M Imad Damaj

Virginia Commonwealth University, Ричмонд, Virginia, United States

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Publications (145)602.33 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Preclinical studies with bupropion in rodent models of nicotine dependence have generated equivocal findings with regard to translating the clinical efficacy of the antidepressant as a smoking cessation agent. Given that rats are poor metabolizers of bupropion, the present experiments examined (2S,3S)-hydroxybupropion, the major active metabolite, on the positive reinforcing and aversive stimulus properties of nicotine in rats. In male hooded Lister rats, (2S,3S)-hydroxybupropion (1.0-10.0 mg/kg IP) was tested on intravenous nicotine (0.03 mg/kg/inf) self-administration behaviour for three sessions (n = 8), and in another experiment, the same doses of (2S,3S)-hydroxybupropion were tested in a conditioned taste aversion procedure to assess the aversive stimulus properties of nicotine, a function implicated in the regulation of nicotine intake. (2S,3S)-hydroxybupropion attenuated nicotine intake in a manner similar to that produced by mecamylamine pretreatment (1.0 mg/kg SC). This effect on nicotine-taking was specific since these doses had no effect on responding maintained by sucrose presented orally (200 μl of 5 % w/v). (2S,3S)-hydroxybupropion (1, 3 and 10 mg/kg IP) pretreatment failed to modify the aversive effects produced by a small dose of nicotine (0.1 mg/kg SC). These results demonstrate this metabolite to specifically modify the positive reinforcing effects of nicotine without affecting its aversive motivational effects. We propose that the clinical efficacy of bupropion may be due to a combination of effects produced by bupropion and/or its active metabolite (2S,3S)-hydroxybupropion involving the inhibition of reuptake of dopamine and noradrenaline in reward centres of the brain and the noncompetitive antagonism of neuronal nicotinic receptors.
    Psychopharmacology 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00213-015-3908-z · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibition of endocannabinoid catabolic enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and/or monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) reduces somatic morphine withdrawal signs, but its effects on aversive aspects of withdrawal are unknown. The present study investigated whether Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the MAGL inhibitor JZL184, the FAAH inhibitor PF-3845, or the dual FAAH/MAGL inhibitor SA-57 would reduce acquisition of morphine withdrawal-induced conditioned place avoidance (CPA) and jumping. Mice were implanted with placebo or 75mg morphine pellets, 48h later injected with naloxone or saline and placed in the conditioning apparatus, and assessed for CPA at 72h. Subjects were also observed for jumping behavior following naloxone challenge. Naloxone (0.056mg/kg) produced robust CPA in morphine-pelleted, but not placebo-pelleted, mice. Morphine pretreatment prevented the occurrence of withdrawal CPA and withdrawal jumping, while clonidine (an α2 adrenergic receptor agonist) only blocked withdrawal CPA. THC, JZL184, and SA-57 significantly reduced the percentage of mice that jumped during the conditioning session, but did not affect acquisition of withdrawal CPA. PF-3845 did not reduce morphine withdrawal CPA or jumping. Finally, neither THC nor the endocannabinoid catabolic enzyme inhibitors in non-dependent mice elicited a conditioned place preference or aversion. These findings suggest that inhibiting endocannabinoid catabolic enzymes reduces somatic morphine withdrawal signs, but not aversive aspects as inferred in the CPA paradigm. The observation that non-dependent mice administered inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation did not display place preferences is consistent with the idea that that endocannabinoid catabolic enzymes might be targeted therapeutically, with reduced risk of abuse. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 01/2015; 146:7-16. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.11.015 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is a promising drug target for a number of neurological disorders including chronic pain and inflammatory diseases. Since α7 can function as a ligand-gated ion channel, drug development initially focused on ligands that were selective activators of the α7 ion channel. However, the best α7 drugs for chronic pain and inflammation indications may not be ion channel activators but rather "silent agonists", which bind to the receptor but preferentially induce non-conducting states that modulate signal transduction in non-neuronal cells. One such compound is NS6740. We show that NS6740 selectively induces prolonged desensitization of α7 nAChRs. There are two forms of α7 desensitization that can be