[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although menthol, a common flavoring additive to cigarettes, has been found to impact the addictive properties of nicotine cigarettes in smokers little is known about its pharmacological and molecular actions in the brain. Studies were undertaken to examine whether the systemic administration of menthol would modulate nicotine pharmacokinetics, acute pharmacological effects (antinociception and hypothermia) and withdrawal in male ICR mice. In addition, we examined changes in the brain levels of nicotinic receptors of rodents exposed to nicotine and menthol. Administration of i.p. menthol significantly decreased nicotine's clearance (2-fold decrease) and increased its AUC compared to i.p. vehicle treatment. In addition, menthol pretreatment prolonged the duration of nicotine-induced antinociception and hypothermia (2.5 mg/kg, s.c.) for periods up to 180 min post-nicotine administration. Repeated administration of menthol with nicotine increased the intensity of mecamylamine-precipitated withdrawal signs in mice exposed chronically to nicotine. The potentiation of withdrawal intensity by menthol was accompanied by a significant increase in nicotine plasma levels in these mice. Western blot analyses of α4 and β2 nAChR subunit expression suggests that chronic menthol impacts the levels and distribution of these nicotinic subunits in various brain regions. In particular, co-administration of menthol and nicotine appears to promote significant increase in β2 and α4 nAChR subunit expression in the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and striatum of mice. Surprisingly, chronic injections of menthol alone to mice caused an upregulation of β2 and α4 nAChR subunit levels in these brain regions. Because the addition of menthol to tobacco products has been suggested to augment their addictive potential, the current findings reveal several new pharmacological molecular adaptations that may contribute to its unique addictive profile.
PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(9):e0137070. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0137070 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several recent studies have indicated the involvement of calcium-dependent mechanisms, in particular the abundant calcium-activated kinase, calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII), in behaviors associated with nicotine dependence in mice. Behavioral and biochemical studies have shown that CaMKII is involved in acute and chronic nicotine behaviors and nicotine withdrawal; however, evidence of a role for CaMKII in nicotine reward is lacking. Thus, the goal of the current study was to examine the role of CaMKII in nicotine reward. Using pharmacological and genetic tools, we tested nicotine conditioned place preference (CPP) in C57Bl/6 mice after administration of CaMKII antagonists and in α-CaMKII wild-type (+/+) and heterozygote (±) mice. CaMKII antagonists blocked expression of nicotine CPP, and the preference score was significantly reduced in α-CaMKII ± mice compared with their +/+ counterparts. Further, we assessed CaMKII activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), nucleus accumbens (NAc), prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus after nicotine CPP and found significant increases in CaMKII activity in the mouse VTA and NAc that were blocked by CaMKII antagonists. The findings from this study show that CaMKII mediates nicotine reward and suggest that increases in CaMKII activity in the VTA and NAc are relevant to nicotine reward behaviors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) facilitate endogenous neurotransmission and/or enhance the efficacy of agonists without directly acting on the orthosteric binding sites. In this regard, selective α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor type II PAMs display antinociceptive activity in rodent chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain models. This study investigates whether 3-furan-2-yl-N-p-tolyl-acrylamide (PAM-2), a new putative α7-selective type II PAM, attenuates experimental inflammatory and neuropathic pains in mice.
We tested the activity of PAM-2 after intraperitoneal administration in 3 pain assays: the carrageenan-induced inflammatory pain, the complete Freund adjuvant-induced inflammatory pain, and the chronic constriction injury-induced neuropathic pain in mice. We also tested whether PAM-2 enhanced the effects of the selective α7 agonist choline in the mouse carrageenan test given intrathecally. Because the experience of pain has both sensory and affective dimensions, we also evaluated the effects of PAM-2 on acetic acid-induced aversion by using the conditioned place aversion test.
We observed that systemic administration of PAM-2 significantly reversed mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia in inflammatory and neuropathic pain models in a dose- and time-dependent manner without motor impairment. In addition, by attenuating the paw edema in inflammatory models, PAM-2 showed anti-inflammatory properties. The antinociceptive effect of PAM-2 was inhibited by the selective competitive antagonist methyllycaconitine, indicating that the effect is mediated by α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Furthermore, PAM-2 enhanced the antiallodynic and anti-inflammatory effects of choline, a selective α7 agonist, in the mouse carrageenan test. PAM-2 was also effective in reducing acetic acid-induced aversion in the conditioned place aversion assay.
These findings suggest that the administration of PAM-2, a new α7-selective type II PAM, reduces the neuropathic and inflammatory pain sensory and affective behaviors in the mouse. Thus, this drug may have therapeutic applications in the treatment and management of chronic pain.
