94,253, persists during relapse after abstinence or reverts to enhancing cocaine intake, similar to effects observed without an abstinence period. Rats trained to self-administer cocaine resumed daily cocaine SA sessions after the forced abstinence period to investigate the effects of CP 94,253 on cocaine relapse. I found that CP 94,253 attenuated cocaine intake in relapse tests, suggesting that the abstinence-dependent attenuation of CP 94,253 on cocaine SA remains even after resumption of daily cocaine intake. The findings suggest that 5-HT1BR agonists like CP 94,253 and zolmitriptan have clinical potential as treatments for psychostimulant use disorders.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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A Selective Serotonin1B Receptor Agonist Modulates Cocaine Self-Administration in Female Rats Regardless of Estrous Cycle Phase

Description

Greater than 11% of the total population of Americans age 12 and older were illicit drug users with close to 1 million suffering from cocaine use disorder in 2017 alone

Greater than 11% of the total population of Americans age 12 and older were illicit drug users with close to 1 million suffering from cocaine use disorder in 2017 alone (SAMHSA, 2017), yet there are no effective pharmacological treatments for this disorder. Previous research from the Neisewander Laboratory in male rats found that administration of a 5-HT1BR agonist facilitates cocaine intake when given prior to a daily self-administration session, while inhibiting cocaine intake and attenuating drug-seeking behavior following 21 days of protracted abstinence, yet it is not known whether such effects are observed in female rats. Women face unique challenges in all phases of the drug addiction cycle. With respect to active drug-taking (i.e., the maintenance phase), women tend to increase their rate of consumption more rapidly than men, and female rats acquire cocaine self-administration faster than males. In part, this is due to ovarian hormone influences on the reinforcing properties of cocaine, where peak levels of endogenous estrogen hormones correspond to an increase in cocaine intake. In this study, we investigated the effects of CP94253, a selective 5HT1BR agonist, on cocaine intake across all phases of the estrous cycle in female rats. The rats were trained to self-administer cocaine (0.75 mg/kg, IV) on a fixed ratio (FR) 5 schedule of reinforcement and daily vaginal smears were taken after each session to monitor the estrous cycle. Rats were pretreated with CP 94,253 (5.6 mg/kg, IP) or vehicle prior to separate tests during each estrous cycle phase and were then either given 1-h access to 0.75 mg/kg cocaine followed by 1-h access to 0.375 mg/kg cocaine or 1-h access to 0.1875 mg/kg cocaine followed by 1-h access to 0.075 mg/kg cocaine. Similar to males, CP 94,253 decreased cocaine intake in females at intermediate doses, however, the estrous cycle phase did not alter this effect.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Prosocial influences on nicotine reinforcement, reward, and neural signaling in rodent models

Description

Social influences are important determinants of drug initiation in humans, particularly during adolescence and early adulthood. My dissertation tested three hypotheses: 1) conditioned and unconditioned nicotine and social rewards