distinguished by their sensitivity to the positive allosteric modulators (PAMs). At high concentrations, NS6740 preferentially induces PAM-insensitive desensitization, which over the course of several minutes reverts to the sensitive form. NS6740 was tested in several pain models after in vivo administration in the mouse. Although it had no effects in acute thermal pain, NS6740 induced significant dose- and time-dependent antinociceptive activity in formalin- and acetic acid-induced nociceptive behaviors as well as in the chronic constrictive nerve injury (CCI) model for neuropathic pain. The antinociceptive activity of NS6740 in these models was α7-dependent. In addition, NS6740 administration reversed pain-induced aversion, an important affective component of pain. The time and concentration dependence of the effects were consistent with NS6740 induction of PAM-insensitive non-conducting states, suggesting that signal transduction required for analgesia is accomplished by α7 receptors in that conformation. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Neuropharmacology 12/2014; 91. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2014.12.002 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diseases associated with tobacco use constitute a major health problem worldwide. Upon cessation of tobacco use, an unpleasant withdrawal syndrome occurs in dependent individuals. Avoidance of the negative state produced by nicotine withdrawal represents a motivational component that promotes continued tobacco use and relapse after smoking cessation. With the modest success rate of currently available smoking cessation therapies, understanding mechanisms involved in the nicotine withdrawal syndrome are crucial for developing successful treatments. Animal models provide a useful tool for examining neuroadaptative mechanisms and factors influencing nicotine withdrawal, including sex, age, and genetic factors. Such research has also identified an important role for nicotinic receptor subtypes in different aspects of the nicotine withdrawal syndrome (e.g., physical vs. affective signs). In addition to nicotinic receptors, the opioid and endocannabinoid systems, various signal transduction pathways, neurotransmitters, and neuropeptides have been implicated in the nicotine withdrawal syndrome. Animal studies have informed human studies of genetic variants and potential targets for smoking cessation therapies. Overall, the available literature indicates that the nicotine withdrawal syndrome is complex, and involves a range of neurobiological mechanisms. As research in nicotine withdrawal progresses, new pharmacological options for smokers attempting to quit can be identified, and treatments with fewer side effects that are better tailored to the unique characteristics of patients may become available. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Neuropharmacology 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2014.11.009 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and PurposeAbrupt discontinuation of nicotine, the main psychoactive component in tobacco, induces a withdrawal syndrome in nicotine-dependent animals, consisting of somatic and affective signs, avoidance of which contributes to drug maintenance. While blockade of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the primary catabolic enzyme of the endocannabinoid arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide; AEA), exacerbates withdrawal responses in nicotine-dependent mice, the role of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the main hydrolytic enzyme of a second endocannabinoid 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), in nicotine withdrawal remains unexplored.Experimental ApproachesTo evaluate the role of MAGL enzyme inhibition in nicotine withdrawal, we initially performed a genetic correlation approach using the BXD recombinant inbred mouse panel. We then assessed nicotine withdrawal intensity in the mouse after treatment with the selective MAGL inhibitor JZL184 and after genetic deletion of the enzyme. Lastly, we assessed the association between genotypes and smoking withdrawal phenotypes in two human data sets.Key ResultsBXD mice displayed significant positive correlations between basal MAGL mRNA expression and nicotine withdrawal responses, consistent with the idea that increased 2-AG brain levels may attenuate withdrawal responses. Strikingly, the MAGL inhibitor JZL184 dose-dependently reduced somatic and aversive withdrawal signs, which was blocked by rimonabant, indicating a CB1 receptor-dependent mechanism. MAGL-knockout mice also showed attenuated nicotine withdrawal. Lastly, genetic analyses in humans revealed associations of the MAGL gene with smoking withdrawal in humans.Conclusion and ImplicationsOverall, our findings suggest that MAGL inhibition maybe a promising target for treatment of nicotine dependence.
