Michael T McCoy

National Institute on Drug Abuse, Maryland, United States

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Publications (34)139.05 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In a rat model of drug craving and relapse, cue-induced drug seeking progressively increases after withdrawal from methamphetamine and other drugs, a phenomenon termed 'incubation of drug craving'. However, current experimental procedures used to study incubation of drug craving do not incorporate negative consequences of drug use, which is a common factor promoting abstinence in humans. Here, we studied whether incubation of methamphetamine craving is observed after suppression of drug seeking by adverse consequences (punishment). We trained rats to self-administer methamphetamine or palatable food for 9-h per day for 14 days; reward delivery was paired with a tone-light cue. Subsequently, for one group within each reward type, 50% of the lever-presses were punished by mild footshock for 9-10 days, while for the other group lever-presses were not punished. Shock intensity was gradually increased over time. Next, we assessed cue-induced reward seeking in 1-h extinction sessions on withdrawal days 2 and 21. Response-contingent punishment suppressed extended-access methamphetamine or food self-administration; surprisingly, food-trained rats showed greater resistance to punishment than methamphetamine-trained rats. During the relapse tests, both punished and unpunished methamphetamine- and food-trained rats showed significantly higher cue-induced reward seeking on withdrawal day 21 than on day 2. These results demonstrate that incubation of both methamphetamine and food craving occur after punishment-induced suppression of methamphetamine or palatable food self-administration. Our procedure can be used to investigate mechanisms of relapse to drug and palatable food seeking under conditions that more closely approximate the human condition.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 3 March 2014; doi:10.1038/npp.2014.50.
    Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 03/2014; · 8.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine (METH) is a widely abused amphetamine analog. Few studies have investigated the molecular effects of METH exposure in adult animals. Herein, we determined the consequences of an injection of METH (10 mg/kg) on transcriptional effects of a second METH (2.5 mg/kg) injection given one month later. We thus measured gene expression by microarray analyses in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of 4 groups of rats euthanized 2 hours after the second injection: saline-pretreated followed by saline-challenged (SS) or METH-challenged (SM); and METH-pretreated followed by saline-challenged (MS) or METH-challenged (MM). Microarray analyses revealed that METH (2.5 mg/kg) produced acute changes (1.8-fold; P<0.01) in the expression of 412 (352 upregulated, 60 down-regulated) transcripts including cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript, corticotropin-releasing hormone (Crh), oxytocin (Oxt), and vasopressin (Avp) that were upregulated. Injection of METH (10 mg/kg) altered the expression of 503 (338 upregulated, 165 down-regulated) transcripts measured one month later (MS group). These genes also included Cart and Crh. The MM group showed altered expression of 766 (565 upregulated, 201 down-regulated) transcripts including Avp, Cart, and Crh. The METH-induced increased Crh expression was enhanced in the MM group in comparison to SM and MS groups. Quantitative PCR confirmed the METH-induced changes in mRNA levels. Therefore, a single injection of METH produced long-lasting changes in gene expression in the rodent NAc. The long-term increases in Crh, Cart, and Avp mRNA expression suggest that METH exposure produced prolonged activation of the endogenous stress system. The METH-induced changes in oxytocin expression also suggest the possibility that this neuropeptide might play a significant role in the neuroplastic and affiliative effects of this drug.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e84665. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic methamphetamine (METH) exposure causes neuroadaptations at glutamatergic synapses. To identify the METH-induced epigenetic underpinnings of these neuroadaptations, we injected increasing METH doses to rats for 2 weeks and measured striatal glutamate receptor expression. We then quantified the effects of METH exposure on histone acetylation. We also measured METH-induced changes in DNA methylation and DNA hydroxymethylation. Chronic METH decreased transcript and protein expression of GluA1 and GluA2 alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) and GluN1 N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits. These changes were associated with altered electrophysiological glutamatergic responses in striatal neurons. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-polymerase chain reaction revealed that METH decreased enrichment of acetylated histone H4 on GluA1, GluA2, and GluN1 promoters. Methamphetamine exposure also increased repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) corepressor 1, methylated CpG binding protein 2, and histone deacetylase 2 enrichment, but not of sirtuin 1 or sirtuin 2, onto GluA1 and GluA2 gene sequences. Moreover, METH caused interactions of REST corepressor 1 and methylated CpG binding protein 2 with histone deacetylase 2 and of REST with histone deacetylase 1. Surprisingly, methylated DNA immunoprecipitation and hydroxymethylated DNA immunoprecipitation-polymerase chain reaction revealed METH-induced decreased enrichment of 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine at GluA1 and GluA2 promoter sequences. Importantly, the histone deacetylase inhibitor, valproic acid, blocked METH-induced decreased expression of AMPAR and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits. Finally, valproic acid also attenuated METH-induced decrease H4K16Ac recruitment on AMPAR gene sequences. These observations suggest that histone H4 hypoacetylation may be the main determinant of METH-induced decreased striatal glutamate receptor expression.
