Effects of chronic oral methylphenidate on cocaine self-administration and striatal dopamine D2 receptors in rodents.
ABSTRACT Methylphenidate (MP) and amphetamine, which are the mainstay for the treatment of ADHD, have raised concerns because of their reinforcing effects and the fear that their chronic use during childhood or adolescence could induce changes in the brain that could facilitate drug abuse in adulthood.
Here we measured the effects of chronic treatment (8 months) with oral MP (1 or 2 mg/kg), which was initiated in periadolescent rats (postnatal day 30). Following this treatment, rats were tested on cocaine self-administration. In addition at 2 and 8 months of treatment we measured dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) availability in the striatum using [(11)C]raclopride microPET (microPET) imaging.
Animals treated for 8 months with 2 mg/kg of MP showed significantly reduced rates of cocaine self-administration at adulthood than vehicle treated rats. D2R availability in the striatum was significantly lower in rats after 2 months of treatment with MP (1 and 2 mg/kg) but significantly higher after 8 months of MP treatment than in the vehicle treated rats. In vehicle treated rats D2R availability decreased with age whereas it increased in rats treated with MP. Because low D2R levels in the striatum are associated with a propensity for self-administration of drugs both in laboratory animals and in humans, this effect could underlie the lower rates of cocaine self-administration observed in the rats given 8 months of treatment with MP.
Eight month treatment with oral MP beginning in adolescence decreased cocaine-self administration (1 mg/kg) during adulthood which could reflect the increases in D2R availability observed at this life stage since D2R increases are associated with reduced propensity for cocaine self administration. In contrast, two month treatment with MP started also at adolescence decreased D2R availability, which could raise concern that at this life stage short treatments could possibly increase vulnerability to drug abuse during adulthood. These findings indicate that MP effects on D2R expression in the striatum are sensitive not only to length of treatment but also to the developmental stage at which treatment is given. Future studies evaluating the effects of different lengths of treatment on drug self-administration are required to assess optimal duration of treatment regimes to minimize adverse effects on the propensity for drug self administration.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Panayotis Thanos, Jul 05, 2015
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ABSTRACT: Rearing young rodents in socially isolated or environmentally enriched conditions has been shown to affect numerous components of the dopamine system as well as behavior. Methylphenidate (MPH), a commonly used dopaminergic agent, may affect animals differently based on rearing environment. Here we examined the interaction between environment and chronic MPH treatment at clinically relevant doses, administered via osmotic minipump. Young Sprague Dawley rats (PND 21) were assigned to environmentally enriched, pair-housed, or socially isolated rearing conditions, and treated with either 0, 2, 4, or 8mg/kg/day MPH for three weeks. At the end of the treatment period, animals were tested for locomotor activity and anxiety-like behavior. The densities of D1-like and D2-like receptors were measured in the striatum using in vitro receptor autoradiography. Locomotor activity and anxiety-like behavior were increased in isolated animals compared to pair-housed and enriched animals. The density of D1-like receptors was greater in isolated animals, but there were no differences between groups in D2-like receptor density. Finally, there were no effects of MPH administration on any reported measure. This study provides evidence for an effect of early rearing environment on the dopamine system and behavior, and also suggests that MPH administration may not have long-term consequences.Brain research 06/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2013.06.021 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Until very recently addiction-research was limited by existing tools and strategies that were inadequate for studying the inherent complexity at each of the different phenomenological levels. However, powerful new tools (e.g., optogenetics and designer drug receptors) and high throughput protocols are starting to give researchers the potential to systematically interrogate "all" genes, epigenetic marks, and neuronal circuits. These advances, combined with imaging technologies (both for preclinical and clinical studies) and a paradigm shift towards open access have spurred an unlimited growth of datasets transforming the way we investigate the neurobiology of substance use disorders (SUD) and the factors that modulate risk and resilience.Neuropharmacology 05/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2013.05.007 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have higher rates of smoking than adolescents without ADHD. Since methylphenidate is the primary drug used to treat ADHD, it is likely that many adolescents are exposed to both methylphenidate and nicotine. Recent studies have established that adolescent nicotine induces long-term changes in several neurobehavioral variables. Limited data also suggest that adolescent methylphenidate may affect neural development. Nicotine tolerance is a well-established behavioral phenomenon in rodents, yet the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Recent theories suggest that changes in ventral striatal dopamine indices may relate to nicotine tolerance. As an initial determination of whether nicotine and methylphenidate have additive effects on neurobehavioral development, the present study investigated the combined effects of adolescent nicotine [2mg/kg/d] alone or in conjunction with methylphenidate [1.5mg/kg, 2X daily] following a one-month drug free period on adult behavioral tolerance to nicotine [0.5mg/kgs.c.] and its relation to dopamine receptor mRNA expression in the ventral striatum. Animals with chronic combined (nicotine+methylphenidate) adolescent exposure displayed stronger tolerance as adults to the nicotine-induced locomotor effects in comparison to animals with adolescent exposure to nicotine alone, methylphenidate alone, or controls. Combined chronic adolescent exposure significantly elevated adult D3nf mRNA expression levels in the nucleus accumbens, however a single nicotine injection in adults increased D3nf mRNA levels in naïve animals and decreased D3nf mRNA levels in those that had been previously exposed to combined stimulants during adolescence. Conversely, a single adult nicotine injection increased D1 mRNA levels in the adult nucleus accumbens, particularly in the shell, but only in rats previously exposed to nicotine or methylphenidate as adolescents. To our knowledge this is the first study that has shown long-term behavioral and neurochemical changes stemming from low chronic exposure of these two commonly co-consumed stimulants during adolescence.Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 12/2012; 103(4). DOI:10.1016/j.pbb.2012.12.005 · 2.82 Impact Factor