    British Journal of Pharmacology 09/2014; 172(3). DOI:10.1111/bph.12948 · 4.99 Impact Factor
  • Pamela Flood, M Imad Damaj
    Anesthesia & Analgesia 08/2014; 119(2):232-233. DOI:10.1213/ANE.0000000000000304 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mesolimbic α6* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are thought to play an important role in nicotine behavioral effects. However, little is known about the role of the various α6*-nAChRs subtypes in the rewarding effects of nicotine. In this report, we investigated and compared the role of α6*-nAChRs subtypes and their neuro-anatomical locus in nicotine and cocaine reward-like effects in the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm, using pharmacological antagonism of α6β2* nAChRs and genetic deletion of the α6 or α4 subunits in mice. We found that α6 KO mice exhibited a rightward shift in the nicotine dose-response curve compared to WT littermates, but that α4 KO failed to show nicotine preference, suggesting that α6α4β2*-nAChRs are involved. Furthermore, α6β2* nAChRs in nucleus accumbens were found to play an important role in nicotine conditioned reward since the intra-accumbal injection of the selective α6β2* α-Conotoxin MII [H9A; L15A], blocked nicotine CPP. In contrast to nicotine, α6 KO failed to condition to cocaine, but cocaine CPP in the α4 KO was preserved. Intriguingly, α-Conotoxin MII [H9A; L15A], blocked cocaine conditioning in α4 KO mice, implicating α6β2* nAChRs in cocaine reward. Importantly, these effects did not generalize as α6 KO showed both a conditioned place aversion to lithium chloride as well as CPP to palatable food. Lastly, dopamine uptake was not different between the α6 KO or WT mice. These data illustrate that the subjective rewarding effects of both nicotine and cocaine may be mediated by mesolimbic α6β2* nAChRs and that antagonists of these receptor subtypes may exhibit therapeutic potential.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 18 July 2014; doi:10.1038/npp.2014.177.
    Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 07/2014; 40(2). DOI:10.1038/npp.2014.177 · 7.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Metabolism of nicotine to inactive cotinine by hepatic enzyme CYP2A6 is the principal pathway by which active nicotine is removed from circulation. We therefore hypothesized that inhibition of mouse CYP2A5, the ortolog of human CYP2A6, by methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen) alter dependence-related behaviors of nicotine in the mouse. Conditioned place preference (CPP) test was used to assess the appetitive reward-like properties and precipitated nicotine withdrawal to assess physical (somatic and hyperalgesia) and affective (anxiety-related behaviors) measures. The nicotine plasma levels were also measured with or without methoxsalen pretreatment. Methoxsalen (15 and 30 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) pretreatment enhanced nicotine-induced preference in mice (p < 0.05). However, there was a lack of enhancement of nicotine in the CPP test after the highest dose of the CYP-2A5 inhibitor. Similarly to the CPP results, repeated administration of methoxsalen increased the intensity of mecamylamine-precipitated withdrawal signs. The potentiation of nicotine preference and withdrawal intensity by methoxsalen was accompanied by significant increase in nicotine plasma levels in mice (p < 0.05). Finally, methoxsalen enhanced the ability of a very low dose of nicotine (0.05 mg/kg) to reverse withdrawal signs in mice undergoing spontaneous withdrawal after chronic nicotine infusion (p < 0.05). In conclusion, inhibition of nicotine metabolism by methoxsalen alters the behavioral effects of nicotine in the mouse. Combining CYP2A6 inhibitors with low dose nicotine replacement therapies may have a beneficial role in smoking cessation because it will decrease the drug elimination rate and maintain plasma and brain nicotine levels.
