Previously, we have shown that systemic administration of the 5-HT(2C) receptor agonist Ro60-0175 reduces cocaine-induced locomotor activity and cocaine self-administration. Ro60-0175 also alters the activity of midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a region where 5-HT(2C) receptors are expressed. The present experiments investigated whether microinjections of Ro60-0175 into the VTA would alter the locomotor stimulant effect of cocaine and cocaine self-administration. In the tests for locomotor activity injection of 3 and 10, but not 1 microg, Ro60-0175 into the VTA reduced the locomotor stimulation resulting from injection of 10 mg/kg cocaine. In tests of cocaine self-administration, rats were trained to lever press for intravenous infusions of 0.25 mg cocaine delivered on either a fixed ratio 5 (FR5) or a progressive ratio schedule. Intra-VTA injection of Ro60-0175 at doses of 3 and 10 microg reduced responding for cocaine on both schedules without significantly altering the latency to initiate responding or the rate of responding. A subsequent experiment determined that the suppressant effect of intra-VTA Ro60-0175 (3 microg) on responding for cocaine was prevented by pretreatment with the selective 5-HT(2C) receptor antagonist SB242,084 (0.5 mg/kg). In a final experiment, intra-VTA injection of Ro60-0175 reduced responding for food reinforcement on the same progressive ratio schedule as used for cocaine self-administration. These results demonstrate that stimulation of 5-HT(2C) receptors in the VTA is sufficient to attenuate the stimulant and reinforcing effects of cocaine. These effects complement electrophysiological and neurochemical findings, and indicate that 5-HT(2C) receptors localized within the VTA modulate the activity of mesolimbic DA neurons.
Previously, we showed that the 5-HT2C receptor agonist Ro60-0175 reduces cocaine self-administration, and the ability of cocaine to reinstate responding after extinction of drug-seeking behavior. The present experiments extended these findings further by determining whether the effects of Ro60-0175 on self-administration were sustained with repeated treatment, and whether Ro60-0175 altered reinstatement induced by the pharmacological stressor yohimbine, or by the context in which self-administration occurred. In Experiment 1, Ro60-0175 (1 mg/kg, s.c.) reduced cocaine (0.25 mg/infusion) self-administration maintained by a progressive ratio schedule. This reduction was sustained over eight daily injections. In Experiment 2, rats self-administered cocaine in daily 2 h sessions for 15 days on a FR1 schedule. Following extinction, yohimbine (1 mg/kg, i.p.) reinstated responding, and this effect was reduced dose dependently by Ro60-0175 (0.3-3 mg/kg, s.c.). In Experiment 3, rats were trained to respond for cocaine on a FR1 schedule in a distinct environmental context (A); responding was then extinguished in a different context (B). Reinstatement tests occurred in either context A or B. Responding was reinstated only when rats were tested in the original self-administration context (A). This reinstatement was reduced dose dependently by Ro60-0175. All effects of Ro60-0175 were blocked by the 5-HT2C receptor antagonist SB242084. Thus, Ro60-0175, acting via 5-HT2C receptors, reduces cocaine self-administration and cocaine-seeking triggered by a stressor and by drug-associated cues. The effects of Ro60-0175 do not exhibit tolerance within the 8-day test period. These results indicate that selective 5-HT2C receptor agonists may be a useful pharmacological strategy for treatment of drug abuse.
A key feature of addiction to nicotine likely resides in its ability to produce subjective effects that, in turn, may be reflected in its discriminative-stimulus properties. Vaccination against such effects of nicotine offers an intriguing therapeutic approach for smoking cessation, but a reliably effective and immunologically safe vaccine remains to be identified. Here we report on the ability of SEL-068, a nanoparticle-based vaccine that targets nicotine, to modify the discriminative-stimulus effects of nicotine in a primate species. Results indicate that squirrel monkeys vaccinated with SEL-068 failed to acquire 0.1 mg/kg nicotine discrimination but readily learned to discriminate 0.001 mg/kg of the nicotinic full agonist (+)-epibatidine [(+)-EPI]. After (+)-EPI training, doses of nicotine≥0.32 mg/kg, which produced behaviorally adverse actions, still failed to substitute for the (+)-EPI training stimulus in immunized monkeys, whereas (+)-EPI and the partial agonist varenicline engendered, respectively, complete and partial substitution in all monkeys with potency comparable to their potency in non-immunized subjects. In other subjects, nicotine was trained as a discriminative-stimulus and then replaced by (+)-EPI. Subsequent vaccination with SEL-068 led to a 3-fold and long-lasting (>30 weeks) decrease in the potency of nicotine but not (+)-EPI or varenicline. Collectively, our results show that SEL-068 can block the development of nicotine discrimination and attenuate nicotine's effects in nicotine-experienced monkeys without altering the discriminative-stimulus properties of other nicotinic drugs. The difference in the vaccine's effects in naïve and nicotine-experienced subjects provides important insight into the conditions under which immunotherapy may be effective in combating nicotine addiction.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 06 March 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.64.
The purpose of the present investigation was to explore further the hypothesis that the self-injurious behavior induced by L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) in neonatal-6-hydroxydopamine (OHDA)-lesioned rats is associated with an action on D1 dopamine receptors. This was accomplished by examining the behavioral responses induced by SKF-38393, quinpirole, and L-DOPA after treatment with the D1 antagonist SCH-23390 and three new pharmacologic agents, SCH-39166, NO-0756, and A-69024, reported to be D1 antagonists. All putative D1 antagonists were found to antagonize the action of SKF-38393 without reducing the increased locomotion and behavioral responses induced by quinpirole, consistent with an in vivo action on D1 receptors. The potency hierarchy of the compounds against the action of SKF-38393 on activity, from strongest to weakest, was: SCH-39166 equaled SCH-23390 and these were greater than NO-0756, which was greater than A-69024. All compounds were found to antagonize L-DOPA-induced self-mutilatory behavior (SMB) in neonatal-6-OHDA-lesioned rats in a dose-related manner. The potency hierarchy against this behavior, from strongest to weakest, was: SCH-23390, SCH-39166, NO-0756, and A-69024. The correlation between the ED50 for the ability of these drugs to antagonize SKF-38393-induced activity and their ability to reduce SMB by L-DOPA was greater than 0.99. In conclusion, the present findings provide additional evidence in vivo that NO-0756, SCH-39166, and A-69024 are selective D1 receptor antagonists.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The administration of 1.0 mg SDZ 210-086, an orally acting muscarinic agonist, shortened rapid-eye movement (REM) latency, increased REM percent of sleep period time and the total duration of REM sleep, and decreased slow-wave sleep in 12 healthy male subjects. The administration of 0.5 mg SDZ 210-086 had no statistically significant effect on sleep variables. Although the tonic components of REM sleep (REM duration, the REM percent of sleep period time) were increased, REM density percent (total) was significantly decreased due to the prolongation of total REM duration (in minutes) and a parallel reduction of the total number of eye movements. This finding is in contrast to studies using other cholinomimetics (i.e., physostigmine, arecoline, and RS 86) and may implicate different generating systems of phasic and tonic REM sleep components.
Neuroleptic treatment of schizophrenia provides a reduction in psychotic episodes and is accompanied by unwanted extrapyramidal side effects. Clozapine is atypical in that it does not produce these side effects. Typical antipsychotics have high affinity for dopamine D2 receptors, whereas atypicals, such as Clozapine, have D4 selectivity. Location of mRNA in rat brain show that D2 message is highest in the nigrostriatal areas, whereas D4 is distributed in cortical and limbic regions. The D4 selectivity of Clozapine and mRNA location indicate that D4 receptor antagonism may provide antipsychotic efficacy without extrapyramidal side effects. This study identifies for the first time the D4 receptor protein in autoradiographic blocking studies with [(3)H]-YM-09151-2 ([(3)M]-YM), a D2, D3, and D4 ligand. Blocked studies demonstrated that Raclopride, a D2/D3 compound, and D4 selective compounds Clozapine and (+)Apomorphine showed inhibitions in similar brain regions of D2 and D4 mRNA distribution, respectively. The study also investigated [(3)H] - Raclopride ([(3)H]-RAC) autoradiography to further contrast D2 location from D4. [(3)H]-RAC showed similar binding in regions blocked by cold Raclopride in [(3)H]-YM autoradiography. These findings reveal that the D4 receptor is located in dopaminergic structures involved in cognition and emotional stability while avoiding extrapyramidal structures which affect motor functioning.
Disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) is associated with mental disorders, including major depression. We previously showed that DISC1-Q31L mutant mice have depression-like behaviors and can therefore be used to study neurobiological mechanisms of depression and antidepressant (AD) medication action. First, we found reduced levels of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine in the nucleus accumbens (NAC) of DISC1-Q31L mutants. Next, we assessed social-conditioned place preference as a reward-dependent task and the capacity of distinct ADs to correct impaired social behavior in DISC1-Q31L mice. Bupropion, but not fluoxetine or desipramine, was able to correct deficient social facilitation, social reward, and social novelty in DISC1-Q31L mutants, whereas all three ADs were able to improve social motivation and behavioral despair in DISC1-Q31L mutants. Furthermore, we sought to correlate social anhedonia with molecular and cellular features including dendritic spine density, β-arrestin-1,2, and cAMP-response-element-binding protein (CREB) in the NAC as biomarkers related to depression and the DISC1 pathway. DISC1-Q31L mutants showed reduced levels of β-arrestin-1,2, CREB, and spine density in the NAC, further supporting the construct validity of the genetic model. Bupropion induced the greatest effect on CREB in DISC1-Q31L mutants, whereas all studied ADs corrected the reduced levels of β-arrestin-1,2 and modestly ameliorated deficient spine density in this brain region. Overall, we find neurobiological changes accompanying social anhedonia in the NAC of DISC1-Q31L mutant mice, consistent with a role for DISC1 in regulating social reward as an endophenotype of depression.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 26 September 2012; doi:10.1038/npp.2012.197.
Combined dopamine D(2) receptor antagonism and serotonin (5-HT)(1A) receptor agonism may improve efficacy and alleviate some side effects associated with classical antipsychotics. The present study describes the in vitro and in vivo characterization of 1-(2,3-dihydro-benzo[1,4]dioxin-5-yl)-4-[5-(4-fluoro-phenyl)-pyridin-3-ylmethyl]-piperazine monohydrochloride (SLV313), a D(2/3) antagonist and 5-HT(1A) agonist. SLV313 possessed high affinity at human recombinant D(2), D(3), D(4), 5-HT(2B), and 5-HT(1A) receptors, moderate affinity at 5-HT(7) and weak affinity at 5-HT(2A) receptors, with little-no affinity at 5-HT(4), 5-HT(6), alpha(1), and alpha(2) (rat), H(1) (guinea pig), M(1), M(4), 5-HT(3) receptors, and the 5-HT transporter. SLV313 had full agonist activity at cloned h5-HT(1A) receptors (pEC(50)=9.0) and full antagonist activity at hD(2) (pA(2)=9.3) and hD(3) (pA(2)=8.9) receptors. In vivo, SLV313 antagonized apomorphine-induced climbing and induced 5-HT(1A) syndrome behaviors and hypothermia, the latter behaviors being antagonized by the 5-HT(1A) antagonist WAY100635. In a drug discrimination procedure SLV313 induced full generalization to the training drug flesinoxan and was also antagonized by WAY100635. In the nucleus accumbens SLV313 reduced extracellular 5-HT and increased dopamine levels in the same dose range. Acetylcholine and dopamine were elevated in the hippocampus and mPFCx, the latter antagonized by WAY100635, suggesting possible 5-HT(1A)-dependent efficacy for the treatment of cognitive and attentional processes. SLV313 did not possess cataleptogenic potential (up to 60 mg/kg p.o.). The number of spontaneously active dopamine cells in the ventral tegmental area was reduced by SLV313 and clozapine, while no such changes were seen in the substantia nigra zona compacta following chronic administration. These results suggest that SLV313 is a full 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist and full D(2/3) receptor antagonist possessing characteristics of an atypical antipsychotic, representing a potential novel treatment for schizophrenia.
The neuropharmacological profile of Y-931, 8-fluoro-12- (4-methylpiperazin-1-yl)- 6H-benzothieno [2,3-b][1,5]benzodiazepine maleate, was investigated in comparison with those of typical and claimed atypical antipsychotic drugs. Similar to clozapine and olanzapine, Y-931 interacted with multiple neurotransmitter receptors such as dopaminergic, serotonergic, alpha-adrenergic, muscarinic and histaminergic receptors. Y-931, as well as the other antipsychotics, was active in a dose-dependent manner in established tests which are indicative of potential antipsychotic activity such as inhibition of apomorphine-induced hyperactivity and suppression of conditioned avoidance responses, however, only Y-931 and clozapine were devoid of cataleptogenic potential. In models of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor hypofunction, Y-931 demonstrated the most potent protective action against the dizocilpine-induced neurotoxicity (neuronal vacuolization) in the rat retrosplenial cortex ([Y-931 (ED(50); 0.20 mg/kg, p.o.), olanzapine (1.1), clozapine (5.7), risperidone (6.9), haloperidol (19)). Furthermore, Y-931 and clozapine, unlike the other antipsychotics used, reversed the dizocilpine-induced social deficits at the same doses at which their neuroprotective action was exhibited. The present results suggest that Y-931 may be a novel potential atypical antipsychotic drug with a low risk of extrapyramidal syndrome (EPS) and the property to ameliorate NMDA receptor hypofunction.
Genomic and pharmacologic data have suggested the involvement of the α3β4 subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in drug seeking to nicotine and other drugs of abuse. In order to better examine this receptor subtype, we have identified and characterized the first high affinity and selective α3β4 nAChR antagonist, AT-1001, both in vitro and in vivo. This is the first reported compound with a Ki below 10 nM at α3β4 nAChR and >90-fold selectivity over the other major subtypes, the α4β2 and α7 nAChR. AT-1001 competes with epibatidine, allowing for [³H]epibatidine binding to be used for structure-activity studies, however, both receptor binding and ligand-induced Ca²⁺ flux are not strictly competitive because increasing ligand concentration produces an apparent decrease in receptor number and maximal Ca²⁺ fluorescence. AT-1001 also potently and reversibly blocks epibatidine-induced inward currents in HEK cells transfected with α3β4 nAChR. Importantly, AT-1001 potently and dose-dependently blocks nicotine self-administration in rats, without affecting food responding. When tested in a nucleus accumbens (NAcs) synaptosomal preparation, AT-1001 inhibits nicotine-induced [³H]dopamine release poorly and at significantly higher concentrations compared with mecamylamine and conotoxin MII. These results suggest that its inhibition of nicotine self-administration in rats is not directly due to a decrease in dopamine release from the NAc, and most likely involves an indirect pathway requiring α3β4 nAChR. In conclusion, our studies provide further evidence for the involvement of α3β4 nAChR in nicotine self-administration. These findings suggest the utility of this receptor as a target for smoking cessation medications, and highlight the potential of AT-1001 and congeners as clinically useful compounds.
In the present study, we investigated whether the antagonist of 5-HT1A receptors, WAY 100135, was capable of modifying the psychostimulant and psychotomimetic effects of MK-801, a non-competitive antagonist of NMDA receptors. It was found that: 1) WAY 100135 (10 and 20 mg/kg, but not 1.25, 2.5, and 5 mg/kg) transiently, in a dose dependent manner, attenuated the locomotor stimulant effects of MK-801 (0.4 mg/kg). Given alone, WAY 100135 had no effect on the locomotor activity of rats; 2) WAY 100135 (1.25 and 2.5 mg/kg, but not 10 or 20 mg/kg), attenuated or abolished the disruptive effects of MK-801 on the sensorimotor gating measured in a prepulse-induced inhibition of the acoustic startle response paradigm. WAY 100135 in all tested doses had no effect on the sensorimotor gating or amplitude of the acoustic startle response; 3) WAY 100135 (1.25, 2.5 mg/kg, but not 5 mg/kg) attenuated the detrimental effects of MK-801 on working memory and selective attention, measured in a delayed alternation task. Again, given alone, WAY 100135 did not influence the behavior of rats in that experimental paradigm; and 4) MK-801 (0.4 mg/kg) had no effect on the 5-HT1A receptor mRNA level in rat hippocampus, measured 2 and 24 hours after MK-801 administration. These data indicate that 5-HT1A receptors might be involved in the psychotomimetic effects of non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonists. In addition, 5-HT1A serotonin receptor antagonists and partial agonists may have potential antipsychotic properties.