Social influences are important determinants of drug initiation in humans, particularly during adolescence and early adulthood. My dissertation tested three hypotheses: 1) conditioned and unconditioned nicotine and social rewards elicit unique patterns of neural signaling in the corticolimbic neurocircuitry when presented in combination versus individually; 2) play behavior is not necessary for expression of social reward; and 3) social context enhances nicotine self-administration. To test the first hypothesis, Fos protein was measured in response to social and nicotine reward stimuli given alone or in combination and in response to environmental cues associated with the rewards in a conditioned place preference (CPP) test. Social-conditioned environmental stimuli attenuated Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens core. A social partner elevated Fos expression in the caudate-putamen, medial and central amygdala, and both nucleus accumbens subregions. Nicotine decreased Fos expression in the cingulate cortex, caudate-putamen, and the nucleus accumbens core. Both stimuli combined elevated Fos expression in the basolateral amygdala and ventral tegmental area, suggesting possible overlap in processing both rewards in these regions. I tested the second hypothesis with an apparatus containing compartments separated by a wire mesh barrier that allowed limited physical contact with a rat or object. While 2 pairings with a partner rat (full physical contact) produced robust CPP, additional pairings were needed for CPP with a partner behind a barrier or physical contact with an object (i.e., tennis ball). The results demonstrate that physical contact with a partner rat is not necessary to establish social-reward CPP. I tested the third hypothesis with duplex operant conditioning chambers separated either by a solid or a wire mesh barrier to allow for social interaction during self-administration sessions. Nicotine (0.015 and 0.03 mg/kg, IV) and saline self-administration were assessed in male and female young-adult rats either in the social context or isolation. Initially, a social context facilitated nicotine intake at the low dose in male rats, but suppressed intake in later sessions more strongly in female rats, suggesting that social factors exert strong sex-dependent influences on self-administration. These novel findings highlight the importance of social influences on several nicotine-related behavioral paradigms and associated neurocircuitry.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Effects of nicotine on response inhibition and fos activation in spontaneously hypertensive and wistar kyoto Rats

Description

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and early initiation is associated with greater difficulty quitting. Among adolescent smokers, those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and early initiation is associated with greater difficulty quitting. Among adolescent smokers, those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), characterized by difficulties associated with impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention, smoke at nearly twice the rate of their peers. Although cigarette smoking is highly addictive, nicotine is a relatively weak primary reinforcer, spurring research on other potential targets that may maintain smoking, including the potential benefits of nicotine on attention, inhibition, and reinforcer efficacy. The present study employs the most prevalent rodent model of ADHD, the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) and its control comparison Wistar Kyoto (WKY) to examine the effects of acute and chronic subcutaneous nicotine injections on performance in three operant response inhibition paradigms. Functional activation in select regions of the prefrontal cortex and striatum was also explored. Acute (0.1, 0.3, 0.6 mg/kg) and chronic (0.3 mg/kg) nicotine increased impulsive responding regardless of strain, dose, or operant schedule. Dose-dependent decreases in latency to initiate the task were also observed. SHR receiving daily nicotine injections showed less activation in the nucleus accumbens shell compared to saline controls. Despite close similarities, one of the three operant tasks did not detect response inhibition deficits in SHR relative to WKY. A closer examination of these tasks may highlight critical components involved in the amelioration of response inhibition deficits.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Age related changes in cognition and brain: a focus on progestogens

Description

Cognitive function declines with normal age and disease states, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Loss of ovarian hormones at menopause has been shown to exacerbate age-related memory decline and may

Cognitive function declines with normal age and disease states, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Loss of ovarian hormones at menopause has been shown to exacerbate age-related memory decline and may be related to the increased risk of AD in women versus men. Some studies show that hormone therapy (HT) can have beneficial effects on cognition in normal aging and AD, but increasing evidence suggests that the most commonly used HT formulation is not ideal. Work in this dissertation used the surgically menopausal rat to evaluate the cognitive effects and mechanisms of progestogens proscribed to women. I also translated these questions to the clinic, evaluating whether history of HT use impacts hippocampal and entorhinal cortex volumes assessed via imaging, and cognition, in menopausal women. Further, this dissertation investigates how sex impacts responsiveness to dietary interventions in a mouse model of AD. Results indicate that the most commonly used progestogen component of HT, medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), impairs cognition in the middle-aged and aged surgically menopausal rat. Further, MPA is the sole hormone component of the contraceptive Depo Provera, and my research indicates that MPA administered to young-adult rats leads to long lasting cognitive impairments, evident at middle age. Natural progesterone has been gaining increasing popularity as an alternate option to MPA for HT; however, my findings suggest that progesterone also impairs cognition in the middle-aged and aged surgically menopausal rat, and that the mechanism may be through increased GABAergic activation. This dissertation identified two less commonly used progestogens, norethindrone acetate and levonorgestrel, as potential HTs that could improve cognition in the surgically menopausal rat. Parameters guiding divergent effects on cognition were discovered. In women, prior HT use was associated with larger hippocampal and entorhinal cortex volumes, as well as a modest verbal memory enhancement. Finally, in a model of AD, sex impacts responsiveness to a dietary cognitive intervention, with benefits seen in male, but not female, transgenic mice. These findings have clinical implications, especially since women are at higher risk for AD diagnosis. Together, it is my hope that this information adds to the overarching goal of optimizing cognitive aging in women.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Plant-made biologics: human butyrylcholinesterase mutants for the treatment of cocaine addiction-related diseases