    Neuropharmacology 05/2014; 85. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2014.05.006 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and PurposeRecent data have indicated that α3β4* neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) may play a role in morphine dependence. Here we investigated if nAChRs modulate morphine physical withdrawal.Experimental ApproachesTo assess the role of α3β4* neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in morphine withdrawal, we used a genetic correlation approach using publically available data sets within the GeneNetwork web resource, genetic knockout and pharmacological tools. Lastly, male and female European-American (n=2,772) and African-American (n=1,309) subjects from the SAGE dataset were used to assess the possible association of polymorphisms in the 15q25 gene cluster and opioid dependence.Key ResultsBXD recombinant mouse lines demonstrated an increase in expression of α3, β4, and α5 nAChR mRNA in the forebrain and midbrain, which significantly correlates with an increase in defecation in mice undergoing morphine withdrawal. Indeed, mice with overexpression of the gene cluster CHRNA5/A3/B4 exhibited an increase in somatic signs of withdrawal. Furthermore, α5 and β4 nAChR knockout mice expressed decreased somatic withdrawal signs compared to their wildtype counterparts. Moreover, selective α3β4* nAChR antagonists, α-conotoxin AuIB (AuIB) and AT-1001, attenuated somatic signs of morphine withdrawal in a dose-related manner. In addition, two human datasets revealed a protective role for variants in the CHRNA3 gene, which codes for the α3 nAChR subunit, in opioid dependence and withdrawal. In contrast, we found that the α4β2* nAChR subtype is not involved in morphine somatic withdrawal signs.Conclusion and ImplicationsOverall, our findings suggest an important role for the α3β4* nAChR subtype in morphine physical dependence.
    British Journal of Pharmacology 04/2014; DOI:10.1111/bph.12741 · 4.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 2'-Fluoro-3-(substituted pyridine)epibatidine analogues 7a-e and 8a-e were synthesized and their in vitro and in vivo nAChR properties determined. 2'-Fluoro-3'-(4"-pyridinyl)deschloroepibatidine (7a) and 2'-fluoro-3'-(3"-pyridinyl)deschloroepibatidine (8a) were synthesized as bioisosteres of the 4'-nitrophenyl lead compounds 5a and 5g. Comparison of the in vitro nAChR properties of 7a and 8a to those of 5a and 5g showed that 7a and 8a had in vitro nAChR properties similar to those of 5a and 5g, but both were more selective for the α4β2-nAChR relative to the α3β4- and α7-nAChRs than 5a and 5g. The in vivo nAChR properties in mice of 7a were similar to those of 5a. In contrast, 8a was an agonist in all four mouse acute tests, whereas 5g was active only in a spontaneous activity test. In addition, 5g was a nicotine antagonist in both the tail-flick and hot-plate tests, whereas as 8a was only an antagonist in the tail-flick test.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 01/2014; 57(3). DOI:10.1021/jm401602p · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bupropion, introduced as an antidepressant in the 1980s, is also effective as a smoking cessation aid and is beneficial in the treatment of methamphetamine addiction, cocaine dependence, addictive behaviors such as pathological gambling, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. (2S,3S)-hydroxybupropion is an active metabolite of bupropion produced in humans that contributes to antidepressant and smoking cessation efficacy and perhaps benefits in other CNS disorders. Mechanisms underlying its antidepressant and smoking abstinence remain elusive. However, it seems likely that efficacy is due to a combination of the effects of bupropion and/or its active metabolite (2S,3S)-hydroxybupropion involving the inhibition of reuptake of dopamine (DA) and NE in reward centers of the brain and the noncompetitive antagonism of α4β2- and α3β4*-nAChRs. These combined effects of bupropion and its active metabolite may be responsible for its ability to decrease nicotine reward and withdrawal. Studies directed toward development of a bupropion analog for treatment of cocaine addiction led to compounds, typified by 2-(N-cyclopropylamino)-3'-chloropropiophenone (RTI-6037-39), thought to act as indirect DA agonists. In addition, (2S,3S)-hydroxybupropion analogs were developed, which had varying degrees of DA and NE uptake inhibition and antagonism of nAChRs. These compounds will be valuable tools for animal behavioral studies and as clinical candidates. Here, we review the (1) early studies leading to the development of bupropion, (2) bupropion metabolism and the identification of (2S,3R)-hydroxybupropion as an active metabolite, (3) mechanisms of bupropion and metabolite action, (4) effects in animal behavioral studies, (5) results of clinical studies, and (6) development of bupropion analogs as potential pharmacotherapies for treating nicotine and cocaine addiction.
