Dysregulation of nociceptin/orphanin FQ activity in the amygdala is linked to excessive alcohol drinking in the rat.
ABSTRACT Alcoholism is a complex behavioral disorder in which interactions between stressful life events and heritable susceptibility factors contribute to the initiation and progression of disease. Neural substrates of these interactions remain largely unknown. Here, we examined the role of the nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) system, with an animal model in which genetic selection for high alcohol preference has led to co-segregation of elevated behavioral sensitivity to stress (Marchigian Sardinian alcohol-preferring [msP]).
The msP and Wistar rats trained to self-administer alcohol received central injections of N/OFQ. In situ hybridization and receptor binding assays were also performed to evaluate N/OFQ receptor (NOP) function in naïve msP and Wistar rats.
Intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of N/OFQ significantly inhibited alcohol self-administration in msP but not in nonselected Wistar rats. The NOP receptor messenger RNA expression and binding was upregulated across most brain regions in msP compared with Wistar rats. However, in msP rats [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding revealed a selective impairment of NOP receptor signaling in the central amygdala (CeA). Ethanol self-administration in msP rats was suppressed after N/OFQ microinjection into the CeA but not into the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis or the basolateral amygdala.
These findings indicate that dysregulation of N/OFQ-NOP receptor signaling in the CeA contributes to excessive alcohol intake in msP rats and that this phenotype can be rescued by local administration of pharmacological doses of exogenous N/OFQ. Data are interpreted on the basis of the anti-corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) actions of N/OFQ and the significance of the CRF system in promoting excessive alcohol drinking in msP rats.
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ABSTRACT: Emotions are "feeling" states and classic physiological emotive responses that are interpreted based on the history of the organism and the context. Motivation is a persistent state that leads to organized activity. Both are intervening variables and intimately related and have neural representations in the brain. The present thesis is that drugs of abuse elicit powerful emotions that can be interwoven conceptually into this framework. Such emotions range from pronounced euphoria to a devastating negative emotional state that in the extreme can create a break with homeostasis and thus an allostatic hedonic state that has been considered key to the etiology and maintenance of the pathophysiology of addiction. Drug addiction can be defined as a three-stage cycle-binge/intoxication, withdrawal/negative affect, and preoccupation/anticipation-that involves allostatic changes in the brain reward and stress systems. Two primary sources of reinforcement, positive and negative reinforcement, have been hypothesized to play a role in this allostatic process. The negative emotional state that drives negative reinforcement is hypothesized to derive from dysregulation of key neurochemical elements involved in the brain incentive salience and stress systems. Specific neurochemical elements in these structures include not only decreases in incentive salience system function in the ventral striatum (within-system opponent processes) but also recruitment of the brain stress systems mediated by corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), dynorphin-κ opioid systems, and norepinephrine, vasopressin, hypocretin, and substance P in the extended amygdala (between-system opponent processes). Neuropeptide Y, a powerful anti-stress neurotransmitter, has a profile of action on compulsive-like responding for drugs similar to a CRF1 antagonist. Other stress buffers include nociceptin and endocannabinoids, which may also work through interactions with the extended amygdala. The thesis argued here is that the brain has specific neurochemical neurocircuitry coded by the hedonic extremes of pleasant and unpleasant emotions that have been identified through the study of opponent processes in the domain of addiction. These neurochemical systems need to be considered in the context of the framework that emotions involve the specific brain regions now identified as differentially interpreting emotive physiological expression. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.European Journal of Pharmacology 01/2015; 753. DOI:10.1016/j.ejphar.2014.11.044 · 2.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This article summarizes the proceedings of a symposium held at the conference on "Alcoholism and Stress: A Framework for Future Treatment Strategies" in Volterra, Italy, May 6-9, 2008. Chaired by Markus Heilig and Roberto Ciccocioppo, this symposium offered a forum for the presentation of recent data linking neuropetidergic neurotransmission to the regulation of different alcohol-related behaviors in animals and in humans. Dr. Donald Gehlert described the development of a new corticotrophin-releasing factor receptor 1 antagonist and showed its efficacy in reducing alcohol consumption and stress-induced relapse in different animal models of alcohol abuse. Dr. Andrey Ryabinin reviewed recent findings in his laboratory, indicating a role of the urocortin 1 receptor system in the regulation of alcohol intake. Dr. Annika Thorsell showed data supporting the significance of the neuropeptide Y receptor system in the modulation of behaviors associated with a history of ethanol intoxication. Dr. Roberto Ciccocioppo focused his presentation on the nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) receptors as treatment targets for alcoholism. Finally, Dr. Markus Heilig showed recent preclinical and clinical evidence suggesting that neurokinin 1 antagonism may represent a promising new treatment for alcoholism. Collectively, these investigators highlighted the significance of neuropeptidergic neurotransmission in the regulation of neurobiological mechanisms of alcohol addiction. Data also revealed the importance of these systems as treatment targets for the development of new medication for alcoholism.Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.) 11/2009; 43(7):491-8. DOI:10.1016/j.alcohol.2009.08.003 · 2.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Alcohol consumption is an integral part of daily life in many societies. The benefits associated with the production, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages come at an enormous cost to these societies. The World Health Organization ranks alcohol as one of the primary causes of the global burden of disease in industrialized countries. Alcohol-related diseases, especially alcoholism, are the result of cumulative responses to alcohol exposure, the genetic make-up of an individual, and the environmental perturbations over time. This complex gene x environment interaction, which has to be seen in a life-span perspective, leads to a large heterogeneity among alcohol-dependent patients, in terms of both the symptom dimensions and the severity of this disorder. Therefore, a reductionistic approach is not very practical if a better understanding of the pathological processes leading to an addictive behavior is to be achieved. Instead, a systems-oriented perspective in which the interactions and dynamics of all endogenous and environmental factors involved are centrally integrated, will lead to further progress in alcohol research. This review adheres to a systems biology perspective such that the interaction of alcohol with primary and secondary targets within the brain is described in relation to the behavioral consequences. As a result of the interaction of alcohol with these targets, alterations in gene expression and synaptic plasticity take place that lead to long-lasting alteration in neuronal network activity. As a subsequent consequence, alcohol-seeking responses ensue that can finally lead via complex environmental interactions to an addictive behavior.Physiological Reviews 05/2009; 89(2):649-705. DOI:10.1152/physrev.00013.2008 · 29.04 Impact Factor