    Biological psychiatry 10/2013; · 8.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: METH is an illicit drug of abuse that influences gene expression in the rat striatum. Histone modifications regulate gene transcription. We therefore used microarray analysis and genome-scale approaches to examine potential relationships between the effects of METH on gene expression and on DNA binding of histone H4 acetylated at lysine 4 (H4K5Ac) in the rat dorsal striatum of METH-naive and METH-pretreated rats. Acute and chronic METH administration caused differential changes in striatal gene expression. METH also increased H4K5Ac binding around the transcriptional start sites (TSSs) of genes in the rat striatum. In order to relate gene expression to histone acetylation, we binned genes of similar expression into groups of 100 genes and proceeded to relate gene expression to H4K5Ac binding. We found a positive correlation between gene expression and H4K5Ac binding in the striatum of control rats. Similar correlations were observed in METH-treated rats. Genes that showed acute METH-induced increased expression in saline-pretreated rats also showed METH-induced increased H4K5Ac binding. The acute METH injection caused similar increases in H4K5Ac binding in METH-pretreated rats, without affecting gene expression to the same degree. Finally, genes that showed METH-induced decreased expression exhibited either decreases or no changes in H4K5Ac binding. Acute METH injections caused increased gene expression of genes that showed increased H4K5Ac binding near their transcription start sites.
    BMC Genomics 08/2013; 14(1):545. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroplastic changes in dorsal striatum participate in the transition from casual to habitual drug use and might play a critical role in the development of methamphetamine (METH) addiction. We examined the influence of METH self-administration on gene and protein expression that may form substrates for METH-induced neuronal plasticity in the dorsal striatum. Male Sprague-Dawley rats self-administered METH (0.1mg/kg/injection, i.v.) or received yoked saline infusions during eight 15-h sessions and were euthanized 2h, 24h, or 1month after cessation of METH exposure. Changes in gene and protein expression were assessed using microarray analysis, RT-PCR and Western blots. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) followed by PCR was used to examine epigenetic regulation of METH-induced transcription. METH self-administration caused increases in mRNA expression of the transcription factors, c-fos and fosb, the neurotrophic factor, Bdnf, and the synaptic protein, synaptophysin (Syp) in the dorsal striatum. METH also caused changes in ΔFosB, BDNF and TrkB protein levels, with increases after 2 and 24h, but decreases after 1month of drug abstinence. Importantly, ChIP-PCR showed that METH self-administration caused enrichment of phosphorylated CREB (pCREB), but not of histone H3 trimethylated at lysine 4 (H3K4me3), on promoters of c-fos, fosb, Bdnf and Syp at 2h after cessation of drug intake. These findings show that METH-induced changes in gene expression are mediated, in part, by pCREB-dependent epigenetic phenomena. Thus, METH self-administration might trigger epigenetic changes that mediate alterations in expression of genes and proteins serving as substrates for addiction-related synaptic plasticity.