    Advances in pharmacology (San Diego, Calif.) 01/2014; 69:177-216. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-420118-7.00005-6
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    ABSTRACT: Metabolism of nicotine to inactive cotinine by hepatic enzyme CYP2A6 is the principal pathway by which active nicotine is removed from circulation. We therefore hypothesized that inhibition of mouse CYP2A5, the ortolog of human CYP2A6, by methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen) alter dependence-related behaviors of nicotine in the mouse. Conditioned place preference (CPP) test was used to assess the appetitive reward-like properties and precipitated nicotine withdrawal to assess physical (somatic and hyperalgesia) and affective (anxiety-related behaviors) measures. The nicotine plasma levels were also measured with or without methoxsalen pretreatment. Methoxsalen (15 and 30 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) pretreatment enhanced nicotine-induced preference in mice (p < 0.05). However, there was a lack of enhancement of nicotine in the CPP test after the highest dose of the CYP-2A5 inhibitor. Similarly to the CPP results, repeated administration of methoxsalen increased the intensity of mecamylamine-precipitated withdrawal signs. The potentiation of nicotine preference and withdrawal intensity by methoxsalen was accompanied by significant increase in nicotine plasma levels in mice (p < 0.05). Finally, methoxsalen enhanced the ability of a very low dose of nicotine (0.05 mg/kg) to reverse withdrawal signs in mice undergoing spontaneous withdrawal after chronic nicotine infusion (p < 0.05). In conclusion, inhibition of nicotine metabolism by methoxsalen alters the behavioral effects of nicotine in the mouse. Combining CYP2A6 inhibitors with low dose nicotine replacement therapies may have a beneficial role in smoking cessation because it will decrease the drug elimination rate and maintain plasma and brain nicotine levels.
    Neuropharmacology 01/2014; 85:67–72. · 4.82 Impact Factor
  • Kia J Jackson, Mohamad I Damaj
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    ABSTRACT: Calcium-activated second messengers such as calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II have been implicated in drug-induced antinociception. The less abundant calcium-activated second messenger, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CaMKIV), mediates emotional responses to pain and tolerance to morphine analgesia but its role in nicotine-mediated antinociception is currently unknown. The goal of this study was to evaluate the role of CaMKIV in the acute effects of nicotine, primarily acute nicotine-induced antinociception. CaMKIV knockout (-/-), heterozygote (+/-), and wild-type (+/+) mice were injected with various doses of nicotine and evaluated in a battery of tests, including the tail-flick and hot-plate tests for antinociception, body temperature, and locomotor activity. Our results show a genotype-dependent reduction in tail-flick and hot-plate latency in CaMKIV (+/-) and (-/-) mice after acute nicotine treatment, whereas no difference was observed between genotypes in the body temperature and locomotor activity assessments. The results of this study support a role for CaMKIV in acute nicotine-induced spinal and supraspinal pain mechanisms, and further implicate involvement of calcium-dependent mechanisms in drug-induced antinociception.
    Behavioural pharmacology 12/2013; 24(8):689-92. DOI:10.1097/FBP.0000000000000005 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mortality from tobacco smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the world, yet current cessation therapies are only modestly successful, suggesting new molecular targets are needed. Genetic analysis of gene expression and behavior identified Chrna7 as potentially modulating nicotine place conditioning in the BXD panel of inbred mice. We used gene targeting and pharmacological tools to confirm the role of Chrna7 in nicotine CPP. To identify molecular events downstream of Chrna7 that may modulate nicotine preference, we performed microarray analysis of α7 KO and WT nucleus accumbens tissue, followed by confirmation with quantitative PCR and immunoblotting. In the BXD panel, we found a putative cis eQTL for Chrna7 in nucleus accumbens that correlated inversely to nicotine CPP. We observed that gain-of-function α7 mice did not display nicotine preference at any dose tested, while conversely, α7 KO mice showed nicotine place preference at a dose below that routinely required to produce preference. In B6 mice, the α7 nAChR-selective agonist, PHA-543613, dose-dependently blocked nicotine CPP, which was restored using the α7 nAChR-selective antagonist, MLA. Our genomic studies implicated an mRNA co-expression network regulated by Chrna7 in nucleus accumbens. Mice lacking Chrna7 demonstrate increased insulin signaling in the nucleus accumbens, which may modulate nicotine place preference. Our studies provide novel targets for future work on development of more effective therapeutic approaches to counteract the rewarding properties of nicotine for smoking cessation.
