Article

A cannabinoid mechanism in relapse to cocaine seeking

Research Institute Neurosciences Vrije Universiteit, Department of Medical Pharmacology, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Nature Medicine (Impact Factor: 28.05). 11/2001; 7(10):1151-4. DOI: 10.1038/nm1001-1151
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Treatment of cocaine addiction is hampered by high rates of relapse even after prolonged drug abstinence. This relapse to compulsive cocaine use can be triggered by re-exposure to cocaine, by re-exposure to stimuli previously associated with cocaine or by exposure to stress. In laboratory rats, similar events reinstate cocaine seeking after prolonged withdrawal periods, thus providing a model to study neuronal mechanisms underlying the relapse to cocaine. The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a number of neuropsychiatric conditions, including drug addiction. The active ingredient of marijuana, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, activates the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) reward system and has rewarding effects in preclinical models of drug abuse. We report here that the synthetic cannabinoid agonist, HU210 (ref. 13), provokes relapse to cocaine seeking after prolonged withdrawal periods. Furthermore, the selective CB1 receptor antagonist, SR141716A (ref. 14), attenuates relapse induced by re-exposure to cocaine-associated cues or cocaine itself, but not relapse induced by exposure to stress. These data reveal an important role of the cannabinoid system in the neuronal processes underlying relapse to cocaine seeking, and provide a rationale for the use of cannabinoid receptor antagonists for the prevention of relapse to cocaine use.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Taco J De Vries, Jul 05, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
129 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug worldwide. Recent trends indicate that this may soon change; not due to decreased marijuana use, but to an amendment in marijuana’s illegal status. The cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor mediates marijuana’s psychoactive and reinforcing properties. CB1 receptors are also part of the brain endocannabinoid (eCB) system and support numerous forms of learning and memory, including the conditioned reinforcing properties of cues predicting reward or punishment. This is accomplished via eCB-dependent alterations in mesolimbic dopamine function, which plays an obligatory role in reward learning and motivation. Presynaptic CB1 receptors control midbrain dopamine neuron activity and thereby shape phasic dopamine release in target regions, particularly the nucleus accumbens (NAc). By also regulating synaptic input to the NAc, CB1 receptors modulate NAc output onto downstream neurons of the basal ganglia motor circuit, and thereby support goal-directed behaviors. Abused drugs promote short- and long-term adaptations in eCB-regulation of mesolimbic dopamine function, and thereby hijack neural systems related to the pursuit of rewards to promote drug abuse. By pharmacologically targeting the CB1 receptors, marijuana has preferential access to this neuronal system and can potently alter eCB-dependent processing of reward-related stimuli. As marijuana legalization progresses, greater access to this drug should increase the utility of marijuana as a research tool to better understand the eCB system, which has the potential to advance cannabinoid-based treatments for drug addiction.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:Addiction circuits.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:Addiction circuits.
    Brain Research 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2014.11.034 · 2.83 Impact Factor
  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Addiction to major drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, has recently been linked to alterations in adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The endogenous cannabinoid system modulates this proliferative response as demonstrated by the finding that pharmacological activation/blockade of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors not only modulates neurogenesis but also modulates cell death in the brain. In the present study, we evaluated whether the endogenous cannabinoid system affects cocaine-induced alterations in cell proliferation. To this end, we examined whether pharmacological blockade of either CB1 (Rimonabant, 3 mg/kg) or CB2 receptors (AM630, 3 mg/kg) would affect cell proliferation [the cells were labeled with 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU)] in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle and the dentate subgranular zone (SGZ). Additionally, we measured cell apoptosis (as monitored by the expression of cleaved caspase-3) and glial activation [by analyzing the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and Iba-1] in the striatum and hippocampus during acute and repeated (4 days) cocaine administration (20 mg/kg). The results showed that acute cocaine exposure decreased the number of BrdU-immunoreactive (ir) cells in the SVZ and SGZ. In contrast, repeated cocaine exposure reduced the number of BrdU-ir cells only in the SVZ. Both acute and repeated cocaine exposure increased the number of cleaved caspase-3-, GFAP- and Iba1-ir cells in the hippocampus, and this effect was counteracted by AM630 or Rimonabant, which increased the number of BrdU-, GFAP-, and Iba1-ir cells in the hippocampus. These results indicate that the changes in neurogenic, apoptotic and gliotic processes that were produced by repeated cocaine administration were normalized by pharmacological blockade of CB1 and CB2. The restorative effects of cannabinoid receptor blockade on hippocampal cell proliferation were associated with the prevention of the induction of conditioned locomotion but not with the prevention of cocaine-induced sensitization.
    Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 01/2014; 7:106. DOI:10.3389/fnint.2013.00106