We recently found that in rats trained to self-administer a heroin-cocaine mixture, exposure to the drug self-administration environment, after extinction of the drug-reinforced behavior in a different context, leads to renewal of drug seeking. Here we further explored the role of contextual stimuli in drug seeking by characterizing the effect of drug-associated environmental stimuli on renewal of cocaine seeking. We also investigated whether activation of dopamine receptors contributes to context-induced renewal of cocaine seeking by testing the effects of selective D1-like (SCH 23390) and D2-like (raclopride) receptor antagonists. Rats were trained for 10 days to self-administer cocaine by pressing a lever. Next, lever pressing was extinguished in the presence of the discrete cues associated with cocaine infusions for 10 days in a context that was distinctively different from the drug-taking context. On the test days, rats were pretreated with SCH 23390 (0, 5 or 10 microg/kg) or raclopride (0, 50 or 100 microg/kg) and non-reinforced lever-pressing behavior was determined either in the extinction context (Control group) or the cocaine-associated context (Renewal group). Consistent with our previous report, cocaine seeking was renewed when rats were exposed to the drug-associated context after extinction in a different context. Furthermore, pretreatment with the D1-like or the D2-like receptor antagonists attenuated context-induced renewal of cocaine seeking. These data suggest that activation of dopamine receptors is involved in reinstatement of cocaine seeking induced by exposure to the drug self-administration context.
Positron emission tomography (PET) and [11C]WAY-100635 were used to examine the effect of age on serotonin-1A (5-HT1A) receptor binding potential (BP) in 19 healthy subjects. Regions of interest (ROI) were drawn on the co-registered magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in orbitofrontal (OFC), dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC), anterior cingulate (ACC), lateral (LTC), and mediotemporal (MTC), parietal, occipital and cerebellar cortex, and the raphe nuclei. BP values were calculated using a simplified reference tissue method. In addition, a voxelwise analysis was performed using SPM99. Voxelwise analysis revealed a significant global decrease of 5-HT(1A) BP with age (set level <.001). ROI analysis revealed significant age-related 5-HT(1A) BP decreases in DLPFC (r = -0.56), ACC (r = -0.44), OFC (r = -0.42), LTC (r = -0.40), parietal (r = -0.65), and occipital cortex (r = -0.43), but not in MTC or raphe nuclei. Overall, cortical 5-HT(1A) BP declined by approximately 10% per decade, except for the MTC, where we did not find a significant age effect. Hence, careful age matching may be recommended for future studies using PET and [11C]WAY-100635 to examine 5-HT1A receptors.
To elucidate the relative contribution of somatodendritic 5-HT(1A) autoreceptors and postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors in the specific anti-aggressive properties of 5-HT(1A) receptor agonists, the influence of the novel benzodioxopiperazine compound S-15535, which behaves in vivo as a competitive antagonist at postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors and as an agonist at 5-HT(1A) autoreceptors, upon offensive and defensive aggression was investigated in wild-type rats using a resident-intruder paradigm. S-15535 exerted a potent dose-dependent decrease in offensive, but not defensive, aggressive behavior (inhibitory dose (ID)(50) = 1.11 mg/kg). This anti-aggressive profile was roughly similar to that of the potent pre- and postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) full agonist alnespirone (ID(50) = 1. 24). The drug's profound anti-aggressive actions were not accompanied by sedative side effects or signs of the "5-HT(1A) receptor-mediated behavioral syndrome," which are characteristically induced by prototypical 5-HT(1A) receptor agonists like 8-OH-DPAT and buspirone. The selective pre- and postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) antagonist WAY-100635, which was inactive given alone, abolished the anti-aggressive effects of S-15535 and alnespirone, thereby confirming the involvement of 5-HT(1A) receptors. Furthermore, combined administration of S-15535 and alnespirone elicited an additive anti-aggressive effect, providing further support for somatodendritic 5-HT(1A) receptor involvement. Finally, the postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) antagonistic properties of S-15535 were confirmed by showing blockade of the alnespirone-induced hypothermia, a postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) mediated response in the rat. These data provide extensive evidence that the anti-aggressive effects of 5-HT(1A) receptor agonists are expressed via their action on somatodendritic 5-HT(1A) autoreceptors, thereby most likely attenuating intruder-activated serotonergic neurotransmission.
3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), the main psychoactive component of the recreational drug ecstasy, is a potent serotonin (5-HT) releaser. In animals, MDMA induces 5-HT depletion and toxicity in 5-HT neurons. The aim of this study was to investigate both presynaptic (5-HT transporter, SERT) and postsynaptic (5-HT(2A) receptor) markers of 5-HT transmission in recently abstinent chronic MDMA users compared with matched healthy controls. We hypothesized that MDMA use is associated with lower SERT density and concomitant upregulation of 5-HT(2A) receptors. Positron emission tomography studies using the SERT ligand [¹¹C]DASB and the 5-HT(2A) receptor ligand [¹¹C]MDL 100907 were evaluated in 13 current and recently detoxified MDMA users and 13 matched healthy controls. MDMA users reported a mean duration of ecstasy use of 8 years, regular exposure, and at least 2 weeks of abstinence before the scans. SERT and 5-HT(2A) receptor availability (binding potential, BP(ND)) were analyzed with a two-tissue compartment model with arterial input function. Current recreational MDMA use was significantly associated with lower SERT BP(ND) and higher 5-HT(2A) receptor BP(ND) in cortical, but not subcortical regions. Decreased SERT BP(ND) was regionally associated with upregulated 5-HT(2A) receptor BP(ND). In light of the animal literature, the most parsimonious interpretation is that repeated exposure to MDMA in humans, even in moderate amounts, leads to damage in 5-HT neuron terminals innervating the cortex. Alterations in mood, cognition, and impulse control associated with these changes might contribute to sustain MDMA use. The reversibility of these changes upon abstinence remains to be firmly established.
The rate of serotonin (5-HT) synthesis was measured in the discrete regions of the rat brain utilizing an autoradiographic method and alpha[14C]methyl-L-tryptophan as a tracer after an acute treatment with reserpine (10 mg/kg IP) or NSD-1015 (m-hydroxybenzylhydrazine) (100 mg/kg IP). Controls were injected with the same volume of solvent in place of reserpine or NSD-1015. Our results showed that reserpine induced a statistically significant (except for medial geniculate body) decrease in the rate of 5-HT synthesis in a large number of discrete brain structures. Reserpine had no influence on the plasma concentration of amino acids sharing the same carrier with tryptophan nor on the fraction of plasma-free tryptophan. NSD-1015 induced a statistically significant increase (p < .05) in the rate of 5-HT synthesis in 20 out of 28 brain regions but produced a pronounced decrease in the rate of 5-HT synthesis in the pineal body. This decrease in the pineal body serotonin synthesis rate is most likely the result of the loss of the label in the form of 5-hydroxy-alpha[14C]methyl-L-tryptophan [5-OHMTrp] that is not metabolized further because aromatic amino acid decarboxylase was inhibited. The data showing that there was no loss of the 5-OHMTrp from other brain structures as result of reserpine are also given. NSD-1015 treatment also induced a time-dependent increase in the plasma concentration of free tryptophan that becomes significant 30 minutes after NSD-1015 injection. Our results suggest that reserpine induces a decrease in 5-HT synthesis probably via direct or indirect inhibition of tryptophan hydroxylase activity. Since NSD-1015 alone increased the rate of 5-HT synthesis, the measurement of 5-HT synthesis in previous experiments using NSD-1015 and measuring the rate of 5-hydroxytryptophan accumulation after NSD-1015 induced inhibition of decarboxylase activity should be interpreted with reservation.
The effects of the selective glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonists ORG 34850, ORG 34116, and ORG 34517 on the rat hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) system were investigated. To assess the potency of the compounds to occupy GR in the brain and pituitary, we applied a single acute subcutaneous (s.c.) injection (10 mg/kg). ORG 34517 was most potent to occupy GR in the anterior pituitary and distinct brain areas, whereas all compounds were unable to occupy mineralocorticoid receptor (MR). Chronic administration of ORG 34850, ORG 34116, and ORG 34517 (20 mg/kg/day) for 1, 3, and 5 weeks resulted only in minor changes in brain GR levels. However, profound increases of hippocampal MR were observed virtually at all time points. Treatment with ORG 34850 and ORG 34116 elicited episodic increases in HPA axis activity, whereas ORG 34517 did not cause any changes in HPA activity. Thus, the GR antagonists exert distinct effects on the HPA axis, which may be pertinent for the proposed antidepressant activity of these compounds.