    Genes Brain and Behavior 11/2013; DOI:10.1111/gbb.12113 · 3.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A previous characterization of mecamylamine stereoisomers using nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes revealed only small differences between the activity of the R and S forms of mecamylamine. However, that work was limited in the breadth of receptor subtypes tested, especially in regard to the discrimination of high and low sensitivity receptors, which differ in the ratios of alpha and beta subunits. We report new data using subunit concatamers, which produce uniform populations of high-sensitivity or low-sensitivity receptors, as well as alpha2, alpha5, and alpha6-containing receptors, which were not studied previously. Consistent with previous studies, we found that beta4-containing receptors were most sensitive to mecamylamine and that the IC50 values for the inhibition of net charge were lower than for inhibition of peak currents. No large differences were seen between the activities of the mecamylamine isomers. Additionally, a previously reported potentiation of high-sensitivity α4β2 receptors by S-mecamylamine could not be reproduced in the oocyte system, even with mutants that had greatly reduced sensitivity to mecamylamine inhibition or when the selective agonist TC-2559 was used. In vivo studies suggested that the R-isomer might be somewhat more potent than the S isomer at blocking CNS effects of nicotine. Although the potency difference was no more than a factor of two, it is consistent with lower LD50 estimates previously reported for the R isomer. Our results significantly extend knowledge of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor activity profile of mecamylamine and support the hypothesis that these effects are not strongly stereoisomer selective.
    European journal of pharmacology 10/2013; 720(1-3). DOI:10.1016/j.ejphar.2013.10.018 · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of novel oral nicotine delivery devices and compositions for human consumption and for animal research studies has been increasing in the last several years. Studies were undertaken to examine whether the systemic administration of methoxsalen, an inhibitor of human CYP2A6 and mouse CYP2A5, would modulate nicotine pharmacokinetics and pharmacological effects (antinociception in the tail-flick, and hot-plate tests, and hypothermia) in male ICR mouse after acute oral nicotine administration. Administration of intra peritoneal (ip) methoxsalen significantly increased nicotine's Cmax, prolonged the plasma half-life (fourfold decrease) of nicotine, and increased its area under the curve (AUC) compared with ip vehicle treatment. Methoxsalen pretreatment prolonged the duration of nicotine-induced antinociception and hypothermia (15mg/kg, po) for periods up to 6- and 24-hr postnicotine administration, respectively. In addition, methoxsalen potentiated nicotine-induced antinociception and hypothermia as evidenced by leftward shifts in nicotine's dose-response curve. Furthermore, this prolongation of nicotine's effects after methoxsalen was associated with a parallel prolongation of nicotine plasma levels in mice. These data strongly suggest that variation in the rates of nicotine metabolic inactivation substantially alter pharmacological effects of nicotine given orally. We have shown that the pharmacological effects of inhibiting nicotine's metabolism after oral administration in mice are profound. Our results suggest that inhibiting nicotine metabolism can be used to dramatically enhance nicotine's bioavailability and its resulting pharmacology, which further supports this inhibitory approach for clinical development of an oral nicotine replacement therapy.
    Nicotine & Tobacco Research 07/2013; DOI:10.1093/ntr/ntt105 · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A growing body of evidence indicates that α7 nicotinic receptor subtypes play an important role in chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain signaling. In the present study, we investigated the role of the endogenous α7 nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) signaling in pain and inflammation using transgenic mice. For that we evaluated pain-related behaviors in the α7 mutant mice (KO) and its complementary α7 hypersensitive mice (KI) expressing expressing the L250T α7 nAChRs and their respective WT mice in acute, chronic inflammatory and neuropathic mouse models. α7 KO and KI mice showed no signficant changes in pain responses evoked by acute noxious thermal and mechanical stimuli as compared with WT litermates. While α7 KO mice showed no alterations in thermal and mechanical allodynia comapred to WT mice after chronic nerve injury in the CCI test, α7 KI mice showed a signficant reduction in these pain-related responses. However, marked increase in edema, hyperalgesia, and allodynia associated with intraplantar CFA injection was observed in the α7 KO mice compared with the WT littermates. In contrast, α7 KI mice displayed lesser degree of hyperalgesia and allodynia after CFA injection. Finally, the ability of systemic nicotine to reverse already-developed mechanical allodynia produced by intraplantar CFA seen in WT mice was lost in the α7 KO animals. Overall, our results demonstrate that endogenous α7 nAChRs mechanisms play an important role in chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain models. This provides an additional rationale for the utility of α7 nAChR agonists in the treatment of inflammatory and chronic pain.
