Wendy J Lynch

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

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Publications (58)260.56 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background While dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays a well-established role in motivating cocaine use in early “non-addicted” stages, recent evidence suggests that other signaling pathways may be critical once addiction has developed. Given the importance of glutamatergic signaling in the NAc for drug-seeking and relapse, here we examined its role in motivating cocaine self-administration under conditions known to produce either a “non-addicted” or an “addicted” phenotype. Methods Following acquisition, male and female Sprague Dawley rats were given either short access (3 fixed-ratio 1 sessions, 20 infusions/day) or extended 24-hr access (10 days; 4 trials/hr; up to 96 infusions/day) to cocaine. Following a 14-day abstinence period, motivation for cocaine was assessed under a progressive-ratio schedule, and once stable, the effects of intra-NAc infusions of the glutamate AMPA/KA receptor antagonist CNQX (0.0, 0.01, 0.03, 0.1 μg/side) were determined. As an additional measure for the development of an addicted phenotype, separate groups of rats were screened under an extinction/cue-induced reinstatement procedure following abstinence from short versus extended access self-administration. Results Motivation for cocaine and levels of extinction and reinstatement responding were markedly higher following extended versus short access self-administration confirming the development of an addicted phenotype in the extended access group. CNQX dose-dependently reduced motivation for cocaine in the extended access group, but was without effect in the short access group. Conclusions These results suggest that the role of glutamatergic signaling in the NAc, though not essential for motivating cocaine use in “non-addicted” stages, becomes critical once addiction has developed.
    Biological psychiatry 11/2014; · 8.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Topiramate (a GABA/glutamate modulator) and ondansetron (a serotonin-3 antagonist) have shown promise as treatments for alcohol use disorders (AUDs), although efficacy is modest/variable for both medications. We recently showed in animal models of consumption and relapse that acute treatment with a combination of these medications was more efficacious than either alone. To determine whether the mechanism for its beneficial effects is through modulation of ethanol's reinforcing effects, we measured the effect of this combination in male alcohol preferring (P) rats (N = 22) responding for ethanol under a progressive-ratio (PR) schedule. Low doses, which either do not affect (ondansetron; 0.001 mg/kg) or only modestly affect (topiramate; 10 mg/kg) alcohol-related behaviors on their own, were selected in an attempt to maximize their combined efficacy while minimizing potential side effects. In addition to acute treatment (1 day), the effects of chronic administration (10 days) were examined in an attempt to model human treatment approaches. The effects of the combination were compared with the low dose of topiramate alone hypothesizing that the combination would be more efficacious than topiramate alone. Although both topiramate and the combination similarly reduced PR responding for ethanol following acute treatment and during the initial phase of chronic treatment (Days 1-5), after repeated administration (Days 6-10), only the combination produced a sustained reduction in ethanol-maintained responding. These results suggest an advantage of the combination over topiramate alone at producing a sustained reduction in ethanol's reinforcing effects following prolonged treatment, and lend further support for its use as a potential treatment for AUDs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 02/2014; 22(1):35-42. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exercise has shown promise as an intervention for drug addiction; however, little is known regarding the exercise conditions that most effectively reduce relapse vulnerability and whether these conditions differ by sex. Here, we examined sex differences in the dose-dependent effects of wheel running, an animal model of exercise, during abstinence on subsequent cocaine-seeking. Male and female rats self-administered cocaine (1.5 mg/kg/infusion) under extended access conditions (24 h/day, 4 discrete trials/h) for 10 days. Rats were then given voluntary access to either an unlocked or locked running wheel for 1, 2, 6, or 24 h/day during the 14-day abstinence period. Separate groups of rats were housed in polycarbonate cages during abstinence to control for physical activity that the wheel may provide. Subsequent cocaine-seeking was assessed under a within-session extinction/cue-induced reinstatement procedure. Estrous cycle was monitored in females to determine whether the effectiveness of wheel running varied by estrous cycle phase. Although females ran more than males, males were more sensitive to the effects of running and showed a dose-dependent decrease in cocaine-seeking with longer access resulting in greater suppression. The dose-effect relationship was less straightforward in females and access to both a locked and unlocked wheel decreased cocaine-seeking with effects dependent on estrous cycle phase. Notably, extended (6 and 24 h/day), but not limited (1 and 2 h/day) access to a wheel surmounted the heightened vulnerability observed in females during estrus. Taken together, our findings suggest that the effectiveness of wheel running is dose-, sex-, and estrous cycle-dependent.
