Breaking Barriers in the Genomics and Pharmacogenetics of Drug Addiction

Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Clinical Pharmacology &#38 Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 7.39). 10/2010; 88(6):779-91. DOI: 10.1038/clpt.2010.175
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Drug addiction remains a substantial health issue with limited treatment options currently available. Despite considerable advances in the understanding of human genetic architecture, the genetic underpinning of complex disorders remains elusive. On the basis of our current understanding of neurobiology, numerous candidate genes have been implicated in the etiology and response to treatment for different addictions. Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have also identified novel targets. However, replication of these studies is often lacking, and this complicates interpretation. The situation is expected to improve as issues such as phenotypic characterization, the apparent "missing heritability," the identification of functional variants, and possible gene-environment (G × E) interactions are addressed. In addition, there is growing evidence that genetic information can be useful in refining the choice of addiction treatment. As genetic testing becomes more common in the practice of medicine, a variety of ethical and practical challenges, some of which are unique to drug addiction, will also need to be considered.

Download full-text


Available from: Jaakko Kaprio, Sep 14, 2014
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Drug liking versus drug disliking is a subjective motivational measure in humans that assesses the addiction liability of drugs. Variation in this trait is hypothesized to influence vulnerability versus resilience toward substance abuse disorders and likely contains a genetic component. In rodents and humans, conditioned place preference (CPP) / aversion (CPA) is a Pavlovian conditioning paradigm whereby a learned preference for the drug-paired environment is used to infer drug liking whereas a learned avoidance or aversion is used to infer drug disliking. C57BL/6 inbred mouse substrains are nearly genetically identical, yet demonstrate robust differences in addiction-relevant behaviors, including locomotor sensitization to cocaine and consumption of ethanol. Here, we tested the hypothesis that B6 substrains would demonstrate differences in the rewarding properties of the mu opioid receptor agonist oxycodone (5 mg/kg, i.p.) and the aversive properties of the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone (4 mg/kg, i.p.). Both substrains showed similar degrees of oxycodone-induced CPP; however, there was a three-fold enhancement of naloxone-induced CPA in agonist-naïve C57BL/6J relative to C57Bl/6NJ mice. Exploratory factor analysis of CPP and CPA identified unique factors that explain variance in behavioral expression of reward versus aversion. “Conditioned Opioid-Like Behavior” was a reward-based factor whereby drug-free locomotor variables resembling opioid treatment co-varied with the degree of CPP. “Avoidance and Freezing” was an aversion-based factor, whereby the increase in the number of freezing bouts co-varied with the degree of aversion. These results provide new insight into the behavioral architecture of the motivational properties of opioids. Future studies will use quantitative trait locus mapping in B6 substrains to identify novel genetic factors that contribute to the marked strain difference in NAL-CPA.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 12/2014; accepted. DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00450 · 4.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The rewarding property of opioids likely contributes to their abuse potential. Therefore, determining the genetic basis of opioid reward could aid in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of opioid addiction, provided that it is a heritable trait. Here, we characterized the rewarding property of the widely abused prescription opioid oxycodone (OXY) in the conditioned place preference (CPP) assay using LG/J and SM/J parental inbred mouse strains and 17 parent-offspring families of a LG/J × SM/J F(47) /F(48) advanced intercross line (AIL). Following OXY training (5 mg/kg, i.p.), SM/J mice and AIL mice, but not LG/J mice, showed an increase in preference for the OXY-paired side, suggesting a genetic basis for OXY-CPP. SM/J mice showed greater locomotor activity than LG/J mice in response to both saline and OXY. LG/J, SM/J, and AIL mice all exhibited robust OXY-induced locomotor sensitization. Narrow-sense heritability (h(2) ) estimates of the phenotypes using linear regression and maximum likelihood estimation showed good agreement (r = 0.91). OXY-CPP was clearly not a heritable trait whereas drug-free- and OXY-induced locomotor activity and sensitization were significantly and sometimes highly heritable (h(2)  = 0.30-0.84). Interestingly, the number of transitions between the saline- and OXY-paired sides emerged as a reliably heritable trait following OXY training (h(2)  = 0.46-0.66) and could represent a genetic component of drug-seeking behavior. Thus, although OXY-CPP does not appear to be amenable to genome-wide quantitative trait locus mapping, this protocol will be useful for mapping other traits potentially relevant to opioid abuse.
    Addiction Biology 12/2012; DOI:10.1111/adb.12016 · 5.93 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The conditioned place preference (CPP) test is frequently used to evaluate the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse in mice. Despite its widespread use in transgenic and knockout experiments, there are few forward genetic studies using CPP to identify novel genes contributing to drug reward. In this study, we tested LG/J and SM/J inbred strains and the parents/offspring of 10 families of an F(45)/F(46) advanced intercross line (AIL) for methamphetamine-induced CPP (MA-CPP) once per week over 2 weeks. Both LG/J and SM/J mice exhibited significant MA-CPP that was not significantly different between the two strains. Furthermore, LG/J mice showed significantly less acute MA-induced locomotor activity as well as locomotor sensitization following subsequent MA injections. AIL mice (N = 105) segregating LG/J and SM/J alleles also demonstrated significant MA-CPP that was equal in magnitude between the first and second week of training. Importantly, MA-CPP in AIL mice did not correlate with drug-free or MA-induced locomotor activity, indicating that MA-CPP was not confounded by test session activity and implying that MA-CPP is genetically distinct from acute psychomotor sensitivity. We estimated the heritability of MA-CPP and locomotor phenotypes using midparent-offspring regression and maximum likelihood estimates derived from the kinship coefficients of the AIL pedigree. Heritability estimates of MA-CPP were low (0-0.21) and variable (SE = 0-0.33) which reflected our poor power to estimate heritability using only 10 midparent-offspring observations. In sum, we established a short-term protocol for MA-CPP in AIL mice that could reveal LG/J and SM/J alleles important for MA reward. The use of highly recombinant genetic populations like AIL should facilitate the identification of these genes and may have implications for understanding psychostimulant abuse in humans.
    Frontiers in Genetics 07/2012; 3:126. DOI:10.3389/fgene.2012.00126