Description

Cocaine abuse affects millions of people with disastrous medical and societal consequences. Despite this, there is still no FDA-approved treatment to decrease the likelihood of relapse in rehabilitated addicts, and

Cocaine abuse affects millions of people with disastrous medical and societal consequences. Despite this, there is still no FDA-approved treatment to decrease the likelihood of relapse in rehabilitated addicts, and acute cocaine toxicity (overdose) is only symptomatically treated. Studies have demonstrated a promising potential treatment option with the help of the human serum enzyme butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), an enzyme capable of breaking down cocaine into biologically inactive side products. This activity of wild-type BChE, however, is relatively low. This prompted the design of variants of BChE which exhibit significantly improved catalytic activity against cocaine. Plants were used as a sustainable, scalable, affordable platform system to produce large amounts of human biologics such as these cocaine hydrolase variants of BChE. Using a tobacco relative, Nicotiana benthamiana, recombinant enzymes can be produced at quantities relevant to clinical use with desired kinetic properties. Next, the ability of the most promising plant-produced cocaine super hydrolase, pCocSH, to counter the lethal effects of cocaine overdose in vivo was tested. These studies revealed that this plant-produced enzyme can protect mice from an otherwise lethal dose of cocaine. Most excitingly, it was found that pCocSH can rescue mice from overdose when given immediately after the onset of cocaine-induced seizures. These studies provide in vitro and in vivo proof-of-principle for a promising plant-derived biologic to be used as a pharmacokinetic-based treatment for cocaine addiction-related diseases such as overdose.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Novel cues reinstate cocaine-seeking behavior and induce Fos Protein as effectively as conditioned cues

Description

The capability of cocaine-associated stimuli in eliciting craving in human addicts, even after extended periods of abstinence, is modeled in animals using cue reinstatement of extinguished cocaine-seeking behavior. This study

The capability of cocaine-associated stimuli in eliciting craving in human addicts, even after extended periods of abstinence, is modeled in animals using cue reinstatement of extinguished cocaine-seeking behavior. This study aimed to examine brain activation in response to cocaine cues in this model apart from activation produced by test novelty using a novel cue control. Rats trained to self-administer cocaine paired with either an oscillating light or tone cue underwent daily extinction training and were then tested for reinstatement of extinguished cocaine-seeking behavior elicited by response-contingent presentations of either their assigned cocaine-paired cue or the alternate, novel cue. Additional controls received saline infusions and cue presentations yoked to a cocaine-trained rat. Brains were harvested for Fos immunohistochemistry immediately after the 90-min reinstatement test. Surprisingly, conditioned and novel cues both reinstated responding to a similar degree; however magnitude of reinstatement did vary by cue modality with the greatest reinstatement to the light cues. In most brain regions, Fos expression was enhanced in rats with a history of cocaine training regardless of cue type with the exception of the Cg1 region of the anterior cingulate cortex, which was sensitive to test cue modality. Also Fos expression within the dorsomedial caudate-putamen was correlated with responding in the novel, but not conditioned, cue groups. In subsequent experiments, we observed a similar pattern of reinstatement in rats trained and tested for sucrose-seeking behavior, whereas rats trained and tested with the cues only reinstated to a novel light and tone, but not a familiar cue. The results suggest that novel cues reinstate responding to a similar extent as conditioned cues regardless of whether animals have a history of operant-delivered drug or a natural reinforcer. Furthermore, similar brain circuits as those involved in cocaine-seeking behavior are activated by novel cues, suggesting converging processes exist to drive conditioned and novel reinforcement seeking.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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The effects of age, hormone loss, and estrogen treatment on spatial cognition in the rat: parameters and putative mechanisms