    Psychopharmacology 01/2014; · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wheel running attenuates nicotine-seeking in male adolescent rats; however, it is not known if this effect extends to females. To determine if wheel running during abstinence would differentially attenuate subsequent nicotine-seeking in male and female rats that had extended access to nicotine self-administration during adolescence. Male (n = 49) and female (n = 43) adolescent rats self-administered saline or nicotine (5 μg/kg) under an extended access (23-h) paradigm. Following the last self-administration session, rats were moved to polycarbonate cages for an abstinence period where they either had access to a locked or unlocked running wheel for 2 h/day. Subsequently, nicotine-seeking was examined under a within-session extinction/cue-induced reinstatement paradigm. Due to low levels of nicotine-seeking in females in both wheel groups, additional groups were included that were housed without access to a running wheel during abstinence. Females self-administered more nicotine as compared to males; however, within males and females, intake did not differ between groups prior to wheel assignment. Compared to saline controls, males and females that self-administered nicotine showed a significant increase in drug-seeking during extinction. Wheel running during abstinence attenuated nicotine-seeking during extinction in males. In females, access to either locked or unlocked wheels attenuated nicotine-seeking during extinction. While responding was reinstated by cues in both males and females, levels were modest and not significantly affected by exercise in this adolescent-onset model. While wheel running reduced subsequent nicotine-seeking in males, access to a wheel, either locked or unlocked, was sufficient to suppress nicotine-seeking in females.
    Psychopharmacology 11/2013; · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale Combined medication approaches, by targeting multiple neurotransmitter systems involved in alcohol use disorders (AUDs), may be more efficacious than single-medication approaches. Objectives We examined, in animals models of consumption and reinforcement, the combined effects of naltrexone (an opioid antagonist) and topiramate (a GABA/glutamate modulator), two medications that have shown promise for treating AUDs, hypothesizing that their combination would be more efficacious than either alone. Methods The effects of naltrexone and topiramate on ethanol consumption were examined in alcohol preferring (P) rats (N=10) and in rats from their background strain (Wistar, N=9) using conditions that induce high levels of consumption (24-hr, 3-bottle, free-choice procedure). Low doses of each medication (1mg/kg, naltrexone; 10mg/kg, topiramate) were selected in an attempt to maximize their combined efficacy while minimizing potential side-effects. Their effects on ethanol reinforcement were assessed under a progressive-ratio schedule in additional groups of (N=22) P rats. A moderate dose of topiramate (20mg/kg) was also included to verify topiramate's efficacy on its own. Results In P rats, but not Wistar rats, the combination effectively and persistently reduced consumption; whereas, neither dose alone was effective. The combination and naltrexone alone were equally effective at reducing ethanol reinforcement; however, with the combination, but not naltrexone alone, this effect was selective for ethanol. All treatments produced a similar decrease in home-cage food consumption. The 20mg/kg dose of topiramate also effectively reduced ethanol consumption and reinforcement. Conclusions With greater efficacy and fewer side-effects, the combination shows promise as a treatment for AUDs.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 11/2013; · 2.82 Impact Factor
  • Alexis B Peterson, Jean M Abel, Wendy J Lynch
