Serotonin receptors as potential targets for modulation of nicotine use and dependence.
ABSTRACT Nicotine use carries considerable health risks and plays a major role in a variety of diseases. Current pharmacological treatments to aid in smoking cessation include nicotine-replacement therapy and non-nicotinic strategies such as bupropion and varenicline. While these treatments benefit some individuals there is still a need for better and more effective treatment strategies. Nicotine is the major psychoactive substance in tobacco. Some behavioural effects of nicotine, including its reinforcing efficacy result in part from activation of mesolimbic dopamine neurons. Modulation of dopamine function is one potential treatment strategy that could treat nicotine dependence. Serotonergic neurons modulate the functioning of dopamine neurons in a complex fashion. Much of this complexity arises from the fact that serotonin (5-HT) exerts its effects through multiple receptor subtypes, some of which even act in apparent functional opposition to each other. This article reviews evidence, primarily from animal experiments, using behavioural procedures relevant to nicotine use on the potential for 5-HT receptors as targets for treating nicotine dependence. The 5-HT(1A, 2A, 2C, 3, 4, 6) receptor subtypes have received most experimental attention, with the 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2C) receptors being the best studied. Several studies have now shown that 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonists alleviate some of the behavioural signs induced by nicotine withdrawal. Electrophysiological and neurochemical studies show that stimulation of 5-HT(2C) receptors reduces the function of the mesolimbic dopamine pathway. 5-HT(2C) receptor agonists block the stimulatory action of nicotine on midbrain dopamine function. They also reduce several behavioural effects of nicotine including its discriminative stimulus properties and reinforcing effects. Although more work remains to be done, 5-HT(2C) receptor agonists perhaps hold the most promise as potential therapies for smoking cessation.
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ABSTRACT: Comorbidity between depression and tobacco use may reflect self-medication of serotonergically mediated mood dysregulation, which has been associated with aberrant cortical activation and hemispheric asymmetry in patients with major depressive disorders (MDD). This randomized, double-blind study in 28 remitted MDD patients examined the moderating effects of acute nicotine and smoker vs. nonsmoker status on mood and EEG changes accompanying transient reductions in serotonin induced by acute tryptophan depletion (ATD). In smokers, who exhibited greater posterior high alpha power and increased left frontal low alpha power (signs of deactivation) compared to nonsmokers, ATD increased self-ratings of depressed mood and elevated left frontal and right parietal high alpha power (i.e., further cortical deactivation). Smokers were not affected by nicotine administration. In nonsmokers, ATD did not influence depression ratings, but it reduced vigor ratings and increased frontal and posterior theta power; both of which were blocked by acute nicotine. These findings indicate a role for nicotinic receptors in disordered mood.Biological psychology 09/2013; · 4.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Despite a number of medicinally important pharmacological effects, the therapeutic use of psychostimulants is limited because of abuse potential and psychosis following long term use. Development of pharmacological agents for improving and extending therapeutic use of psychostimulants in narcolepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Parkinson's disease, obesity and as cognitive enhancer is an important research imperative. In this regard, one potential target system is the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin) neurotransmitter system. The focus of the present article is to evaluate a potential role of 5-HT-1A receptor in the alleviation of abuse potential and psychosis-induced by prescription psychostimulants amphetamines and apomorphine. Synaptic contacts between dopamine systems and 5-HT-1A receptors are traced. Studies on serotonin-1A influences on the modulation of dopamine neurotransmission and psychostimulant-induced behavioral sensitization are accumulated. Inhibition of amphetamine and apomorphine-induced behavioral sensitization by co administration of 5-HT-1A agonists cannot be explained in terms of direct activation of 5-HT-1A receptors, because activation of pre as well as postsynaptic 5-HT-1A receptors tend to increase dopamine neurotransmission. Long term use of amphetamine and apomorphine produces adaptive changes in 5-HT-1A receptor mediated functions, which are prevented by the co-use of 5-HT-1A agonists. In view of extending medicinal use of psychostimulants, it is important to evaluate the effects of co-use of 5-HT-1A agonists on potential therapeutic profile of amphetamine and apomorphine in preclinical research. It is also important to evaluate the functional significance of 5-HT-1A receptors on psychostimulant-induced behaviors in other addiction models such as drug self-administration and reinstatement of drug seeking behavior.Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 07/2013; · 3.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Specific modulation of serotonin 5-HT2C G protein-coupled receptors may be therapeutic for obesity and neuropsychiatric disorders. The different efficacy of drugs targeting these receptors are due to the presence of genetic variants in population and this variability is still hard to predict. Therefore, in order to administer the more suitable drug, taking into account patient genotype, it is necessary to know the molecular effects of its gene nucleotide variations. In this work, starting from an accurate 3D model of 5-HT2C, we focus on the prediction of the possible effect of some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) producing amino acidic changes in proximity of the 5-HT2C ligand binding site. Particularly we chose a set of 5-HT2C inverse agonists and antagonists which have high inhibitory activity. After prediction of the structures of the receptor-ligand complexes using molecular docking tools, we performed full atom molecular dynamics simulations in explicit lipid bilayer monitoring the interactions between ligands and trans-membrane helices of the receptor, trying to infer relations with their biological activity. Serotonin, as the natural ligand was chosen as reference compound to advance a hypothesis able to explain the receptor inhibition mechanism. Indeed we observed a different behavior between the antagonists and inverse agonist with respect to serotonin or unbounded receptor, which could be responsible, even if not directly, of receptor's inactivation. Furthermore, we analyzed five aminoacidic variants of 5HT2C receptor observing alterations in the interactions between ligands and receptor which give rise to changes of free energy values for every complex considered.Journal of Molecular Modeling 03/2014; 20(3):2120. · 1.98 Impact Factor