    Biochemical pharmacology 06/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.bcp.2013.06.018 · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Smoking rates among individuals with schizophrenia are significantly higher than the general population. One possible explanation for this comorbidity is that there are shared genes and biological pathways between smoking and schizophrenia. The histidine triad nucleotide binding protein 1 (HINT1) is a potential candidate, as genetic association and expression studies implicate the gene in both schizophrenia and nicotine dependence; however, the behavioral role of HINT1 in nicotine dependence is unknown. Thus, the goal of the current study was to determine the behavioral role of HINT1 in nicotine dependence. We tested male HINT1 wild-type (+/+) and knockout (-/-) mice in the nicotine conditioned place preference (CPP) test of reward, a nicotine withdrawal model assessing both physical and affective signs, and the nicotine withdrawal conditioned place aversion (CPA) test. HINT1 -/- mice failed to develop a significant nicotine CPP and physical withdrawal signs (hyperalgesia and somatic signs) were attenuated in HINT1 -/- mice. Conversely, HINT1 -/- mice developed a significant nicotine withdrawal CPA similar to their++ counterparts. Overall, our data support a role for the HINT1 gene in mediating behaviors associated with nicotine reward and physical nicotine withdrawal, and provide insight into the role of HINT1 in nicotine dependence-like behaviors.
    Neuroscience Letters 06/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.neulet.2013.06.027 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and PurposeThe α7 nicotinic ACh receptor subtype is abundantly expressed in the CNS and in the periphery. Recent evidence suggests that α7 nicotinic ACh receptor (nAChR) subtypes, which can be activated by an endogenous cholinergic tone comprising ACh and the α7 agonist choline, play an important role in chronic pain and inflammation. In this study, we evaluated whether type II α7 positive allosteric modulator PNU-120596 induces antinociception on its own and in combination with choline in the formalin pain model. Experimental ApproachWe assessed the effects of PNU-120596 and choline and the nature of their interactions in the formalin test using an isobolographic analysis. In addition, we evaluated the interaction of PNU-120596 with PHA-54613, an exogenous selective α7 nAChR agonist, in the formalin test. Finally, we assessed the interaction between PNU-120596 and nicotine using acute thermal pain, locomotor activity, body temperature and convulsing activity tests in mice. Key ResultsWe found that PNU-120596 dose-dependently attenuated nociceptive behaviour in the formalin test after systemic administration in mice. In addition, mixtures of PNU-120596 and choline synergistically reduced formalin-induced pain. PNU-120596 enhanced the effects of nicotine and α7 agonist PHA-543613 in the same test. In contrast, PNU-120596 failed to enhance nicotine-induced convulsions, hypomotility and antinociception in acute pain models. Surprisingly, it enhanced nicotine-induced hypothermia via activation of α7 nAChRs. Conclusions and ImplicationsOur results demonstrate that type II α7 positive allosteric modulators produce antinociceptive effects in the formalin test through a synergistic interaction with the endogenous α7 agonist choline.
    British Journal of Pharmacology 06/2013; 169(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.02226.x · 4.99 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
602.33 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1993–2015
    • Virginia Commonwealth University
      • • Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
      • • Department of Medicinal Chemistry
      Ричмонд, Virginia, United States
  • 2013
    • King Saud University
      • College of Pharmacy
      Riyadh, Mintaqat ar Riyad, Saudi Arabia
  • 2001–2010
    • Research Triangle Park Laboratories, Inc.
      Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
    • University of Camerino
      • Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche
      Camerino, The Marches, Italy
  • 2007
    • University of Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2005
    • Columbia University
      • Department of Anesthesiology
      New York, New York, United States