Early life adversity has been suggested to predispose an individual to later drug abuse. The core and shell sub-regions of the nucleus accumbens are differentially affected by both stressors and methamphetamine. This study aimed to characterize and quantify methamphetamine-induced protein expression in the shell and core of the nucleus accumbens in animals exposed to maternal separation during early development. Isobaric tagging (iTRAQ) which enables simultaneous identification and quantification of peptides with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) was used. We found that maternal separation altered more proteins involved in structure and redox regulation in the shell than in the core of the nucleus accumbens, and that maternal separation and methamphetamine had differential effects on signaling proteins in the shell and core. Compared to maternal separation or methamphetamine alone, the maternal separation/methamphetamine combination altered more proteins involved in energy metabolism, redox regulatory processes and neurotrophic proteins. Methamphetamine treatment of rats subjected to maternal separation caused a reduction of cytoskeletal proteins in the shell and altered cytoskeletal, signaling, energy metabolism and redox proteins in the core. Comparison of maternal separation/methamphetamine to methamphetamine alone resulted in decreased cytoskeletal proteins in both the shell and core and increased neurotrophic proteins in the core. This study confirms that both early life stress and methamphetamine differentially affect the shell and core of the nucleus accumbens and demonstrates that the combination of early life adversity and later methamphetamine use results in more proteins being affected in the nucleus accumbens than either treatment alone.
"Emerging evidence suggests a strong role of epigenetics in regulating gene transcription based on early experiences that in turn modulate brain systems and behavior into adulthood. Many neural systems implicated in drug addiction are influenced by MS, such as the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis (Plotsky and Meaney, 1993), endocannabinoid system (Romano-López et al., 2012), monoaminergic systems (Matthews et al., 2001; Ploj et al., 2003; Dimatelis et al., 2012b), and growth factors such as BDNF (Bolaños and Nestler, 2004; Lippmann et al., 2007). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The maternal separation (MS) paradigm is an animal model of early life stress. Animals subjected to MS during the first 2 weeks of life display altered behavioral and neuroendocrinological stress responses as adults. MS also produces altered responsiveness to and self-administration (SA) of various drugs of abuse including cocaine, ethanol, and amphetamine. However, no studies have yet examined the effects of MS on methamphetamine (METH) SA. This study was performed to examine the effects of MS on the acquisition of METH SA, extinction, and reinstatement of METH-seeking behavior in adulthood. Given the known influence of early life stress and drug exposure on epigenetic processes, we also investigated group differences in levels of the epigenetic marker methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core. Long-Evans pups and dams were separated on postnatal days (PND) 2-14 for either 180 (MS180) or 15 min (MS15). Male offspring were allowed to acquire METH SA (0.05 mg/kg/infusion) in 15 2-h daily sessions starting at PND67, followed by extinction training and cue-induced reinstatement of METH-seeking behavior. Rats were then assessed for MeCP2 levels in the NAc core by immunohistochemistry. The MS180 group self-administered significantly more METH and acquired SA earlier than the MS15 group. No group differences in extinction or cue-induced reinstatement were observed. MS15 rats had significantly elevated MeCP2-immunoreactive cells in the NAc core as compared to MS180 rats. Together, these data suggest that MS has lasting influences on METH SA as well as epigenetic processes in the brain reward circuitry.
Frontiers in Psychiatry 06/2013; 4:55. DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2013.00055
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Animals subjected to maternal separation display behavioural and endocrine disturbances, as well as structural and functional changes in the prefrontal cortex and limbic areas. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of maternal separation and treatment with either chronic constant light exposure or anti-depressant (escitalopram) on proteins in the prefrontal cortex. Four experimental groups of male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to (1) normal rearing, (2) maternal separation (3 h per day from postnatal day 2 (P2) to P14), (3) maternal separation followed by chronic light exposure (P42-P63) or (4) maternal separation followed by treatment with the anti-depressant drug, escitalopram (P68-P100). Groups 1-3 were treated with saline as vehicle control for the escitalopram-treated group. At P101, all rats were decapitated, and the prefrontal cortex was collected and stored at -80 °C. Tissue from three rats per group was pooled and proteins determined by isobaric tagging for relative and absolute quantification using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation tandem mass spectrometry. Maternal separation led to disruptions in the prefrontal cortex that included hypometabolism by decreasing energy-related proteins (creatine kinase B, aconitate hydratase), decreased cell signalling (synapsin I, calmodulin, 14-3-3 protein epsilon) and impaired plasticity (spectrin, microtubule-associated protein). Maternal separation also increased dihydropyrimidinase-related protein/collapsin response mediator protein (CRMP) and myelin proteolipid protein. Exposure of maternally separated animals to constant light during adolescence reversed the hypometabolic state by increasing energy-related proteins in the prefrontal cortex and increasing cell signalling and cytoskeletal proteins and decreasing the expression of CRMP. Escitalopram had similar effects to light by increasing ATP synthase in maternally separated rats and dissimilar effects by increasing 2',3'-cyclic-nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase and myelin proteolipid protein. Constant light exposure during adolescence reversed a range of protein changes in the prefrontal cortex of rats exposed to early maternal separation. The most prominent reversal by light treatment of maternal separation-induced protein increases in the prefrontal cortex was the expression of CRMP which impairs plasticity and neuronal signalling. The effects of light treatment overlapped partially with the effects of escitalopram.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early life stress leads to several effects on neurological development, affecting health and well-being later in life. Instances of child abuse and neglect are associated with higher rates of depression, risk taking behavior, and an increased risk of drug abuse later in life. This study used repeated neonatal separation of rat pups as a model of early life stress. Rat pups were either handled and weighed as controls or separated for 180minutes per day during postnatal days 2-8. In adulthood, male and female rats were tested for methamphetamine conditioned place preference reward and methamphetamine induced locomotor activity. Tissue samples were collected and mRNA was quantified for the norepinephrine transporter in the prefrontal cortex and the dopamine transporter in the nucleus accumbens. Results indicated rats given methamphetamine formed a conditioned place preference, but there was no effect of early separation or sex. Separated males showed heightened methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity, but there was no effect of early separation for females. Overall females were more active than males in response to both saline and methamphetamine. No differences in mRNA levels were observed across any conditions. These results suggest early neonatal separation affects methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity in a sex-dependent manner but has no effects on methamphetamine conditioned place preference.
Behavioural brain research 04/2014; 268. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.03.045 · 3.03 Impact Factor
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