Anesthesia and analgesia 08/2015; DOI:10.1213/ANE.0000000000000902 · 3.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The CB1 receptor represents a promising target for the treatment of several disorders including pain-related disease states. However, therapeutic applications of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other CB1 orthosteric receptor agonists remain limited because of psychoactive side effects. Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) offer an alternative approach to enhance CB1 receptor function for therapeutic gain with the promise of reduced side effects. Here we describe the development of the novel synthetic CB1 PAM, 6-methyl-3-(2-nitro-1-(thiophen-2-yl)ethyl)-2-phenyl-1H-indole (ZCZ011), which augments the in vitro and in vivo pharmacological actions of the CB1 orthosteric agonists CP55,940 and N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA). ZCZ011 potentiated binding of [(3)H]CP55,940 to the CB1 receptor as well as enhancing AEA-stimulated [(35)S]GTPγS binding in mouse brain membranes and β-arrestin recruitment and ERK phosphorylation in hCB1 cells. In the whole animal, ZCZ011 is brain penetrant, increased the potency of these orthosteric agonists in mouse behavioral assays indicative of cannabimimetic activity, including antinociception, hypothermia, catalepsy, locomotor activity and in the drug discrimination paradigm. Administration of ZCZ011 alone was devoid of activity in these assays and did not produce a conditioned place preference or aversion, but elicited CB1 receptor mediated antinociceptive effects in the chronic constriction nerve injury (CCI) model of neuropathic pain and carrageenan model of inflammatory pain. These data suggest that ZCZ011 acts as a CB1 PAM and provide the first proof of principle that CB1 PAMs offer a promising strategy to treat neuropathic and inflammatory pain with minimal or no cannabimimetic side effects.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 08 June 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.148.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 06/2015; DOI:10.1038/npp.2015.148 · 7.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pyrido[3,4]homotropane[PHT], a conformationally rigid, high affinity analog of nicotine. (+)-PHT was previously shown to be 266 times more potent than (-)-PHT for inhibition of [3H]epibatidine binding to nAChRs, but had no antinociceptive activity in mouse tail-flick or hot-plate tests and was not a nicotinic antagonist even when administered intrathecally. (-)-PHT had no agonist activity, but was a potent antagonist. Here, electrophysiological studies with rat nAChRs show (+)-PHT to be a low efficacy partial agonist selective for α4β2-nAChRs, relative to α3β4-nAChRs (15-fold) and α7-nAChRs (45-fold). (-)-PHT was an antagonist with selectivity for α3β4, relative to α4β2- (3-fold) and α7- (11-fold) nAChRs. In [3H] DA release studies in mice, (+)-PHT was 10-fold more potent than (-)-PHT at α4β2*-nAChRs and 30-fold more potent at α6β2*-nAChRs. Studies using α5KO mice suggested that much of the activity at α4β2*-nAChRs is mediated by the α4β2α5-nAChR subtype. In Conditioned Place Preference studies, (-)-PHT was more potent than (+)-PHT in blocking nicotine reward. Off-target screens showed (+)- and (-)-PHT to be highly selective for nAChRs. The high potency, full agonism of (+)- and ( )-PHT at α6*-nAChR contrasts with the partial agonism observed for α4*-nAChR, making these ligands intriguing probes for learning more about the pharmacophores for various nAChRs.
ACS Chemical Neuroscience 04/2015; 6(6). DOI:10.1021/acschemneuro.5b00077 · 4.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purpose:
Abrupt 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, the primary catabolic enzyme of the endocannabinoid arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide), 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.
To 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.
BXD 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.
Conclusions and implications:
Overall, 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 · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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 · 7.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purpose:
Recent data have indicated that α3β4* neuronal nicotinic (n) ACh receptors may play a role in morphine dependence. Here we investigated if nACh receptors modulate morphine physical withdrawal.
To assess the role of α3β4* nACh receptors in morphine withdrawal, we used a genetic correlation approach using publically available datasets within the GeneNetwork web resource, genetic knockout and pharmacological tools. Male and female European-American (n = 2772) and African-American (n = 1309) subjects from the Study of Addiction: Genetics and Environment dataset were assessed for possible associations of polymorphisms in the 15q25 gene cluster and opioid dependence.
BXD recombinant mouse lines demonstrated an increased expression of α3, β4 and α5 nACh receptor mRNA in the forebrain and midbrain, which significantly correlated with increased defecation in mice undergoing morphine withdrawal. Mice overexpressing the gene cluster CHRNA5/A3/B4 exhibited increased somatic signs of withdrawal. Furthermore, α5 and β4 nACh receptor knockout mice expressed decreased somatic withdrawal signs compared with their wild-type counterparts. Moreover, selective α3β4* nACh receptor antagonists, α-conotoxin 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 nACh receptor subunit, in opioid dependence and withdrawal. In contrast, we found that the α4β2* nACh receptor subtype is not involved in morphine somatic withdrawal signs.
Conclusion and implications:
Overall, our findings suggest an important role for the α3β4* nACh receptor subtype in morphine physical dependence.
British Journal of Pharmacology 04/2014; 171(16). DOI:10.1111/bph.12741 · 4.84 Impact Factor