Description

Cognitive function is multidimensional and complex, and research indicates that it is impacted by age, lifetime experience, and ovarian hormone milieu. One particular domain of cognitive function that is susceptible

Cognitive function is multidimensional and complex, and research indicates that it is impacted by age, lifetime experience, and ovarian hormone milieu. One particular domain of cognitive function that is susceptible to age-related decrements is spatial memory. Cognitive practice can affect spatial memory when aged in both males and females, and in females alone ovarian hormones have been found to alter spatial memory via modulating brain microstructure and function in many of the same brain areas affected by aging. The research in this dissertation has implications that promote an understanding of the effects of cognitive practice on aging memory, why males and females respond differently to cognitive practice, and the parameters and mechanisms underlying estrogen's effects on memory. This body of work suggests that cognitive practice can enhance memory when aged and that estrogen is a probable candidate facilitating the observed differences in the effects of cognitive practice depending on sex. This enhancement in cognitive practice effects via estrogen is supported by data demonstrating that estrogen enhances spatial memory and hippocampal synaptic plasticity. The estrogen-facilitated memory enhancements and alterations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity are at least partially facilitated via enhancements in cholinergic signaling from the basal forebrain. Finally, age, dose, and type of estrogen utilized are important factors to consider when evaluating estrogen's effects on memory and its underlying mechanisms, since age alters the responsiveness to estrogen treatment and the dose of estrogen needed, and small alterations in the molecular structure of estrogen can have a profound impact on estrogen's efficacy on memory. Collectively, this dissertation elucidates many parameters that dictate the outcome, and even the direction, of the effects that cognitive practice and estrogens have on cognition during aging. Indeed, many parameters including the ones described here are important considerations when designing future putative behavioral interventions, behavioral therapies, and hormone therapies. Ideally, the parameters described here will be used to help design the next generation of interventions, therapies, and nootropic agents that will allow individuals to maintain their cognitive capacity when aged, above and beyond what is currently possible, thus enacting lasting improvement in women's health and public health in general.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Glutamatergic and neuroimmune mechanisms of N-acetylcysteine-mediated inhibition of cue-induced nicotine seeking

Description

Nicotine self-administration is associated with decreased expression of the glial glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) and the cystine-glutamate exchange protein xCT in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcore). N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which is

Nicotine self-administration is associated with decreased expression of the glial glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) and the cystine-glutamate exchange protein xCT in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcore). N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and glutamatergic agent, restores these proteins associated with increased relapse vulnerability. However, the specific molecular mechanisms driving NAC inhibitory effects on cue-induced nicotine reinstatement are unknown. Thus, the present study assessed NAC’s effects on cue-induced nicotine reinstatement are dependent on NAcore GLT-1 expression. Here, rats were treated with NAC in combination with intra-NAcore vivo-morpholinos to examine the role of GLT-1 in NAC-mediated inhibition of cue-induced nicotine seeking. Subchronic NAC treatment attenuated cue-induced nicotine seeking in male rats and an antisense vivo-morpholino (AS) designed to selectively suppress GLT-1 expression in the NAcore blocked this effect. NAC treatment was also associated with an inhibition of pro-inflammatory tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) expression in the NAcore. As well, GLT-1 AS markedly increased expression of CD40, a known marker of pro-inflammatory M1 activation of microglia and macrophages. To further examine whether NAC-induced decreases in nicotine seeking involve suppression of TNFα, we manipulated a downstream mediator of this pathway, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB). Considering the putative role of NF-κB in learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity, separate experiments were performed where rats were treated with herpes simplex virus (HSV) vectors designed to increase (HSV-IKKca) or decrease (HSV-IKKdn) NF-κB signaling through interactions with IκB Kinase (IKK). The goal was to examine the role of NF-κB signaling in mediating nicotine seeking behavior and if NF-κB signaling regulates GLT-1 expression. HSV-IKKdn alone and in combination with NAC inhibited cue-induced nicotine reinstatement, while HSV-IKKca blocked the attenuating effect of NAC on reinstatement. Interestingly, both HSV-IKKdn and HSV-IKKca, regardless of NAC treatment, inhibited GLT-1 expression. Taken together, these results suggest that while GLT-1 may be a conserved neurobiological substrate underlying relapse vulnerability across drugs of abuse, immunomodulatory mechanisms may regulate drug-induced alterations in glutamatergic plasticity that mediate cue-induced drug-seeking behavior through GLT-1-independent mechanisms.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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The role of the serotonin 2 family of receptors in cocaine-elicited and cocaine-conditioned behaviors