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    ABSTRACT: Physical activity, and specifically exercise, has shown promise as an intervention for drug addiction; however, the exercise conditions that produce the most efficacious response, as well as its underlying mechanism, are unknown. In this study, we examined the dose-dependent effects of wheel running, an animal model of exercise, during abstinence on subsequent cocaine-seeking and associated changes in prefrontal cortex (PFC) brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) exon IV expression, a marker of epigenetic regulation implicated in cocaine relapse and known to be regulated by exercise. Cocaine-seeking was assessed under a within-session extinction/cue-induced reinstatement procedure following extended access cocaine or saline self-administration (24-h/day, 4 discrete trials/h, 10 days, 1.5 mg/kg/infusion) and a 14-day abstinence period. During abstinence, rats had either locked or unlocked running wheel access for 1, 2, or 6 h/day. Bdnf exon IV expression was assessed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Cocaine-seeking was highest under the locked wheel condition, and wheel running dose dependently attenuated this effect. Cocaine increased Bdnf exon IV expression, and wheel running dose dependently attenuated this increase, with complete blockade in rats given 6-h/day access. Notably, the efficacy of exercise was inversely associated with Bdnf exon IV expression, and both its efficacy and its effects on Bdnf exon IV expression were mimicked by treatment during abstinence with sodium butyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that, like exercise, modulates gene transcription, including Bdnf exon IV expression. Taken together, these results indicate that the efficacy of exercise is dose dependent and likely mediated through epigenetic regulation of PFC Bdnf.
    Psychopharmacology 10/2013; · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although considerable evidence implicates dopamine D1-receptor signaling in the nucleus accumbens in motivation for cocaine during early stages of addiction, less is known with regard to its role after the development of addiction. Here, we examined its role in the development of an addicted phenotype in intact male and female rats, and in female rats that were either resistant or vulnerable to developing this phenotype. Intact males, females, and ovariectomized (OVX) females with and without estradiol (vulnerable, OVX+E; resistant, OVX+Veh) were given either short access (ShA) (three fixed-ratio 1 sessions, maximum of 20 infusions) or 24-hour extended access (ExA) to cocaine for 10 days (4 trials/hour). Motivation for cocaine was assessed after a 14-day abstinence period with a progressive-ratio schedule. Once responding stabilized, the effects of intra-accumbens infusion of the D1-receptor antagonist, SCH-23390 (0, .3, 1.0, 3.0 µg), were examined. Motivation for cocaine was markedly higher after abstinence from ExA versus ShA self-administration in intact males and females, indicating the development of an addicted phenotype in these groups. Motivation for cocaine was also higher than ShA control subjects in OVX+E but not OVX+Veh females after ExA self-administration, confirming the categorization of these groups as vulnerable versus resistant. After ExA self-administration, intact males and females and OVX+E but not OVX+Veh females were less sensitive to the effects of D1-receptor antagonism as compared with their ShA counterparts. These results suggest that the role of D1-receptor signaling, although critical in "nonaddicted" stages, becomes diminished once addiction has developed.
    Biological psychiatry 10/2013; · 8.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Physical activity, and specifically exercise, has been suggested as a potential treatment for drug addiction. In this review, we discuss clinical and preclinical evidence for the efficacy of exercise at different phases of the addiction process. Potential neurobiological mechanisms are also discussed focusing on interactions with dopaminergic and glutamatergic signaling and chromatin remodeling in the reward pathway. While exercise generally produces an efficacious response, certain exercise conditions may be either ineffective or lead to detrimental effects depending on the level/type/timing of exercise exposure, the stage of addiction, the drug involved, and the subject population. During drug use initiation and withdrawal, its efficacy may be related to its ability to facilitate dopaminergic transmission, and once addiction develops, its efficacy may be related to its ability to normalize glutamatergic and dopaminergic signaling and reverse drug-induced changes in chromatin via epigenetic interactions with BDNF in the reward pathway. We conclude with future directions, including the development of exercise-based interventions alone or as an adjunct to other strategies for treating drug addiction.
    Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 06/2013; · 10.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Women progress more rapidly after initial cocaine use to addiction as compared to men. Similarly, female rats appear to require less cocaine exposure prior to developing an addicted phenotype with evidence implicating estradiol as a potential mechanism. The goals of this study were to determine whether there are sex differences in the magnitude of the addicted phenotype under optimized conditions that induce its development in both males and females and to determine the role of estradiol in this effect. Following acquisition, intact male and intact and ovariectomized (OVX) female rats with and without estradiol replacement were given access to cocaine (1.5 mg/kg/infusion) under either extended access (ExA; discrete trial procedure, 4 trials/hr, 24 hr/day, 10 days) or short access (ShA) conditions (20 infusions maximum/day, 3 days). Motivation to obtain cocaine (0.5 mg/kg/infusion), as assessed under a progressive-ratio schedule, was then examined following a two-week abstinence period. Results showed that following ExA self-administration both males and females developed an addicted phenotype, with 9 of 11 males and 8 of 10 females showing a greater than 15% increase in levels of motivation to obtain cocaine as compared to ShA controls. In contrast, within the OVX groups, responding was enhanced from control levels after ExA self-administration in estradiol-replaced rats only. These results suggest that while females may have an enhanced vulnerability to developing an addicted phenotype, they may be similar to males once addiction has developed. These results also suggest that estradiol is critically involved in the development of addicted phenotype in females.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 12 March 2013; doi:10.1038/npp.2013.68.
    Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 03/2013; · 8.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RATIONALE: Exercise appears to be a promising non-pharmacological treatment for nicotine addiction that may be useful for the vulnerable adolescent population. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to determine if wheel-running, an animal model of aerobic exercise, during an abstinence period would decrease subsequent nicotine-seeking in rats that had extended access to nicotine self-administration during adolescence. METHODS: Male adolescent rats (n = 55) were trained to self-administer saline or nicotine infusions (5 or 10 μg/kg) under a fixed ratio 1 schedule with a maximum of 20 infusions/day beginning on postnatal day 30. After 5 days, access was extended to 23 h/day with unlimited infusions for a total of 10 days. After the last self-administration session, rats were moved to polycarbonate cages for a 10-day abstinence period where they either had access to a locked or unlocked running wheel for 2 h/day. Nicotine-seeking was examined following the 10th day of abstinence under a within-session extinction/cue-induced reinstatement paradigm. RESULTS: Intake was higher at the 10 μg/kg dose as compared to the 5 μg/kg dose; however, intake did not differ within doses prior to wheel assignment. Compared to saline controls, rats that self-administered nicotine at either dose showed a significant increase in drug-seeking during extinction, and consistent with our hypothesis, exercise during abstinence attenuated this effect. Nicotine led to modest but significant levels of cue-induced reinstatement; however, in this adolescent-onset model, levels were variable and not affected by exercise. CONCLUSIONS: Exercise may effectively reduce relapse vulnerability for adolescent-onset nicotine addiction.