Sigma-Receptors (SigRs) have been implicated in behavioral and appetitive effects of psychostimulants and may also modulate the motivating properties of ethanol. This study tested the hypothesis that SigRs modulate ethanol reinforcement and contribute to excessive ethanol intake. The effects of subcutaneous treatment with the potent, selective Sig-1R antagonist BD-1063 on operant ethanol self-administration were studied in two models of excessive drinking-Sardinian alcohol-preferring (sP) rats and acutely withdrawn ethanol-dependent Wistar rats-and compared to ethanol self-administration in nondependent Wistar controls. To assess the specificity of action, the effects of BD-1063 on self-administration of an equally reinforcing saccharin solution were determined in Wistar and sP rats. Gene expression of Sig-1R in reward-related brain areas implicated in ethanol reinforcement was compared between ethanol-naive sP and Wistar rats and withdrawn ethanol-dependent Wistar rats. BD-1063 dose dependently reduced ethanol self-administration in sP rats (3.3-11 mg/kg) and withdrawn, dependent Wistar rats (4-11 mg/kg) at doses that did not modify mean ethanol self-administration in nondependent Wistar controls. BD-1063 did not reduce concurrent water self-administration and did not comparably suppress saccharin self-administration, suggesting selectivity of action. BD-1063 also reduced the breakpoints of sP rats to work for ethanol under a progressive-ratio reinforcement schedule. Ethanol-naive sP rats and 24-h withdrawn, dependent Wistar rats showed reduced Sig-1R mRNA expression in the nucleus accumbens. The results suggest that SigR systems may contribute to innate or ethanol-induced increases in susceptibility to self-administer high ethanol levels, identifying a potential neuroadaptive mechanism contributing to excessive drinking and a therapeutic target for alcohol abuse and dependence.
A history of stress produces increases in rodent relapse-like alcohol self-administration behavior and regional brain gene expression of phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10A), a dual-specificity cyclic adenosine monophosphate/cyclic guanosine monophosphate-inhibiting enzyme. Here, we tested the hypothesis that administration of TP-10, a specific PDE10A inhibitor, would reduce alcohol self-administration in conditions predisposing to elevated self-administration. TP-10 administration dose-dependently (0.562, 1.0 mg/kg; subcutaneously) reduced relapse-like alcohol self-administration regardless of stress history enhancement of relapse-like behavior. TP-10 also reduced alcohol self-administration in genetically alcohol-preferring rats, as well as in alcohol-non-dependent and -dependent rats. Effective systemic TP-10 doses did not alter alcohol pharmacokinetics, significantly reduce motor activity or intrabout operant response speed, or promote a conditioned place aversion. TP-10 also reduced saccharin self-administration, suggesting a general role for PDE10A in the self-administration of reinforcing substances. PDE10A inhibition in the dorsolateral striatum, but not the nucleus accumbens, reduced alcohol self-administration. Taken together, the results implicate dorsolateral striatum PDE10A in facilitating alcohol intake and support further investigation of PDE10A systems in the pathophysiology and potential treatment of substance use disorders.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 19 February 2014; doi:10.1038/npp.2014.20.
Several genome scans on alcohol dependence (AD) and AD-related traits have been published. In this article, we present the results of a genome-wide linkage scan on AD and several related traits in 322 European-American (EA) families, and results of additional analysis in 335 African-American (AA) families that were the subject of a previous report. All families were initially ascertained for cocaine and/or opioid dependence. Non-parametric linkage analysis in the EA sample revealed suggestive linkages on chromosomes 7 (LOD=2.1 at 82.8 cM, p=0.0009) and 10 (LOD=3.0 at 137.7 cM, p=0.0001). The chromosome 10 linkage peak is 20 cM distal from a genome-wide significant linkage peak we observed previously in the AA sample. Parametric linkage analysis on chromosome 10 (assuming a recessive model, 80% penetrance, disease allele frequency=0.3) resulted in LOD scores of 2.7 at 136.7 cM and 1.9 at 121.7 cM in the EA and AA samples, respectively, with a combined sample genome-wide significant LOD score of 4.1 at 131.7 cM. To reduce heterogeneity of the AD phenotype, we also assessed linkage of chromosome 10 markers with the presence of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, one of the seven components of the DSM-IV diagnosis of AD. Suggestive evidence for linkage was observed in both populations with only 5 cM separating the location of the peak LOD scores despite a loss of power due to a smaller number of families informative for this trait. Results of our study confirm a chromosome 10 risk locus for AD in two genetically distinct populations and suggest that this locus may correspond more precisely to a specific component of the disorder.
Sibutramine is a centrally acting monoamine reuptake inhibitor prescribed as an appetite suppressant in the management of obesity. Its effects are mostly attributable to serotonin and norepinephrine transporter (SERT and NET, respectively) inhibition by its potent metabolites mono-desmethylsibutramine (M1) and di-desmethylsibutramine (M2). However, there is a paucity of in vivo data in humans about mechanisms underlying both clinical efficacy and the dose-independent non-response observed in a minority of patients. Twelve healthy male patients (mean age 41 years) completed a double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject crossover investigation of brain SERT occupancy by sibutramine 15 mg daily at steady state. Correlations were measured between occupancy and (i) plasma concentrations of sibutramine, M1 and M2; (ii) appetite suppression. (11)C-DASB PET scans were performed on the HRRT camera. Binding potentials (BP(ND)) were calculated by the Logan reference tissue (cerebellum) method. SERT occupancy was modest (mean 30+/-10%), was similar across brain regions, but varied widely across subjects (15-46%). Occupancy was correlated positively (p=0.09) with M2 concentration, but not with sibutramine or M1. No significant appetite suppression was seen at <25% occupancy and greatest suppression was associated with highest occupancy (25-46%). However, several subjects with occupancy (36-39%) in the higher range had no appetite suppression. SERT occupancy by clinical doses of sibutramine is of modest magnitude and may be mediated predominantly by M2 in humans. 5-HT reuptake inhibition may be necessary but is not sufficient for sibutramine's efficacy in humans, supporting preclinical data suggesting that the hypophagic effect requires the co-inhibition of both SERT and NET.
(+/-)3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy') is a widely used illicit drug that produces toxic effects on brain serotonin axons and axon terminals in animals. The results of clinical studies addressing MDMA's serotonin neurotoxic potential in humans have been inconclusive. In the present study, 23 abstinent MDMA users and 19 non-MDMA controls underwent quantitative positron emission tomography (PET) studies using [11C]McN5652 and [11C]DASB, first- and second-generation serotonin transporter (SERT) ligands previously validated in baboons for detecting MDMA-induced brain serotonin neurotoxicity. Global and regional distribution volumes (DVs) and two additional SERT-binding parameters (DV(spec) and DVR) were compared in the two subject populations using parametric statistical analyses. Data from PET studies revealed excellent correlations between the various binding parameters of [11C]McN5652 and [11C]DASB, both in individual brain regions and individual subjects. Global SERT reductions were found in MDMA users with both PET ligands, using all three of the above-mentioned SERT-binding parameters. Preplanned comparisons in 15 regions of interest demonstrated reductions in selected cortical and subcortical structures. Exploratory correlational analyses suggested that SERT measures recover with time, and that loss of the SERT is directly associated with MDMA use intensity. These quantitative PET data, obtained using validated first- and second-generation SERT PET ligands, provide strong evidence of reduced SERT density in some recreational MDMA users.
The early postpartum period is associated with increased risk for affective and psychotic disorders. Because maternal dopaminergic reward system function is altered with perinatal status, dopaminergic system dysregulation may be an important mechanism of postpartum psychiatric disorders. Subjects included were non-postpartum healthy (n=13), postpartum healthy (n=13), non-postpartum unipolar depressed (n=10), non-postpartum bipolar depressed (n=7), postpartum unipolar (n=13), and postpartum bipolar depressed (n=7) women. Subjects underwent 60 min of [¹¹C]raclopride-positron emission tomography imaging to determine the nondisplaceable striatal D₂/₃ receptor binding potential (BP(ND)). Postpartum status and unipolar depression were associated with lower striatal D₂/₃ receptor BP(ND) in the whole striatum (p=0.05 and p=0.02, respectively) that reached a maximum of 7-8% in anteroventral striatum for postpartum status (p=0.02). Unipolar depression showed a nonsignificant trend toward being associated with 5% lower BP(ND) in dorsal striatum (p=0.06). D₂/₃ receptor BP(ND) did not differ significantly between unipolar depressed and healthy postpartum women or between bipolar and healthy subjects; however, D₂/₃ receptor BP(ND) was higher in dorsal striatal regions in bipolar relative to unipolar depressives (p=0.02). In conclusion, lower striatal D₂/₃ receptor BP(ND) in postpartum and unipolar depressed women, primarily in ventral striatum, and higher dorsal striatal D₂/₃ receptor BP(ND) in bipolar relative to unipolar depressives reveal a potential role for the dopamine (DA) system in the physiology of these states. Further studies delineating the mechanisms underlying these differences in D₂/₃ receptor BP(ND), including study of DA system responsivity to rewarding stimuli, and increasing power to assess unipolar vs bipolar-related differences, are needed to better understand the affective role of the DA system in postpartum and depressed women.