    Neurobiology of Disease 05/2013; · 5.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine (METH) addiction is associated with several neuropsychiatric symptoms. Little is known about the effects of METH on gene expression and epigenetic modifications in the rat nucleus accumbens (NAC). Our study investigated the effects of a non-toxic METH injection (20 mg/kg) on gene expression, histone acetylation, and the expression of the histone acetyltransferase (HAT), ATF2, and of the histone deacetylases (HDACs), HDAC1 and HDAC2, in that structure. Microarray analyses done at 1, 8, 16 and 24 hrs after the METH injection identified METH-induced changes in the expression of genes previously implicated in the acute and longterm effects of psychostimulants, including immediate early genes and corticotropin-releasing factor (Crf). In contrast, the METH injection caused time-dependent decreases in the expression of other genes including Npas4 and cholecystokinin (Cck). Pathway analyses showed that genes with altered expression participated in behavioral performance, cell-to-cell signaling, and regulation of gene expression. PCR analyses confirmed the changes in the expression of c-fos, fosB, Crf, Cck, and Npas4 transcripts. To determine if the METH injection caused post-translational changes in histone markers, we used western blot analyses and identified METH-mediated decreases in histone H3 acetylated at lysine 9 (H3K9ac) and lysine 18 (H3K18ac) in nuclear sub-fractions. In contrast, the METH injection caused time-dependent increases in acetylated H4K5 and H4K8. The changes in histone acetylation were accompanied by decreased expression of HDAC1 but increased expression of HDAC2 protein levels. The histone acetyltransferase, ATF2, showed significant METH-induced increased in protein expression. These results suggest that METH-induced alterations in global gene expression seen in rat NAC might be related, in part, to METH-induced changes in histone acetylation secondary to changes in HAT and HDAC expression. The causal role that HATs and HDACs might play in METH-induced gene expression needs to be investigated further.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e34236. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine (METH) use is associated with neurotoxic effects which include decreased levels of dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT) and their metabolites in the brain. We have shown that escalating METH dosing can protect against METH induced neurotoxicity in rats sacrificed within 24 hours after a toxic METH challenge. The purpose of the current study was to investigate if the protective effects of METH persisted for a long period of time. We also tested if a second challenge with a toxic dose of METH would cause further damage to monoaminergic terminals. Saline-pretreated rats showed significant METH-induced decreases in striatal DA and 5-HT levels in rats sacrificed 2 weeks after the challenge. Rats that received two METH challenges showed no further decreases in striatal DA or 5-HT levels in comparison to the single METH challenge. In contrast, METH-pretreated rats showed significant protection against METH-induced striatal DA and 5-HT depletion. In addition, the METH challenge causes substantial decreases in cortical 5-HT levels which were not further potentiated by a second drug challenge. METH preconditioning provided almost complete protection against METH -induced 5-HT depletion. These results are consistent with the idea that METH pretreatment renders the brain refractory to METH-induced degeneration of brain monoaminergic systems.
    DNA research: an international journal for rapid publication of reports on genes and genomes 03/2011; 9(1):35-9. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Repeated injections of cocaine cause blunted responses to acute cocaine challenge-induced increases in the expression of immediate early genes (IEGs). The aim of this study was to test if chronic methamphetamine (METH) exposure might cause similar blunting of acute METH-induced increases in IEG expression. Repeated saline or METH injections were given to rats over 14 days. After 1 day of withdrawal, they received a single injection of saline or METH (5 mg/kg). Acute injection of METH increased c-fos, fosB, fra2, junB, Egr1-3, Nr4a1 (Nur77), and Nr4a3 (Nor-1) mRNA levels in the striatum of saline-pretreated rats. Chronic METH treatment alone reduced the expression of AP1, Erg1-3, and Nr4a1 transcription factors below control levels. Acute METH challenge normalized these values in METH-pretreated rats. Unexpectedly, acute METH challenge to METH-pretreated animals caused further decreases in Nr4a2 (Nurr1) mRNA levels. In contrast, the METH challenge caused significant but blunted increases in Nr4a3 and Arc expression in METH-pretreated rats. There were also chronic METH-associated decreases in the expression of cAMP responsive element binding protein (CREB) which modulates IEG expression via activation of the cAMP/PKA/CREB signal transduction pathway. Chronic METH exposure also caused significant decreases in preprotachykinin, but not in prodynorphin, mRNA levels. These results support the accumulated evidence that chronic administration of psychostimulants is associated with blunting of their acute stimulatory effects on IEG expression. The METH-induced renormalization of the expression of several IEGs in rats chronically exposed to METH hints to a potential molecular explanation for the recurrent self-administration of the drug by human addicts.