    Psychopharmacology 01/2013; · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adenosine is an important neuromodulator, known to interact with both dopaminergic and glutamatergic systems to influence psychostimulant action. In the present study, we examined the effects of ATL444, a novel adenosine receptor antagonist, on motivation for cocaine in male and female rats. Adult male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to self-administer cocaine (1.5mg/kg/infusion) on a fixed-ratio 1 schedule with a daily maximum of 20 infusions. Following 5 consecutive sessions during which all 20 available infusions were obtained, motivation for cocaine (0.5 mg/kg/infusion) was assessed under a progressive ratio (PR) schedule, and once responding stabilized, the effect of treatment with ATL444 (0, 15, and 30 mg/kg, i.p.) was examined. As a control, we also assessed its effects on PR responding for sucrose. Binding studies revealed that ATL 444 was 3-fold, 25-fold, and 400-fold more selective for the A2A receptor as compared to A1, A2B, and A3 receptors, respectively. ATL444 produced a significant increase in motivation for cocaine on the day of treatment in females with a trend for an increase in males. In addition, over the two PR sessions following ATL444 treatment a significant decrease in responding was observed in males but not females. Responding for sucrose was unaffected by ATL444 treatment. Our results reveal that adenosine receptor blockade may mediate both acute increases in the reinforcing effects of cocaine, and longer term inhibitory effects on cocaine reinforcement that differ according to sex.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 05/2012; 102(2):257-63. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol dependence is the third leading cause of preventable death in the USA. While single-agent pharmacotherapies have variable efficacy, medication combinations may produce additive effects by modulating multiple neural pathways. Here, we examined in animal models of ethanol consumption and relapse the combined effects of ondansetron (a serotonin-3 antagonist) and topiramate (a GABA/glutamate modulator), two medications with demonstrated efficacy for treating alcohol dependence, hypothesizing that their combination would produce a more efficacious response. The effects of acutely administered ondansetron (0-0.01 mg/kg) and topiramate (0-10 mg/kg) alone and in combination on ethanol consumption were examined in alcohol preferring (P) rats (N = 20) and in rats from their background strain (Wistars, N = 20) using a 24-h access free-choice paradigm. Next, we examined their ability to prevent an increase in ethanol consumption following a deprivation period (i.e., an animal model of relapse). Whether administered alone or combined with ondansetron, topiramate produced a similar modest but persistent reduction in ethanol consumption. However, an analysis of efficacy by drinking level revealed that the combination was superior to topiramate alone in heavy-drinking P rats, but was without effect in lighter-drinking P rats and Wistar rats. Both topiramate alone and the combination blocked the alcohol deprivation effect in both Wistar and P rats with the combination tending to produce a greater decrease than topiramate alone. The combination of ondansetron and topiramate may be a promising treatment for preventing relapse and for treating alcohol dependence in heavy-, but not lighter-drinkers.
    Psychopharmacology 03/2011; 217(1):3-12. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    Mark A Smith, Wendy J Lynch
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies reveal that individuals who engage in regular aerobic exercise are less likely to use and abuse illicit drugs. Until recently, very few studies had examined the causal influences that mediate this relationship, and it was not clear whether exercise was effective at reducing substance use and abuse. In the past few years, several preclinical studies have revealed that exercise reduces drug self-administration in laboratory animals. These studies have revealed that exercise produces protective effects in procedures designed to model different transitional phases that occur during the development of, and recover from, a substance use disorder (e.g., acquisition, maintenance, escalation, and relapse/reinstatement of drug use). Moreover, recent studies have revealed several behavioral and neurobiological consequences of exercise that may be responsible for its protective effects in these assays. Collectively, these studies have provided convincing evidence to support the development of exercise-based interventions to reduce compulsive patterns of drug intake in clinical and at-risk populations.
    Frontiers in Psychiatry 01/2011; 2:82.
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    Wendy J Lynch, Mehmet Sofuoglu
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    ABSTRACT: Nicotine addiction continues to be the main cause of preventable death in developed countries. Women and teen girls appear to be more vulnerable on certain aspects of nicotine addiction compared with men and boys. While the mechanism of gender differences in nicotine addiction is not yet clear, evidence suggests that while estrogen may underlie enhanced vulnerability in females, progesterone may protect females. Thus, progesterone may have therapeutic use for tobacco addiction, especially in female smokers. A greater understanding of the role of progesterone in nicotine addiction is important not only from a treatment standpoint, but also from a prevention standpoint: hormone transition phases, such as those that occur at adolescence, and during pregnancy and following birth, as well as following hormonal manipulation (e.g., using methods of hormonal birth control), may all contribute to changes in vulnerability to nicotine addiction. In this review, we summarize recent evidence from clinical and preclinical studies examining the role of progesterone in nicotine addiction focusing on its role during initiation of use and during later phases of the addiction process as a potential relapse prevention treatment. We conclude with future directions including further examination of progesterone as a potential intervention and treatment of nicotine addiction.
    Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 12/2010; 18(6):451-61. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exercise has recently been suggested as an attractive alternative to pharmacotherapy for treating drug addiction. The goal of this study was to determine, using an animal model, whether aerobic exercise may block reinstatement of cocaine-seeking and its underlying neurobiology (i.e., neuronal signaling in the prefrontal cortex). Following acquisition and 10 days of 24-hour access to cocaine (1.5 mg/kg/infusion) or saline under a discrete trial procedure (four infusions/hr), rats began a 14-day abstinence period. During this period, rats were either given access to a running-wheel for 2-hours each day or placed in similar boxes with the wheel locked. Cocaine-seeking was assessed following the 14th day of abstinence using a within-session extinction/cue-induced reinstatement procedure. Neuronal activity was assessed by examining phosphorylated levels of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK) using Western blot analysis. Wheel running reduced cocaine-seeking during both extinction and reinstatement. Cocaine-seeking was positively associated with pERK levels in the prefrontal cortex. Although pERK levels were not different among saline controls, in the cocaine group, pERK levels were significantly decreased by exercise. Aerobic exercise may reduce relapse vulnerability by preventing the increase in cocaine-seeking and associated neuroadaptations in the prefrontal cortex that develop over an abstinence period.
    Biological psychiatry 10/2010; 68(8):774-7. · 8.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Substance abuse and addiction are well recognized public health concerns, with 2 NIH institutes (the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) specifically targeting this societal problem. As such, this is an important area of research for which animal experiments play a critical role. This overview presents the importance of substance abuse and addiction in society; reviews the development and refinement of animal models that address crucial areas of biology, pathophysiology, clinical treatments, and drug screening for abuse liability; and discusses some of the unique veterinary, husbandry, and IACUC challenges associated with these models.
    Comparative medicine 06/2010; 60(3):177-88. · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A recent clinical study demonstrated that damage to the insular cortex can disrupt tobacco addiction. The neurobiological mechanisms for this effect are not yet understood. In this study we used an animal model of nicotine addiction to examine the possibility that changes in insular cortex levels of dopamine (DA)- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein of 32 kDa (DARPP-32), a phosphoprotein enriched in DA neurons containing DA D1 receptors, may be associated with changes in vulnerability to nicotine addiction. Once rats acquired self-administration, they were given unlimited access to nicotine (0.01 mg/kg/infusion) for 23 h/day for a total of 10 days. Each infusion was paired with a visual cue (stimulus light) and auditory cue (sound of pump). Nicotine seeking, as assessed under a cue-induced reinstatement paradigm, and markers of DARPP-32 signaling, as assessed using western blot analysis, were examined in separate groups of rats at two different abstinent intervals: 1 and 7 days. Consistent with findings with other drugs of abuse, rats in the 7-day abstinence group took longer to extinguish and responded at higher levels during reinstatement testing as compared with rats in the 1-day reinstatement group. Relative to saline controls, rats in the 7-day but not the 1-day abstinence group had higher levels of DARPP-32 phosphorylated at the protein kinase A site in the insular cortex. These results demonstrate incubation of drug seeking following extended access to nicotine self-administration and suggest that enhanced protein kinase A signaling in the insular cortex via phosphorylation of DARPP-32 at Thr34 is associated with this effect.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 02/2010; 31(4):733-41. · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In rodents, cocaine self-administration under a fixed-ratio schedule and with timeout intervals limited to the duration of the infusions is characterized by an initial burst of drug intake (loading) followed by more stable infusion rates (maintenance). We sought to examine whether similar phases might characterize self-regulated cocaine use in humans. 