Chromosome 11 is a region of great interest in the search for genes for bipolar disorder. Although an initial report of linkage to 11p15 was not replicated in numerous subsequent studies, the remainder of the chromosome contains a variety of interesting candidate genes and regions. These include the D2 dopamine receptor and the site of a chromosomal translocation that has been reported to be associated with bipolar disorder. As part of a systematic survey of the genome for markers linked to bipolar disorder, we have examined 13 markers on chromosome 11 in three large Icelandic families and Amish pedigree 110. No clear evidence of linkage was obtained. The highest lod score was found at D11S29 (lod = 1.63 at theta = 0.1), which is in the general region of the reported translocation breakpoints. However, this lod is not statistically significant, and its meaning is further mitigated by strongly negative lods in two nearby flanking markers. Linkage to the D2 dopamine receptor locus was strongly excluded (lod = -4.02 at theta = 0.0). In two-point analyses, linkage to bipolar disorder could be excluded to eight of the 13 markers. Multipoint analyses, similarly, failed to reveal any evidence of linkage.
Bipolar disorder (BPD) is characterized by recurrent episodes of disturbed affect including mania and depression as well as changes in psychovegetative function, cognitive performance, and general health. A growing body of data suggests that BPD arises from abnormalities in synaptic and neuronal plasticity cascades, leading to aberrant information processing in critical synapses and circuits. Thus, these illnesses can best be conceptualized as genetically influenced disorders of synapses and circuits rather than simply as deficits or excesses in individual neurotransmitters. In addition, commonly used mood-stabilizing drugs that are effective in treating BPD have been shown to target intracellular signaling pathways that control synaptic plasticity and cellular resilience. In this article we draw on clinical, preclinical, neuroimaging, and post-mortem data to discuss the neurobiology of BPD within a conceptual framework while highlighting the role of neuroplasticity in the pathophysiology and treatment of this disorder.
Biologically active n-acylprolyl-dipeptides were described by us recently. GVS-111 was shown to be one of the more active substances of this series.The effects of the GVS-111 on diazepam withdrawal were studied in male Wistar rats treated for 21 days with diazepam 4 mg/kg/day (i.p.). The withdrawal syndrome was assessed 24 hours after the last diazepam injection. Withdrawal signs recorded were: anxiogenic - like behavior in the elevated plus maze (EPM), suppression of exploratory behavior in the open field and the intensification of seizures, precipitated by pentylentetrazol. Two regimes of administration of GVS-111 (0.5 mg/kg, i.p) were used: a) during withdrawal 15 minutes before testing in above mentioned paradigms, b) during last 7 days of diazepam administration and during withdrawal. GVS-111 was demonstrated to be able to attenuate the degree of anxiogenic state in EPM, dramatically increasing time spent in open arms. GVS-111 decreased the degree of pentylentetrazol precipitated seizures. There was no significant effects upon the activity in open field. All these effects of GVS-111 were more pronounced in case of long-term administration. These findings suggest that GVS-111 may have potential as a treatment for withdrawal from sedative/hypnotics.
Design of piracetam peptide analogues was proposed as a new approach to the creation of cognitive enchancers (Gudasheva et al, 1985). Dipeptides containing pyroglutamic acid with various natural amino acids were shown to be able to restore cognition damaged by a number of noxious influences in doses 0.001-1.0 mg/kg (Ostrovskaya et al, 1987, Gudasheva et al, 1988). Recently we showed antiamnestic effects in acyl prolyl containing dipeptides, in particular in phenylacetylprolyl derivatives. GVS-111 was chosen as one of the most active substances of this series. It was studied in the passive avoidance paradigm in rats. The substance was demonstrated to be able to facilitate acquisition per se. Administered before testing it facilitated retrieval processes as well. GVS-111 attenuated the amnestic effect of electroshock, scopolamine & proline cethylester (lypophylic prodrug of proline, designed by Skoldinov et al.). GVS-111 increased the degree of acute habituation of exploratory behavior in grouped (n= 10) mice without effect on baseline locomotion. GVS-111 showed all above listed mnemotropic effects in doses 0,1-1.0 mg/kg (i.p),LD 50 for mice is 5000 mg/kg. GVS-111 possesses much higher biological stability than TRH & AVP.GVS-111 preserved effectiveness in peroral administration. These studies demonstrate that GVS-111 may encance memory under range of condition.
The dopamine-type-1 receptor has been implicated in major depressive disorder (MDD) by clinical and preclinical evidence from neuroimaging, post-mortem and behavioral studies. To date, however, selective in vivo assessment of D1-receptors has been limited to the striatum in MDD-samples manifesting anger attacks. We employed the PET radioligand, [11C]NNC-112, to selectively assess D1-receptor binding in extrastriatal and striatal regions in a more generalized sample of MDD-subjects.
The [11C]NNC-112 nondisplaceable binding-potential (BPND) was assessed using PET in 18 unmedicated, currently-depressed subjects with MDD and 19 healthy controls, and compared between groups using MRI-based region-of-interest analysis.
The mean D1-receptor BPND was reduced (14%) in the left middle caudate of the MDD group relative to control group (p<0.05). Among the MDD-subjects D1-receptor BPND in this region correlated negatively with illness duration (r= −0.53; p=0.02), and the left-to-right BPND ratio correlated inversely with anhedonia ratings (r=−0.65, p=0.0040). The D1receptor BPND was strongly lateralized in striatal regions (p<0.002 for main effects of hemisphere in accumbens area, putamen and caudate). In post hoc analyses, a group-by-hemisphere-by-gender interaction was detected in the dorsal putamen, which was accounted for by a loss of the normal asymmetry in depressed females (F=7.33,p=0.01).
These data extended a previous finding of decreased striatal D1-receptor binding in an MDD-sample manifesting anger attacks to a sample selected more generally according to MDD criteria. Our data also more specifically localized this abnormality in MDD to the left middle caudate, which is the target of afferent neural projections from the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices where neuropathological changes have been reported in MDD. Finally, D1-receptor binding was asymmetrical across hemispheres in healthy humans, compatible with evidence that dopaminergic function in the striatum is lateralized during reward processing, voluntary movement and self-stimulation behavior.
This study was designed to evaluate the role of different serotonin (5-HT) receptor subtypes in mediating the effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on rat exploration of a novel environment. The active enantiomer of MDMA, S-MDMA increases forward locomotion and suppresses investigatory behaviors and local movements. Previous studies indicate that S-MDMA-induced hyperactivity depends upon drug-induced 5-HT release. Propranolol and pindolol, beta-noradrenergic antagonists with affinity for 5-HT1 receptors, antagonized the S-MDMA-induced locomotor hyperactivity. The antagonism by propranolol was stereoselective. In contrast, a beta-noradrenergic antagonist that is a weaker antagonist of 5-HT receptors, betaxolol, was much less effective at blocking the behavioral response to S-MDMA. Among nonselective 5-HT antagonists, methiothepin was effective and methysergide and cyproheptadine were ineffective as antagonists of S-MDMA-induced hypermotility. In other systems, methiothepin has been found to be a good antagonist at 5-HT1B receptors where methysergide and cyproheptadine are ineffective. The 5-HT2 antagonist ritanserin was ineffective in blocking S-MDMA-induced hypermotility. However, ritanserin, methysergide, and cyproheptadine partially reversed the S-MDMA-induced suppression of investigatory responding, suggesting a contribution of 5-HT2 receptor activation to this component of the behavioral response to S-MDMA. This study indicates that S-MDMA produces a characteristic form of locomotor hyperactivity in rats that depends upon activation of 5-HT1-like receptors, possibly of the 5-HT1B subtype.
We investigated the effects of lithium ion (Li+) on muscarinic receptor-mediated nitric oxide (NO) generation, and guanylate cyclase (GCase) activation using the mouse neuroblastoma clone, N1E-115. The levels of released NO were determined by measuring the levels of nitrite/nitrate in the incubation medium, and the activity of GCase was measured with an assay for cellular cyclic [3H] GMP levels. We determined that Li+ had no effects on muscarinic receptor-activated elevation of nitrite/nitrate levels, which were significantly inhibited by 100 microM L-NG-monomethylarginine, although it has been reported that Li+ inhibits muscarinic receptor-activated cyclic GMP formation in the cells. In addition, Li+ inhibited the cyclic GMP formation induced by an NO donor, sodium nitroprusside (SNP), in both intact cells and a crude cellular homogenate; thus, the inhibition by Li+ of muscarinic receptor-mediated cyclic GMP synthesis appeared to be at the level of GCase, but not NO synthase.