Description

5-HT2A receptor (R) antagonists and 5-HT2CR agonists attenuate reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior (i.e., incentive motivation). 5-HT2Rs are distributed throughout the brain, primarily in regions involved in reward circuitry, including the

5-HT2A receptor (R) antagonists and 5-HT2CR agonists attenuate reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior (i.e., incentive motivation). 5-HT2Rs are distributed throughout the brain, primarily in regions involved in reward circuitry, including the prefrontal cortex (PFC), caudate putamen (CPu), and basolateral (BlA) and central (CeA) amygdala. Using animal models, we tested our hypotheses that 5-HT2ARs in the medial (m) PFC mediate the incentive motivational effects of cocaine and cocaine-paired cues; 5-HT2ARs and 5-HT2CRs interact to attenuate cocaine hyperlocomotion and functional neuronal activation (i.e, Fos protein); and 5-HT2CRs in the BlA mediate the incentive motivational effects of cocaine-paired cues and anxiety-like behavior, while 5-HT2CRs in the CeA mediate the incentive motivational effects of cocaine. In chapter 2, we infused M100907, a selective 5-HT2AR antagonist, directly into the mPFC and examined its effects on reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. We found that M100907 in the mPFC dose- dependently attenuated cue-primed reinstatement, without affecting cocaine-primed reinstatement, cue-primed reinstatement of sucrose-seeking behavior, or locomotor activity. In chapter 3, we used subthreshold doses of M100907 and MK212, a 5-HT2CR agonist, to investigate whether these compounds interact to attenuate cocaine hyperlocomotion and Fos protein expression. Only the drug combination attenuated cocaine hyperlocomotion and cocaine-induced Fos expression in the CPu, but had no effect on spontaneous locomotion. Finally, in chapter 4 we investigated the effects of a 5- HT2CR agonist in the BlA and CeA on cocaine-seeking behavior and anxiety-like behavior. We found that CP809101, a selective 5-HT2CR agonist, infused into the BlA increased anxiety-like behavior on the elevated plus maze (EPM), but failed to alter cocaine-seeking behavior. CP809101 infused into the CeA attenuated cocaine-primed reinstatement and this effect was blocked by co-administration of a 5-HT2CR antagonist. Together, these results suggest that 5-HT2ARs in the mPFC are involved in cue-primed reinstatement, 5-HT2A and 5-HT2CRs may interact in the nigrostriatal pathway to attenuate cocaine hyperlocomotion and Fos expression, and 5-HT2CRs are involved in anxiety-like behavior in the BlA and cocaine-primed reinstatement in the CeA. Our findings add to the literature on the localization of 5-HT2AR antagonist and 5-HT2CR agonist effects, and suggest a potential treatment mechanism via concurrent 5-HT2AR antagonism and 5-HT2CR agonism.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013