31 Non-treatment seeking, cocaine dependent subjects participated in three (8, 16, and 32 mg/70 kg/infusion), self-regulated, 2-h cocaine self-administration sessions under a fixed-ratio 1, 5-min timeout schedule. Data were assessed for visual (e.g., by graphs of cumulative numbers of infusions) and statistical evidence of change in phase (by step-function analyses of individual infusion rates). Graphs of cumulative infusions over time suggested a single, linear rate of self-administration over 2h at each cocaine dose. Statistical analyses of infusion data by generalized estimating equation (GEE) models also failed to support a loading/maintenance pattern (suggesting, if anything, the possibility of increasing infusion rates over time). Our findings fail to support the existence of distinct loading and maintenance phases of self-regulated cocaine administration in humans at behaviorally relevant doses. Several factors may account for these observations including differences between humans and rodents in self-regulated drug intake.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 12/2009; 95(1):51-5. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Results from clinical studies have shown that topiramate effectively reduces alcohol consumption in a population of heavy-drinking alcohol-dependent humans. We undertook this preclinical study in order to establish topiramate's efficacy in a rodent model and to determine whether topiramate's efficacy may vary with level of drinking and/or genetic background. The effects of acutely administered topiramate (0, 5, and 10 mg/kg) on ethanol consumption were examined in a large group of ethanol-preferring (P) rats (N = 20) in order to assess the relationship between level of consumption and treatment effect using a two-bottle free-choice paradigm (10% ethanol versus water). We also evaluated the effects of topiramate in two groups of Wistar rats that were given access to ethanol under either the standard two-bottle free-choice paradigm or under conditions that are known to produce higher levels of daily ethanol consumption (i.e. three-bottle free choice). Topiramate treatment produced a modest, but persistent (average of 5 days), reduction in ethanol consumption in P rats, and this effect did not vary with level of consumption. Topiramate did not affect ethanol consumption in either group of Wistar rats. The results from this study establish in a rodent model that topiramate effectively and persistently reduces ethanol consumption and suggests that its efficacy may depend on genetic vulnerability but not level of drinking.
    Psychopharmacology 10/2009; 207(4):529-34. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    Wendy J Lynch
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine sex differences in sensitivity to nicotine's reinforcing effects during adolescence, a hormone transition phase characterized by rapid and marked changes in levels of gonadal hormones. Male and female rats were trained to self-administer nicotine (5 or 10 microg/kg/infusion) under a fixed-ratio 1 schedule beginning on postnatal day 30. Following acquisition, responding was assessed under a progressive-ratio schedule until postnatal day 45 with blood sampling occurring prior to the first 5 sessions in order to determine the relationship between gonadal hormones (i.e., estradiol and progesterone in females and testosterone in males) and responding for nicotine. Under low dose conditions, a greater percentage of females than males acquired nicotine self-administration. Under progressive-ratio testing conditions, although adolescent females and males initially responded at similar levels, by the end of the adolescent testing period, females responded at higher levels than males to obtain nicotine infusions. Levels of responding under the progressive-ratio schedule were negatively associated with progesterone and positively associated with the ratio of estradiol to progesterone. These findings demonstrate an enhanced sensitivity in adolescent females as compared to adolescent males to nicotine's reinforcing effects with evidence implicating circulating hormone levels as modulating this sensitivity.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 08/2009; 94(1):43-50. · 2.82 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
260.56 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2014
    • University of Virginia
      • Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences
      Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
  • 2011
    • Davidson College
      Davidson, North Carolina, United States
  • 2002–2009
    • Yale University
      • Department of Psychiatry
      New Haven, CT, United States
  • 2006–2007
    • Yale-New Haven Hospital
      • Department of Laboratory Medicine
      New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • 2002–2004
    • Wake Forest School of Medicine
      • Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
      Winston-Salem, NC, United States
  • 2000
    • University of Minnesota Duluth
      Duluth, Minnesota, United States
  • 1998–2000
    • University of Minnesota Twin Cities
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Minneapolis, MN, United States
    • Macalester College
      • Department of Psychology
      Saint Paul, MN, United States