The mu opioid receptor is centrally involved in the development of the addictive diseases. It also modulates the stress responsive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Receptors encoded by the variant 118G polymorphism in exon 1 of the mu opioid receptor gene have a threefold increase in beta-endorphin binding and beta-endorphin is three times more potent in receptor-mediated activation of G protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium channels. Humans with this variant have increased stress response following opioid antagonism. Here, we study basal levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol in subjects with this variant. In all, 59 healthy adults were genotyped and had morning levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol measured following intravenous administration of saline placebo. Subjects with a 118G allele had significantly greater levels of cortisol than subjects with the prototype gene. Groups did not differ in levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone. A planned comparison revealed significantly greater cortisol in females with at least one copy of the 118G allele compared to females with the prototype gene. There was no significant effect of gender alone, nor was there a significant interaction between gender and genotype, on ACTH or cortisol. Subjects with at least one copy of the 118G allele have increased basal levels of cortisol, which may influence the susceptibility to and treatment of the stress responsive dyscrasia.
The effects of cellular mediators that contribute to ischemia-induced neuronal degeneration on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA)-receptor function were studied. In vitro, phospholipase A2 (PLA2) inhibited muscimol-induced 36Cl- uptake in cerebral cortical synaptoneurosomes. The major hydrolysis product of PLA2 activity, arachidonic acid, also inhibited GABA-mediated 36Cl- uptake. The unsaturated nature of arachidonic acid makes it (and its metabolites) highly susceptible to peroxidation by oxygen radicals. Incubation of synaptoneurosomes with the superoxide radical-generating system, xanthine and xanthine oxidase, decreased muscimol-induced 36Cl- uptake, suggesting that the peroxidation of arachidonic acid and/or its metabolites interferes with GABAA-receptor function. Another factor involved in ischemia-induced neuronal degeneration is an increase in intracellular Ca2+. Calcium also inhibited GABA-mediated 36Cl- flux, consistent with its ability to activate PLA2. In contrast, Mg2+, which blocks Ca2+ channels, enhanced muscimol-induced 36Cl- uptake, consistent with its neuroprotective effects. Each of these cellular processes is activated during cerebral ischemia and can lead to neuronal degeneration. We used a model of transient forebrain ischemia in gerbils to determine if GABAA-receptor regulation is altered in vivo at a time when CA1 hippocampal cells have degenerated. Four days after a 5 minute bilateral carotid artery occlusion, receptor autoradiography was performed to measure the binding of [35S]t-butylbicyclophosphorothionate (TBPS) to the GABA-gated chloride channel. Significant decreases in TBPS binding were observed only in the dendritic layers (stratum oriens and lacunosem moleculare) of the CA1 hippocampus. The results suggest that ischemia-induced cellular processes that contribute to cell death can decrease GABA-gated chloride channels on dendrites of CA1 pyramidal cells, and that GABAA receptors may also reside on neurons afferent to or intrinsic to the dendritic layers of CA1 hippocampus.
The pharmacologic treatment of many neuropsychiatric disorders (Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depressive illness) has been targeted at the central hypothesis that defects in a single neurotransmitter system underlie the pathophysiology of the disease state. With the recognition that such treatments have not been efficacious consistently, recent drug development has been directed at altering other functionally linked neurotransmitters involved in these diseases. Using positron emission tomography, we have noninvasively investigated the effects of two noncholinergic drugs on the release of acetylcholine. By examining the effects of gamma-vinyl gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) (a GABA transaminase inhibitor) or altanserin (a serotonergic antagonist) on the regional binding of 11C-benztropine in the primate brain (Papio anubis), we demonstrated that drugs acting upon either GABAergic or serotonergic neurons produce profound regional changes in acetylcholine release. These findings indicate that the mechanisms of action and the subsequent therapeutic efficacy of these centrally acting drugs may be linked to their multitransmitter effects. This application of positron emission tomography represents an extremely promising experimental approach that can be directed towards elucidating abnormalities in neurotransmitter modulation relevant to disease progression and pharmacologic treatment.
Drugs that increase dopamine levels in the brain can cause psychotic symptoms in healthy individuals and worsen them in schizophrenic patients. Psychological stress also increases dopamine release and is thought to play a role in susceptibility to psychotic illness. We hypothesized that healthy individuals at elevated risk of developing psychosis would show greater striatal dopamine release than controls in response to stress. Using positron emission tomography and [(11)C]raclopride, we measured changes in synaptic dopamine concentrations in 10 controls and 16 psychometric schizotypes; 9 with perceptual aberrations (PerAb, ie positive schizotypy) and 7 with physical anhedonia (PhysAn, ie negative schizotypy). [(11)C]Raclopride binding potential was measured during a psychological stress task and a sensory-motor control. All three groups showed significant increases in self-reported stress and cortisol levels between the stress and control conditions. However, only the PhysAn group showed significant stress-induced dopamine release. Dopamine release in the entire sample was significantly negatively correlated with smooth pursuit gain, an endophenotype linked to frontal lobe function. Our findings suggest the presence of abnormalities in the dopamine response to stress in negative symptom schizotypy, and provide indirect evidence of a link to frontal function.
Imaging the competition between D(2/3) radioligands and endogenous dopamine is so far the only way to measure dopamine release in the living human brain. The dopamine D(2) receptor exists in a high (D(2)(high)) and a low-affinity state for dopamine. Under physiological conditions, dopamine is expected to bind to D(2)(high) only. [(11)C]-(+)-4-propyl-9-hydroxynaphthoxazine ((+)-PHNO) is the first D(2/3) agonist radioligand for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in humans. Since [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO is expected to bind preferentially to D(2)(high), it should be particularly vulnerable to competition with endogenous dopamine. Nine healthy subjects participated in two PET scans, one after administration of d-amphetamine and one after placebo. [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO PET test re-test variability was determined in 11 healthy subjects. Binding potentials (BPs) were calculated for caudate, putamen, ventral striatum, and globus pallidus. d-Amphetamine led to a significant decrease of [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO BPs in caudate (-13.2%), putamen (-20.8%), and ventral striatum (-24.9%), but not in globus pallidus (-6.5%). d-Amphetamine-induced displacement correlated with serum d-amphetamine levels in all regions but caudate. This is the first report on competition between endogenous dopamine and a D(2/3) agonist radioligand in humans. [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO PET might be a superior measure for release of endogenous dopamine than PET employing conventional D(2/3) antagonist radioligands.
The modulating effects of serotonin on dopamine neurotransmission are not well understood, particularly in acute psychotic states. Positron emission tomography was used to examine the effect of psilocybin on the in vivo binding of [11C]raclopride to D2-dopamine receptors in the striatum in healthy volunteers after placebo and a psychotomimetic dose of psilocybin (n = 7). Psilocybin is a potent indoleamine hallucinogen and a mixed 5-HT2A and 5-HT1A receptor agonist. Psilocybin administration (0.25 mg/kg p.o.) produced changes in mood, disturbances in thinking, illusions, elementary and complex visual hallucinations and impaired ego-functioning. Psilocybin significantly decreased [11C]raclopride receptor binding potential (BP) bilaterally in the caudate nucleus (19%) and putamen (20%) consistent with an increase in endogenous dopamine. Changes in [11C]raclopride BP in the ventral striatum correlated with depersonalization associated with euphoria. Together with previous reports of 5-HT receptor involvement in striatal dopamine release, it is concluded that stimulation of both 5-HT2A and 5-HT1A receptors may be important for the modulation of striatal dopamine release in acute psychoses. The present results indirectly support the hypothesis of a serotonin-dopamine dysbalance in schizophrenia and suggest that psilocybin is a valuable tool in the analysis of serotonin-dopamine interactions in acute psychotic states.
Aripiprazole (OPC 14597) is an antipsychotic drug that has high affinity for dopamine D2 and D3 receptors and the dopamine autoreceptor. It is being developed for treatment of patients with schizophrenia. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a dose response following graduated doses of aripiprazole could be quantified and correlated with its occupancy of the D2 and D3 dopamine receptors in the brain of living humans. Dopamine D2 and D3 receptor occupancy in fifteen normal male human brains was measured using positron emission tomography (PET) with [11C]raclopride. PET studies were performed before and after two weeks of administration of aripiprazole. The dopamine D2 receptor occupancy was quantified with two kinetic modeling methods without using a blood input function. Administration of aripiprazole for 14 days resulted in a dose-dependent receptor occupancy between 40 - 95% after the administration of 0.5mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 10 mg, and 30 mg per day. These results suggest that an adequate occupancy can be obtained, and this may be useful to predict an appropriate therapeutic dose for an individual patient. Interestingly, even at striatal D2 receptor occupancy values above 90%, which occurred with the higher doses, extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) were not observed. This underlines aripiprazole's unique mechanism of action as a partial dopamine receptor agonist, which might become a novel principle in the treatment of schizophrenia.
