D1 dopamine receptor-deficient mouse: Cocaine-induced regulation of immediate-early gene and substance P expression in the striatum
ABSTRACT Psychomotor stimulants such as cocaine alter gene expression in neurons of the striatum. Whereas many of these effects are mediated by D1 dopamine receptors, the involvement of other dopamine receptor subtypes or neurotransmitters is likely. To distinguish between these possibilities, regulation by cocaine of immediate-early genes and genes encoding neuropeptides was analysed in mice that lack functional D1 receptors. Gene expression was examined with in situ hybridization histochemistry. In these animals, cocaine failed to induce the immediate-early genes c-fos and zif 268. In contrast, substance P expression was abnormally increased by this drug. These results demonstrate that some of the effects of cocaine on gene regulation are mediated via D1 receptor-dependent mechanisms, as evidenced by the absence of immediate-early gene induction in D1-deficient mice, whereas others also involve additional, non-D1 receptor mechanisms, as shown for substance P expression.
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ABSTRACT: Cocaine abuse has been shown to accelerate the progression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1-associated neurological disorders (HANDs) partially through increasing neuroinflammatory response mediated by activated astrocytes; however, the detailed molecular mechanism of cocaine-mediated astrocyte activation is unclear. In the current study, we demonstrated increased astrogliosis in the cortical regions of brains from HIV(+) cocaine abusers compared with the HIV(+) group without cocaine abuse. We next sought to explore whether cocaine exposure could result in increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a filament protein critical for astrocyte activation. Exposure of cocaine to astrocytes resulted in rapid translocation of sigma receptor to the plasma membrane with subsequent activation of downstream signaling pathways. Using a pharmacological approach, we provide evidence that cocaine-mediated upregulation of GFAP expression involved activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling with subsequent downstream activation of the early growth response gene 1 (Egr-1). Egr-1 activation, in turn, caused transcriptional regulation of GFAP. Corroboration of these findings in vivo demonstrated increased expression of GFAP in the cortical region of mice treated with cocaine compared with the saline injected controls. A thorough understanding of how cocaine mediates astrogliosis could have implications for the development of therapeutic interventions aimed at HIV-infected cocaine abusers.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of dopaminergic receptors (DR) in behavioral sensitization, as measured by locomotor activity, and the over-expression of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptides after repeated administration of cocaine in mice. Repeated administrations of cocaine induced behavioral sensitization and CART over-expression in mice. The levels of striatal CART mRNA were significantly increased on the 3(rd) day. CART peptides were over-expressed on the 5(th) day in the striata of behaviorally sensitized mice. A higher proportion of CART(+) cells in the cocaine-treated mice were present in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell than in the dorsolateral (DL) part of caudate putamen (CP). The concomitant administration of both D1R and D2R antagonists, SCH 23390 (D1R selective) and raclopride (D2R selective), blocked cocaine induced-behavioral sensitization, CART over-expression, and cyclic adenosine 5'-monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA)/phospho-cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB) signal pathways. SCH 23390 more predominantly inhibited the locomotor activity, CART over-expression, pCREB and PKA activity than raclopride. Cocaine induced-behavioral sensitization was also attenuated in the both D1R and D2R knockout (KO) mice, respectively. CART over-expression and activated cAMP/PKA/pCREB signal pathways were inhibited in the D1R-KO mice, but not in the D2R-KO mice. It is suggested that behavioral sensitization, CART over-expression and activated cAMP/PKA/pCREB signal pathways induced by repeated administration of cocaine could be more predominantly mediated by D1R.