Article

Evidence for elevated nicotine-induced structural plasticity in nucleus accumbens of adolescent rats.

Department of Psychology, George Mason University, MS 3F5, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA.
Brain Research (Impact Factor: 2.83). 07/2007; 1151:211-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.03.019
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Male Long-Evans rats were administered nicotine bitartrate or sodium tartrate either during adolescence (p29-43) or adulthood (p80-94). Route of administration was via subcutaneously implanted osmotic pump (initial dose 2.0 mg/kg/day, free base). Five weeks following nicotine administration, brains were processed for Golgi-Cox staining. Medium spiny neurons from nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell were digitally reconstructed for morphometric analysis. Total dendritic length and branch number were greater in medium spiny neurons from animals pretreated with nicotine during adolescence. A branch order analysis indicated that increased branch number was specific to higher order branches. Mean branch lengths did not differ with respect to treatment as a function of branch order. Thus, nicotine-induced increases in total dendritic length were a function of greater numbers of branches, not increased segment length. In contrast, adult nicotine exposure did not significantly alter total dendritic length or branch number of medium spiny neurons. Total dendritic length and branch number of a second morphological type, the large aspiny neuron, did not differ following either adolescent or adult pretreatment. The age-dependent alteration of accumbal structure was associated with qualitatively different behavioral responses to drug challenge. These data provide evidence that drug-induced structural plasticity in nucleus accumbens is considerably more pronounced during adolescence.

0 Followers
 · 
75 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Experimentally naïve outbred rats display varying rates of locomotor reactivity in response to the mild stress of a novel environment. Namely, some display high rates (HR) whereas some display low rates (LR) of locomotor reactivity. Previous reports from our laboratory show that HRs, but not LRs, develop locomotor sensitization to a low dose nicotine challenge and exhibit increased social anxiety-like behavior following chronic intermittent nicotine training. Moreover, the hippocampus, specifically hippocampal Y2 receptor (Y2R)-mediated neuropeptide Y signaling is implicated in these nicotine-induced behavioral effects observed in HRs. The present study examines the structural substrates of the expression of locomotor sensitization to a low dose nicotine challenge and associated social anxiety-like behavior following chronic intermittent nicotine exposure during adolescence in the LRHR hippocampi. Our data showed that the expression of locomotor sensitization to the low dose nicotine challenge and the increase in social anxiety-like behavior were accompanied by an increase in mossy fiber terminal field size, as well as an increase in spinophilin mRNA levels in the hippocampus in nicotine pre-trained HRs compared to saline pre-trained controls. Furthermore, a novel, selective Y2R antagonist administered systemically during 1 wk of abstinence reversed the behavioral, molecular and neuromorphological effects observed in nicotine-exposed HRs. These results suggest that nicotine-induced neuroplasticity within the hippocampus may regulate abstinence-related negative affect in HRs, and implicate hippocampal Y2R in vulnerability to the behavioral and neuroplastic effects of nicotine in the novelty-seeking phenotype.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 08/2014; 125. DOI:10.1016/j.pbb.2014.08.004 · 2.82 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chronic nicotine exposure during adolescence induces dendritic remodeling of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) shell. While nicotine-induced dendritic remodeling has frequently been described as persistent, the trajectory of dendrite remodeling is unknown. Specifically, no study to date has characterized the structural plasticity of dendrites in the NAcc immediately following chronic nicotine, leaving open the possibility that dendrite remodeling emerges gradually over time. Further, the neuropharmacological mechanisms through which nicotine induces dendrite remodeling are not well understood. To address these questions, rats were co-administered chronic nicotine (0.5 mg/kg) and the D1-dopamine receptor (D1DR) antagonist SCH-23390 (0.05 mg/kg) subcutaneously every other day during adolescence. Brains were then processed for Golgi-Cox staining either 1 day or 21 days following drug exposure and dendrites from MSNs in the NAcc shell digitally reconstructed in 3D. Spine density was also measured at both time points. Our morphometric results show (1) the formation of new dendritic branches and spines 1 day following nicotine exposure, (2) new dendritic branches, but not spine density, remains relatively stable for at least 21 days, (3) the co-administration of SCH-23390 completely blocked nicotine-induced dendritic remodeling of MSNs at both early and late time points, suggesting the formation of new dendritic branches in response to nicotine is D1DR-dependent, and (4) SCH-23390 failed to block nicotine-induced increases in spine density. Overall this study provides new insight into how nicotine influences the normal trajectory of adolescent brain development and demonstrates a persistent form of nicotine-induced neuroplasticity in the NAcc shell that develops rapidly and is D1DR dependent.
    Brain Structure and Function 09/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00429-014-0897-3 · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Source