The muscarinic cholinergic receptor (mAChR) antagonist scopolamine was used to induce transient cognitive impairment in monkeys trained in a delayed matching to sample task. The temporal relationship between the occupancy level of central mAChRs and cognitive impairment was determined. Three conscious monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were subjected to positron emission tomography (PET) scans with the mAChR radioligand N-[(11)C]methyl-3-piperidyl benzilate ([(11)C](+)3-MPB). The scan sequence was pre-, 2, 6, 24, and 48 h post-intramuscular administration of scopolamine in doses of 0.01 and 0.03 mg/kg. Occupancy levels of mAChR were maximal 2 h post-scopolamine in cortical regions innervated primarily by the basal forebrain, thalamus, and brainstem, showing that mAChR occupancy levels were 43-59 and 65-89% in doses of 0.01 and 0.03 mg/kg, respectively. In addition, dose-dependent impairment of working memory performance was measured 2 h after scopolamine. A positive correlation between the mAChR occupancy and cognitive impairment 2 and 6 h post-scopolamine was the greatest in the brainstem (P<0.00001). Although cognitive impairment was not observed 24 h post-scopolamine, sustained mAChR occupancy (11-24%) was found with both doses in the basal forebrain and thalamus, but not in the brainstem. These results indicate that a significant degree of mAChRs occupancy is needed to produce cognitive impairment by scopolamine. Furthermore, the importance of the brainstem cholinergic system in working memory in monkey is described.
The dopamine system is a primary treatment target for cocaine dependence (CD), but research on dopaminergic abnormalities (eg, D2 receptor system deficiencies) has so far failed to translate into effective treatment strategies. The D3 receptor system has recently attracted considerable clinical interest, and D3 antagonism is now under investigation as a novel avenue for addiction treatment. The objective here was to evaluate the status and behavioural relevance of the D3 receptor system in CD, using the positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO. Fifteen CD subjects (many actively using, but all abstinent 7-240 days on scan day) and 15 matched healthy control (HC) subjects completed two PET scans: One with [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO to assess D3 receptor binding (BPND; calculated regionally using the simplified reference tissue model), and for comparison, a second scan with [(11)C]raclopride to assess D2/3 binding. CD subjects also completed a behavioural battery to characterize the addiction behavioural phenotype. CD subjects showed higher [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO BPND than HC in the substantia nigra, which correlated with behavioural impulsiveness and risky decision-making. In contrast, [(11)C]raclopride BPND was lower across the striatum in CD, consistent with previous literature in 2 week abstinence. The data suggest that in contrast to a D2 deficiency, CD individuals may have heightened D3 receptor levels, which could contribute to addiction-relevant traits. D3 upregulation is emerging as a biomarker in preclinical models of addiction, and human PET studies of this receptor system can help guide novel pharmacological strategies for treatment.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 7 August 2013. doi:10.1038/npp.2013.192.
Serotonin critically affects the neural processing of emotionally salient stimuli, including indices of threat, but how alterations in serotonin signaling contribute to changes in brain function is not well understood. Recently, we showed in a placebo-controlled study of 32 healthy males that brain serotonin 4 receptor (5-HT4) binding, assessed with [(11)C]SB207145 PET, was sensitive to a three-week intervention with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine, supporting it as an in vivo model for fluctuations in central serotonin levels. Participants also underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a gender discrimination task of fearful, angry and neutral faces. This offered a unique opportunity to evaluate whether individual fluctuations in central serotonin levels, indexed by change in [(11)C]SB207145 binding, predicted changes in threat-related reactivity (i.e., fear & angry versus neutral faces) within a corticolimbic circuit including the amygdala and medial prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex. We observed a significant association such that decreased brain-wide [(11)C]SB207145 binding (i.e., increased brain serotonin levels) was associated with lower threat-related amygdala reactivity, whereas intervention group status did not predict change in corticolimbic reactivity. This suggests that in the healthy brain, inter-individual responses to pharmacologically induced and spontaneously occurring fluctuations in [(11)C]SB207145 binding, a putative marker of brain serotonin levels, affect amygdala reactivity to threat. Our finding also supports that change in brain [(11)C]SB207145 binding may be a relevant marker for evaluating neurobiological mechanisms underlying sensitivity to threat and serotonin signaling.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 06 January 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2014.339.
In our previous positron emission tomography studies striatal binding for both [11C]SCH23390 and [11C]N-methylspiperone (NMSP) were decreased in the rat brain on the last day of chronic (14 days) binge cocaine administration. We have found that [11C]SCH23390 binding to dopamine D1 receptors returns to saline control levels within ten days withdrawal from chronic binge cocaine and remains at control levels after 21 days withdrawal. An 18% decrease in [11C]NMSP binding to dopamine D2 receptors was observed after ten days withdrawal. However, importantly, after 21 days withdrawal [11C]NMSP binding was at saline control levels. Changes of in vivo [11C]NMSP binding required a longer abstinence period for normalization than [11C]SCH23390 binding. The apparent recovery of dopamine D2 receptors after prolonged abstinence from chronic cocaine and the different rates of normalization for dopamine D1 versus D2 receptors may be critical information for development of pharmacotherapies for cocaine dependent patients.
Twelve male, fasted, anesthetized rhesus monkeys were studied with positron emission tomography (PET) and [11C]alpha-methyl-L-tryptophan (alpha MTP) to determine serotonin synthesis rates as described by Diksic et al. (1991). It was expected that the serotonin synthesis rates determined for the whole brain would be correlated with CSF 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid concentrations, a measure of central serotonin turnover, because both measures were obtained at steady state. However, no significant correlation was found. During data analysis, it was noticed that the calculated serotonin synthesis rates were significantly correlated to free plasma tryptophan (TP) concentrations (r = 0.88, p < .001). From repeat scans conducted in six monkeys, it was determined that day-to-day variability in free plasma TP and the percentage of protein binding (average percent difference was 48 and 37%, respectively) produced most of the variability in the calculated serotonin synthesis rates (50%); repeat K images, obtained from the PET data alone, differed by only 11%. Calculated serotonin synthesis rates reported for [11C]alpha MTP PET studies of humans (Nishizawa et al. 1997) and dogs (Diksic et al. 1991) were also highly correlated to reported differences in plasma free TP concentrations. It seems that the [11C]alpha MTP model for the computation of serotonin synthesis rates is very dependent on plasma free TP concentration and that it may not accurately determine actual serotonin synthesis rates.
Nicotine-induced dopamine (DA) release constitutes a pharmacological probe of the DA system that has potential use in patients with schizophrenia, who have abnormally elevated DA release after amphetamine administration and possibly abnormalities in nicotinic signaling. We performed positron emission tomography studies in five rhesus monkeys that received i.v. nicotine doses ranging from 0.01 to 0.06 mg/kg. [(11)C]raclopride was administered with either a bolus plus constant infusion or with paired bolus injections. The dynamics of D-2-binding potential (BP) after nicotine administration were studied and compared to amphetamine. Nicotine caused a significant albeit small reduction (5%, p<0.03) in BP, regardless of methodology of tracer administration. This effect disappeared 2.5 h after nicotine administration. Amphetamine caused much larger and prolonged displacement of [(11)C]raclopride as compared to nicotine. There was no correlation between changes in BP and nicotine dose or plasma level. Regional differences in the nicotine effect within the basal ganglia were not found. Our data are consistent with the increase in DA detected with microdialysis in animals after acute nicotine administration, however, a larger effect size would be desirable to attempt studies comparing human smokers with and without schizophrenia.
Long-term occupancy of dopamine D(2)-receptors, as achieved by chronic treatment with antipsychotics, leads to D(2)-receptor upregulation, and this upregulation is thought to be responsible for loss of efficacy and development of tardive dyskinesia. However, little is known about the parameters of D(2)-receptor blockade (duration and percentage of blockade) that lead to upregulation. In this study, we investigated the effects of different degrees (60 vs >80%) and durations (a transient peak vs 24 h/day) of D(2)-receptor blockade on inducing this upregulation. These different patterns of D(2)-receptor occupancy kinetics were produced in cats using bolus vs constant infusion of haloperidol for 4 weeks. D(2)-receptors were measured using positron emission tomography and Scatchard analyses of [(11)C]raclopride binding, before and after withdrawal of treatment. Continuously high (80% for 24 h/day) D(2)-receptor blockade led to a robust upregulation of striatal D(2)-receptors that was maximal at 1-week withdrawal (35+/-5%) and still detectable at 2-week withdrawal (20+/-3%). This pattern of D(2)-receptor blockade also induced behavioral tolerance to the effect of haloperidol on spontaneous locomotor activity. Continuously moderate (60% for 24 h/day) or transiently high (80% for a few hours/day) D(2)-receptor blockade did not produce any of these effects. The long-term effect of haloperidol on D(2)-receptor density and behavioral tolerance thus appears to be dependent not only on a critical threshold of D(2)-receptor blockade but also on the daily duration of D(2)-receptors blockade. This suggests that as far as antipsychotics are concerned, not only dose but disbursment throughout the day have an impact on eventual pharmacodynamic and behavioral outcomes.