    Psychopharmacology 01/2011; 215(2):353-65. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of fenfluramines can increase the risk of developing pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in humans, but the mechanisms responsible are unresolved. A recent study reported that female mice lacking the gene for tryptophan hydroxylase-1 (Tph1(-/-) mice) were protected from PAH caused by chronic dexfenfluramine, suggesting a pivotal role for peripheral serotonin (5-HT) in the disease process. Here we tested two alternative hypotheses which might explain the lack of dexfenfluramine-induced PAH in Tph1(-/-) mice. We postulated that: 1) Tph1(-/-) mice express lower levels of pulmonary 5-HT transporter (SERT) when compared to wild-type controls, and 2) Tph1(-/-) mice display adaptive changes in the expression of non-serotonergic pulmonary genes which are implicated in PAH. SERT was measured using radioligand binding methods, whereas gene expression was measured using microarrays followed by quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR). Contrary to our first hypothesis, the number of pulmonary SERT sites was modestly up-regulated in female Tph1(-/-) mice. The expression of 51 distinct genes was significantly altered in the lungs of female Tph1(-/-) mice. Consistent with our second hypothesis, qRT-PCR confirmed that at least three genes implicated in the pathogenesis of PAH were markedly up-regulated: Has2, Hapln3 and Retlna. The finding that female Tph1(-/-) mice are protected from dexfenfluramine-induced PAH could be related to compensatory changes in pulmonary gene expression, in addition to reductions in peripheral 5-HT. These observations emphasize the intrinsic limitation of interpreting data from studies conducted in transgenic mice that are not fully characterized.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(3):e17735. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine (METH) is a toxic drug of abuse, which can cause significant decreases in the levels of monoamines in various brain regions. However, animals treated with progressively increasing doses of METH over several weeks are protected against the toxic effects of the drug. In the present study, we tested the possibility that this pattern of METH injections might be associated with transcriptional changes in the rat striatum, an area of the brain which is known to be very sensitive to METH toxicity and which is protected by METH preconditioning. We found that the presence and absence of preconditioning followed by injection of large doses of METH caused differential expression in different sets of striatal genes. Quantitative PCR confirmed METH-induced changes in some genes of interest. These include small heat shock 27 kD proteins 1 and 2 (HspB1 and HspB2), brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and heme oxygenase-1 (Hmox-1). Our observations are consistent with previous studies which have reported that ischemic or pharmacological preconditioning can cause reprogramming of gene expression after lethal ischemic insults. These studies add to the growing literature on the effects of preconditioning on the brain transcriptome.
    Dose-Response 01/2011; 9(2):165-81. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dopamine (DA), the most abundant catecholamine in the basal ganglia, participates in the regulation of motor functions and of cognitive processes such as learning and memory. Abnormalities in dopaminergic systems are thought to be the bases for some neuropsychiatric disorders including addiction, Parkinson's disease, and Schizophrenia. DA exerts its arrays of functions via stimulation of D1-like (D1 and D5) and D2-like (D2, D3, and D4) DA receptors which are located in various regions of the brain. The DA D1 and D2 receptors are very abundant in the basal ganglia where they exert their functions within separate neuronal cell types. The present paper focuses on a review of the effects of stimulation of DA D1 receptors on diverse signal transduction pathways and gene expression patterns in the brain. We also discuss the possible involvement of the DA D1 receptors in DA-mediated toxic effects observed both in vitro and in vivo. Future studies using more selective agonist and antagonist agents and the use of genetically modified animals should help to further clarify the role of these receptors in the normal physiology and in pathological events that involve DA.
    CNS & neurological disorders drug targets 11/2010; 9(5):526-38. · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dopamine (DA), the most abundant catecholamine in the basal ganglia, participates in the regulation of motor functions and of cognitive processes such as learning and memory. Abnormalities in dopaminergic systems are thought to be the bases for some neuropsychiatric disorders including addiction, Parkinson's disease, and Schizophrenia. DA exerts its arrays of functions via stimulation of D1-like (D1 and D5) and D2-like (D2, D3, and D4) DA receptors which are located in various regions of the brain. The DA D1 and D2 receptors are very abundant in the basal ganglia where they exert their functions within separate neuronal cell types. The present paper focuses on a review of the effects of stimulation of DA D1 receptors on diverse signal transduction pathways and gene expression patterns in the brain. We also discuss the possible involvement of the DA D1 receptors in DA-mediated toxic effects observed both in vitro and in vivo. Future studies using more selective agonist and antagonist agents and the use of genetically modified animals should help to further clarify the role of these receptors in the normal physiology and in pathological events that involve DA.
    CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets - CNS & Neurological Disorders) 10/2010; 9(5):526-538. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine (METH) is a psychostimulant that can cause long-lasting neurodegenerative effects in humans and animals. These toxic effects appear to occur, in part, via activation of dopamine (DA) D1 receptors. This paper assessed the possibility that the DA D1 receptor antagonist, SCH23390, might inhibit METH-induced changes in the expression of several members of immediate early genes (IEGs) which are known to control more delayed expression of other genes. We found that injections of METH (4x10 mg/kg, given at 2 h intervals) caused significant increases in c-fos and fra-2 expression which lasted from 30 min to 4 h. Pre-treatment with SCH23390, given 30 min before each METH injection, completely blocked METH-induced expression of c-fos, but only partially inhibited fra-2 mRNA expression. These results were confirmed by Western blot analysis which showed METH-induced changes in c-Fos protein expression that were blocked by pretreatment with SCH23390. There were also delayed METH-induced DA D1 receptor-dependent effects on fosB mRNA expression. Even though fra-1 expression was not affected by pretreatment with METH alone, the repeated injections of SCH23390 caused substantial decreases in fra-1 mRNA expression in both the presence and absence of METH. The repeated injections of METH caused no changes in the mRNAs for c-jun, junB or junD. However, there were significant increases in the phosphorylation of c-Jun protein (ser63). Phosphorylation of c-Jun occurred in a delayed fashion (16 and 24 h after the last METH injections) and was attenuated by SCH23390 pretreatment. Interestingly, SCH23390 given alone caused significant decreases in phospho-c-Jun at all time-points. The METH injections also caused delayed induction in the expression of members of the Egr family of transcription factors in a DA D1 receptor-dependent fashion. Repeated injections of SCH23390 caused substantial suppression of basal striatal egr-1 and egr-2 mRNA expression but not of that of egr-3. Both crem and arc mRNA levels were induced by METH in a SCH23390-sensitive fashion. Moreover, multiple injections of SCH23390 given alone caused marked inhibition of basal arc expression. These results show that multiple injections of METH can differentially affect the expression of several IEGs, some of which occurred in a DA D1 receptor dependent fashion. The SCH23390-mediated suppression of basal fra-1, egr-1, and egr-2 mRNA levels suggests that their basal expression in the striatum might be dependent on tonic stimulation of the DA D1 receptor.
    Brain research 03/2010; 1318:1-10. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine (meth) is an illicit psychostimulant that is abused throughout the world. Repeated passive injections of the drug given in a single day or over a few days cause significant and long-term depletion of dopamine and serotonin in the mammalian brain. Because meth self-administration may better mimic some aspects of human drug-taking behaviors, we examined to what extent this pattern of drug treatment might also result in damage to monoaminergic systems in the brain. Rats were allowed to intravenously self-administer meth (yoked control rats received vehicle) 15 hours per day for 8 days before being euthanized at either 24 hours or at 7 and 14 days after cessation of drug taking. Meth self-administration by the rats was associated with a progressive escalation of daily drug intake to 14 mg/kg per day. Animals that self-administered meth exhibited dose-dependent decreases in striatal dopamine levels during the period of observation. In addition, there were significant reductions in the levels of striatal dopamine transporter and tyrosine hydroxylase proteins. There were also significant decreases in the levels of dopamine, dopamine transporter, and tyrosine hydroxylase in the cortex. In contrast, meth self-administration caused only transient decreases in norepinephrine and serotonin levels in the two brain regions, with these values returning to normal at seven days after cessation of drug taking. Importantly, meth self-administration was associated with significant dose-dependent increases in glial fibrillary acidic protein in both striatum and cortex, with these changes being of greater magnitude in the striatum. These results suggest that meth self-administration by rats is associated with long-term biochemical changes that are reminiscent of those observed in post-mortem brain tissues of chronic meth abusers.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(1):e8790. