GDNF is a fast-acting potent inhibitor of alcohol consumption and relapse.
ABSTRACT Previously, we demonstrated that the action of the natural alkaloid, ibogaine, to reduce alcohol (ethanol) consumption is mediated by the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Here we set out to test the actions of GDNF in the VTA on ethanol-drinking behaviors. We found that GDNF infusion very rapidly and dose-dependently reduced rat ethanol, but not sucrose, operant self-administration. A GDNF-mediated decrease in ethanol consumption was also observed in rats with a history of high voluntary ethanol intake. We found that the action of GDNF on ethanol consumption was specific to the VTA as infusion of the growth factor into the neighboring substantia nigra did not affect operant responses for ethanol. We further show that intra-VTA GDNF administration rapidly activated the MAPK signaling pathway in the VTA and that inhibition of the MAPK pathway in the VTA blocked the reduction of ethanol self-administration by GDNF. Importantly, we demonstrate that GDNF infused into the VTA alters rats' responses in a model of relapse. Specifically, GDNF application blocked reacquisition of ethanol self-administration after extinction. Together, these results suggest that GDNF, via activation of the MAPK pathway, is a fast-acting selective agent to reduce the motivation to consume and seek alcohol.
SourceAvailable from: William A Truitt[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Ethanol and nicotine are frequently co-abused. The biological basis for the high co-morbidity rate is not known. Alcohol-preferring (P) rats will self-administer EtOH or nicotine directly into the posterior ventral tegmental area (pVTA). The current experiments examined whether sub-threshold concentrations of EtOH and nicotine would support the development of self-administration behaviors if the drugs were combined. Rats were implanted with a guide cannula aimed at the pVTA. Rats were randomly assigned to groups that self-administered sub-threshold concentrations of EtOH (50 mg%) or nicotine (1 mu M) or combinations of ethanol (25 or 50 mg%) and nicotine (0.5 or 1.0 mu M). Alterations in gene expression downstream projections areas (nucleus accumbens shell, AcbSh) were assessed following a single, acute exposure to EtOH (50 mg%), nicotine (1 mu M), or ethanol and nicotine (50 mg% + 1 mu M) directly into the pVTA. The results indicated that P rats would co-administer EtOH and nicotine directly into the pVTA at concentrations that did not support individual self-administration. EtOH and nicotine directly administered into the pVTA resulted in alterations in gene expression in the AcbSh (50.8-fold increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), 2.4-fold decrease in glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), 10.3-fold increase in vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (Vglut1)) that were not observed following microinjections of equivalent concentrations/doses of ethanol or nicotine. The data indicate that ethanol and nicotine act synergistically to produce reinforcement and alter gene expression within the mesolimbic dopamine system. The high rate of co-morbidity of alcoholism and nicotine dependence could be the result of the interactions of EtOH and nicotine within the mesolimbic dopamine system.Psychopharmacology 08/2014; 232(3). DOI:10.1007/s00213-014-3702-3 · 3.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Studies have implicated neuroinflammatory processes in the pathophysiology of various psychiatric conditions, including addictive disorders. Neuroimmune signaling represents an important and relatively poorly understood biological process in drug addiction. The objective of this review is to update the field on recent developments in neuroimmune therapies for addiction. First, we review studies of neuroinflammation in relation to alcohol and methamphetamine dependence followed by a section on neuroinflammation and accompanying neurocognitive dysfunction in HIV infection and concomitant substance abuse. Second, we provide a review of pharmacotherapies with neuroimmune properties and their potential development for the treatment of addictions. Pharmacotherapies covered in this review include ibudilast, minocycline, doxycycline, topiramate, indomethacin, rolipram, anakinra (IL-1Ra), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonists, naltrexone, and naloxone. Lastly, summary and future directions are provided with recommendations for how to efficiently translate preclinical findings into clinical studies that can ultimately lead to novel and more effective pharmacotherapies for addiction.International Review of Neurobiology 01/2014; 118C:381-401. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-801284-0.00012-9 · 2.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Prenatal alcohol exposure can lead to long-lasting changes in functional and genetic programs of the brain, which may underlie behavioral alterations seen in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Aberrant fetal programming during gestational alcohol exposure is a possible mechanism by which alcohol imparts teratogenic effects on the brain; however, current methods used to investigate the effects of alcohol on development often rely on either direct application of alcohol in vitro or acute high doses in vivo. In this study, we used our established moderate prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) model, resulting in maternal blood alcohol content of approximately 20 mM, and subsequent ex vivo cell culture to assess expression of genes related to neurogenesis. Proliferating and differentiating neural progenitor cell culture conditions were established from telencephalic tissue derived from embryonic day (E) 15–17 tissue exposed to alcohol via maternal drinking throughout pregnancy. Gene expression analysis on mRNA derived in vitro was performed using a microarray, and quantitative PCR was conducted for genes to validate the microarray. Student’s t tests were performed for statistical comparison of each exposure under each culture condition using a 95% confidence interval. Eleven percent of genes on the array had significantly altered mRNA expression in the prenatal alcohol-exposed neural progenitor culture under proliferating conditions. These include reduced expression of Adora2a, Cxcl1, Dlg4, Hes1, Nptx1, and Vegfa and increased expression of Fgf13, Ndn, and Sox3; bioinformatics analysis indicated that these genes are involved in cell growth and proliferation. Decreased levels of Dnmt1 and Dnmt3a were also found under proliferating conditions. Under differentiating conditions, 7.3% of genes had decreased mRNA expression; these include Cdk5rap3, Gdnf, Hey2, Heyl, Pard6b, and Ptn, which are associated with survival and differentiation as indicated by bioinformatics analysis. This study is the first to use chronic low to moderate PAE, to more accurately reflect maternal alcohol consumption, and subsequent neural progenitor cell culture to demonstrate that PAE throughout gestation alters expression of genes involved in neural development and embryonic neurogenesis.Alcohol 08/2014; 48(5). DOI:10.1016/j.alcohol.2014.06.001 · 2.04 Impact Factor