Measuring the in vivo occupancy of antipsychotic drugs at dopamine D(2) and D(3) receptors separately has been difficult because of the lack of selective radiotracers. The recently developed [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO is D(3)-preferring, allowing estimates of the relative D(2) and D(3) binding of antipsychotic drugs. We used positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in baboons with [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO to examine the binding of clozapine and haloperidol to D(2) and D(3) receptors. Four animals were scanned with dynamically acquired PET and arterial plasma input functions. Test and retest scans were acquired in single scanning sessions for three subjects to assess the reproducibility of [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO scans. Four additional scans were acquired in each of three subjects following single doses of antipsychotic drugs (clozapine 0.5534 mg/kg, haloperidol 0.0109 mg/kg, two administrations per drug per subject) and compared with baseline scans. The percent change in binding (ΔBP(ND)) following challenges with antipsychotic drugs was measured. A regression model, based on published values of regional D(2) and D(3) fractions of [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO BP(ND) in six brain regions, was used to infer occupancy at D(2) and D(3) receptors. BP(ND) following antipsychotic challenge decreased in all regions. Estimated D(2) : D(3) selectivity was 2.38 for haloperidol and 5.25 for clozapine, similar to published in vitro values for haloperidol (3.03), but slightly higher for clozapine (2.82). These data suggest that acute doses of clozapine and haloperidol bind to D(3) receptors in vivo, and that the lack of D(3) occupancy by antipsychotics observed in some recent imaging studies may be because of other phenomena.
The radiotracer [(11)C]PHNO may have advantages over other dopamine (DA) D2/D3 receptor ligands because, as an agonist, it measures high-affinity, functionally active D2/D3 receptors, whereas the traditionally used radiotracer [(11)C]raclopride measures both high- and low-affinity receptors. Our aim was to take advantage of the strength of [(11)C]PHNO for measuring the small DA signal induced by nicotine, which has been difficult to measure in preclinical and clinical neuroimaging studies. Nicotine- and amphetamine-induced DA release in non-human primates was measured with [(11)C]PHNO and [(11)C]raclopride positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. Seven adult rhesus monkeys were imaged on a FOCUS 220 PET scanner after injection of a bolus of [(11)C]PHNO or [(11)C]raclopride in three conditions: baseline; preinjection of nicotine (0.1 mg/kg bolus+0.08 mg/kg infusion over 30 min); preinjection of amphetamine (0.4 mg/kg, 5 min before radiotracer injection). DA release was measured as change in binding potential (BPND). Nicotine significantly decreased BPND in the caudate (7±8%), the nucleus accumbens (10±7%), and in the globus pallidus (13±15%) measured with [(11)C]PHNO, but did not significantly decrease BPND in the putamen or the substantia nigra or in any region when measured with [(11)C]raclopride. Amphetamine significantly reduced BPND in all regions with both radiotracers. In the striatum, larger amphetamine-induced changes were detected with [(11)C]PHNO compared with [(11)C]raclopride (52-64% vs 33-35%, respectively). We confirmed that [(11)C]PHNO is more sensitive than [(11)C]raclopride to nicotine- and amphetamine-induced DA release. [(11)C]PHNO PET may be more sensitive to measuring tobacco smoking-induced DA release in human tobacco smokers.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 13 November 2013; doi:10.1038/npp.2013.286.
The cannabinoid CB(1) receptor is one of the most abundant G protein-coupled receptors in the brain and is a promising target of therapeutic drug development. Success of drug development for neuropsychiatric indications is significantly enhanced with the ability to directly measure spatial and temporal binding of compounds to receptors in central compartments. We assessed the utility of a new positron emission tomography (PET) radioligand to image CB(1) receptors in monkey brain. [(11)C]MePPEP ((3R,5R)-5-(3-methoxy-phenyl)-3-((R)-1-phenyl-ethylamino)-1-(4-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-pyrrolidin-2-one) has high CB(1) affinity (K(b)=0.574+/-0.207 nM) but also moderately high lipophilicity (measured LogD(7.4)=4.8). After intravenous injection of [(11)C]MePPEP, brain activity reached high levels of almost 600% standardized uptake value (SUV) within 10-20 min. The regional uptake was consistent with the distribution of CB(1) receptors, with high radioactivity in striatum and cerebellum and low in thalamus and pons. Injection of pharmacological doses of CB(1)-selective agents confirmed that the tracer doses of [(11)C]MePPEP reversibly labeled CB(1) receptors. Preblockade or displacement with two CB(1) selective agents (ISPB; (4-(3-cyclopentyl-indole-1-sulfonyl)-N-(tetrahydro-pyran-4-ylmethyl)-benzamide) and rimonabant) showed that the majority (>89%) of brain uptake in regions with high receptor densities was specific and reversibly bound to CB(1) receptors in the high binding regions. [(11)C]MePPEP was rapidly removed from arterial plasma. Regional brain uptake could be quantified as distribution volume relative to the concentration of parent radiotracer in plasma. The P-glycoprotein (P-gp) inhibitor DCPQ ((R)-4-[(1a,6,10b)-1,1-dichloro-1,1a,6,10b-tetrahydrodibenzo[a,e]cyclopropa[c]cyclohepten-6-yl]-[(5-quinolinyloxy)methyl]-1-piperazineethanol) did not significantly increase brain uptake of [(11)C]MePPEP, suggesting it is not a substrate for this efflux transporter at the blood-brain barrier. [(11)C]MePPEP is a radioligand with high brain uptake, high specific signal to CB(1) receptors, and adequately fast washout from brain that allows quantification with (11)C (half-life=20 min). These promising results in monkey justify studying this radioligand in human subjects.
Donepezil hydrochloride is a potent and selective inhibitor for brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and is currently used worldwide for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Until now, there is no in vivo study on the relation between the plasma concentration and the brain AChE inhibition. The purpose of this study was to estimate in vivo plasma IC(50) of donepezil in living monkeys by measuring plasma donepezil concentration (LC/MS/MS) and brain AChE activity with positron emission tomography (PET) and N-[(11)C]methylpiperidin-4-yl acetate, which is an acetylcholine analog recently developed by us for quantifying in vivo brain AChE activity. PET scans with donepezil at two doses, 100 microg/kg (donepezil-1; N=5) or 250 microg/kg (donepezil-2; N=5), were performed using the same monkeys at 4-week intervals. Before each PET scan, baseline PET scans (N=10 in total) were performed without donepezil. The plasma donepezil concentrations 14 min after intravenous injection were proportional to the doses, 17.2+/-2.9 ng/ml (donepezil-1) and 44.0+/-5.0 ng/ml (donepezil-2), and the mean AChE inhibitions in four neocortical regions as evaluated by PET were also dose-dependent, 27% (donepezil-1) and 53% (donepezil-2). In IC(50) estimation, measured plasma donepezil concentrations were corrected for the change during PET scan. The IC(50) values (estimate+/-SE) were 42+/-9.0 (ng/ml; donepezil-1), 34+/-3.2 (donepezil-2), and 37+/-4.1 (combined data). The present method may be useful for in vivo evaluation of other AChE inhibitors and novel drugs.
The generation of new cells in the adult mammalian brain may significantly modify pathophysiological processes in neuropsychiatric disorders. We examined the ability of chronic treatment with the antipsychotic drugs (APDs) olanzapine and haloperidol to increase the number and survival of newly generated cells in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatal complex of adult male rats. Animals were treated with olanzapine or haloperidol for 3 weeks and then injected with 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) to label mitotic cells. Half of the animals continued on the same APD for two more weeks after BrdU challenge, with the other half receiving vehicle during this period. Olanzapine but not haloperidol significantly increased both the total number and density of BrdU-labeled cells in the PFC and dorsal striatum; no effect was observed in the nucleus accumbens. Continued olanzapine treatment after the BrdU challenge did not increase the survival of newly generated cells. The newly generated cells in the PFC did not express the neuronal marker NeuN. Despite the significant increase in newly generated cells in the PFC of olanzapine-treated rats, the total number of these cells is low, suggesting that the therapeutic effects of atypical APD treatment may not be due to the presence of newly generated cells that have migrated to the cortex.