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Unilateral injections of 6-hydroxydopamine into the medial forebrain bundle are used extensively as a model of Parkinson's disease. The present experiments sought to identify genes that were affected in the dopamine (DA)-denervated striatum after 6-hydroxydopamine-induced destruction of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway in the rat. We also examined whether a single injection of methamphetamine (METH) (2.5 mg/kg) known to cause changes in gene expression in the normally DA-innervated striatum could still influence striatal gene expression in the absence of DA. Unilateral injections of 6-hydroxydopamine into the medial forebrain bundle resulted in METH-induced rotational behaviors ipsilateral to the lesioned side and total striatal DA depletion on the lesioned side. This injection also caused decrease in striatal serotonin (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) levels. DA depletion was associated with increases in 5-HIAA/5-HT ratios that were potentiated by the METH injection. Microarray analyses revealed changes (±1.7-fold, p<0.025) in the expression of 67 genes on the lesioned side in comparison to the intact side of the saline-treated hemiparkinsonian animals. These include follistatin, neuromedin U, and tachykinin 2 which were up-regulated. METH administration caused increases in the expression of c-fos, Egr1, and Nor-1 on the intact side. On the DA-depleted side, METH administration also increased the expression of 61 genes including Pdgf-d and Cox-2. There were METH-induced changes in 16 genes that were common in the DA-innervated and DA-depleted sides. These include c-fos and Nor-1 which show greater changes on the normal DA side. Thus, the present study documents, for the first time, that METH mediated DA-independent changes in the levels of transcripts of several genes in the DA-denervated striatum. Our results also implicate 5-HT as a potential player in these METH-induced alterations in gene expression because the METH injection also caused significant increases in 5-HIAA/5-HT ratios on the DA-depleted side.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(12):e15643. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pretreatment with methamphetamine (METH) can attenuate toxicity due to acute METH challenges. The majority of previous reports have focused mainly on the effects of the drug on the striatal dopaminergic system. In the present study, we used a regimen that involves gradual increases in METH administration to rats in order to mimic progressively larger doses of the drug used by some human METH addicts. We found that this METH preconditioning was associated with complete protection against dopamine depletion caused by a METH challenge (5 mg/kg x 6 injections given 1 h apart) in the striatum and cortex. In contrast, there was no preconditioning-mediated protection against METH-induced serotonin depletion in the striatum and hippocampus, with some protection being observed in the cortex. There was also no protection against METH-induced norepinephrine (NE) depletion in the hippocampus. These results indicate that, in contrast to the present dogmas, there might be differences in the mechanisms involved in METH toxicity on monoaminergic systems in the rodent brain. Thus, chronic injections of METH might activate programs that protect against dopamine toxicity without influencing drug-induced pathological changes in serotoninergic systems. Further studies will need to evaluate the cellular and molecular bases for these differential responses.
    Neurotoxicity Research 05/2009; 15(3):252-9. · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine (METH) is an illicit toxic psychostimulant which is widely abused. Its toxic effects depend on the release of excessive levels of dopamine (DA) that activates striatal DA receptors. Inhibition of DA-mediated neurotransmission by the DA D1 receptor antagonist, SCH23390, protects against METH-induced neuronal apoptosis. The initial purpose of the present study was to investigate, using microarray analyses, the influence of SCH23390 on transcriptional responses in the rat striatum caused by a single METH injection at 2 and 4 hours after drug administration. We identified 545 out of a total of 22,227 genes as METH-responsive. These include genes which are involved in apoptotic pathways, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and in transcription regulation, among others. Of these, a total of 172 genes showed SCH23390-induced inhibition of METH-mediated changes. Among these SCH23390-responsive genes were several genes that are regulated during ER stress, namely ATF3, HSP27, Hmox1, HSP40, and CHOP/Gadd153. The secondary goal of the study was to investigate the role of DA D1 receptor stimulation on the expression of genes that participate in ER stress-mediated molecular events. We thus used quantitative PCR to confirm changes in the METH-responsive ER genes identified by the microarray analyses. We also measured the expression of these genes and of ATF4, ATF6, BiP/GRP78, and of GADD34 over a more extended time course. SCH23390 attenuated or blocked METH-induced increases in the expression of the majority of these genes. Western blot analysis revealed METH-induced increases in the expression of the antioxidant protein, Hmox1, which lasted for about 24 hours after the METH injection. Additionally, METH caused DA D1 receptor-dependent transit of the Hmox1 regulator protein, Nrf2, from cytosolic into nuclear fractions where the protein exerts its regulatory functions. When taken together, these findings indicate that SCH23390 can provide protection against neuronal apoptosis by inhibiting METH-mediated DA D1 receptor-mediated ER stress in the rat striatum. Our data also suggest that METH-induced toxicity might be a useful model to dissect molecular mechanisms involved in ER stress-dependent events in the rodent brain.
    PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(6):e6092. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine (METH) is an illicit drug which is neurotoxic to the mammalian brain. Numerous studies have revealed significant decreases in dopamine and serotonin levels in the brains of animals exposed to moderate-to-large METH doses given within short intervals of time. In contrast, repeated injections of small nontoxic doses of the drug followed by a challenge with toxic METH doses afford significant protection against monoamine depletion. The present study was undertaken to test the possibility that repeated injections of the drug might be accompanied by transcriptional changes involved in rendering the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system refractory to METH toxicity. Our results confirm that METH preconditioning can provide significant protection against METH-induced striatal dopamine depletion. In addition, the presence and absence of METH preconditioning were associated with substantial differences in the identity of the genes whose expression was affected by a toxic METH challenge. Quantitative PCR confirmed METH-induced changes in genes of interest and identified additional genes that were differentially impacted by the toxic METH challenge in the presence of METH preconditioning. These genes include small heat shock 27 kD 27 protein 2 (HspB2), thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), c-fos, and some encoding antioxidant proteins including CuZn superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx)-1, and heme oxygenase-1 (Hmox-1). These observations are consistent, in part, with the transcriptional alterations reported in models of lethal ischemic injuries which are preceded by ischemic or pharmacological preconditioning. Our findings suggest that multiple molecular pathways might work in tandem to protect the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway against the deleterious effects of the toxic psychostimulant. Further analysis of the molecular and cellular pathways regulated by these genes should help to provide some insight into the neuroadaptive potentials of the brain when repeatedly exposed to drugs of abuse.
    PLoS ONE 01/2009; 4(11):e7812. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The psychostimulant effects of cocaine are thought to result from its ability to block dopamine (DA) uptake and increase DA levels in ventral striatum. In addition, cocaine causes biochemical changes in the brain areas involved in learning and memory, including hippocampus and cortex, whose role in drug reinforcement is now being actively investigated. Thus, we studied molecular events in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of rats treated with cocaine conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. After exposure to cocaine conditioning (cocaine paired), cocaine alone (cocaine non-paired) or saline rats were tested for place conditioning. Cocaine (10 mg/kg) caused increases in time spent in the drug-paired compartment. By using microarray analyses, we examined gene expression in the hippocampi and frontal cortices of cocaine-paired rats, cocaine non-paired and saline-treated controls. Our study revealed that 214 transcripts were differentially regulated in the hippocampi of cocaine-paired rats. These include genes that play roles in protein phosphorylation, RNA processing and protein synthesis, ubiquitin-dependent protein degradation and cytoskeleton organization. In contrast, 39 genes were differently expressed in the frontal cortex. Our data support the possibility that molecular changes in the hippocampus might participate in the formation and maintenance of memory patterns induced by cocaine in the brain. Differences in the transcriptional responses in the hippocampus and cortex suggest the primary importance of the hippocampus for recent memory processing associated with cocaine-induced CPP.
    Genes Brain and Behavior 04/2008; 7(2):193-202. · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine (METH), a highly addictive drug, can cause degeneration of monoaminergic terminals and neuronal apoptosis in the mammalian brain. In the present article, we have used serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) to investigate patterns of gene expression in the striata of rats that were given a neurotoxic dose of the drug. SAGE libraries were generated from animals treated with either saline or METH (40 mg/kg) and sacrificed 2 h later. A total of 315 transcripts were differentially expressed between the two libraries (P < 0.05), with 179 (56%) being upregulated and 136 (44%) being downregulated by the METH injection. Of these, CAATT enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP)/GADD153 (growth arrest- and DNA damage-inducible gene 153) was found to be upregulated by about threefold. Analysis of the expression of genes downstream of CHOP (DOCs) revealed significant METH-induced increases in their expression. Because DOC1 is an analog of carbonic anhydrase (CA) which is involved in the interconversion between carbon dioxide and the bicarbonate ion, we also measured the effects of METH on the expression of several CAs. These were significantly upregulated by METH in a time-dependent fashion. These results indicate that METH toxicity is mediated, in part, by drug-induced perturbations of physiological processes that are dependent on normal pH and CO(2) homeostasis.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 08/2006; 1074:13-30. · 4.38 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

688 Citations
139.05 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2001–2013
    • National Institute on Drug Abuse
      • Research Branch Molecular Neuropsychiatry
      Maryland, United States
  • 2001–2005
    • National Institutes of Health
      • • Molecular Neuropsychiatry Research Branch
      • • Section on Molecular Neurobiology
      Bethesda, MD, United States