[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adolescence represents a unique developmental period associated with increased risk-taking behavior and experimentation with drugs of abuse, in particular nicotine. We hypothesized that exposure to nicotine during early adolescence might increase the risk for drug reward in adulthood. To test this hypothesis, male ICR mice were treated with a subchronic regimen of nicotine or saline during adolescence, and their preference for cocaine, morphine and amphetamine was examined using the conditioned place preference (CPP) test in adulthood. Long-term behavioral changes induced by nicotine suggested a possible role of altered gene transcription. Thus, immunoblot for ΔFosB, a member of the Fos family of transcription factors, was conducted in the nucleus accumbens of these mice. Mice treated with nicotine during early but not late adolescence showed an increase in CPP for cocaine, morphine and amphetamine later in adulthood. This effect was not seen in mice pretreated with a subchronic regimen of nicotine as adults, suggesting that exposure to nicotine specifically during early adolescence increases the rewarding effects of other drugs in adulthood. However, adolescent nicotine exposure did not alter highly palatable food conditioning in mice. The enhancement of cocaine CPP by nicotine was strain-dependent and was blocked by pretreatment with nicotinic antagonists. In addition, nicotine exposure during early adolescence induced ΔFosB expression to a greater extent than identical nicotine exposure in adulthood, and enhanced cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization later in adulthood. These results suggest that nicotine exposure during early adolescence increases drug-induced reward in adulthood through mechanisms that may involve the induction of ΔFosB.
No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Neuropharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Ethanol (EtOH) and nicotine abuse are 2 leading causes of preventable mortality in the world, but little is known about the pharmacological mechanisms mediating co-abuse. Few studies have examined the interaction of the acute effects of EtOH and nicotine. Here, we examine the effects of nicotine administration on the duration of EtOH-induced loss of righting reflex (LORR) and characterize the nature of their pharmacological interactions in C57BL/6J mice.
We assessed the effects of EtOH and nicotine and the nature of their interaction in the LORR test using isobolographic analysis after acute injection in C57BL/6J male mice. Next, we examined the importance of receptor efficacy using nicotinic partial agonists varenicline and sazetidine. We evaluated the involvement of major nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes using nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine and nicotinic α4- and α7-knockout mice. The selectivity of nicotine's actions on EtOH-induced LORR was examined by testing nicotine's effects on the hypnotic properties of ketamine and pentobarbital. We also assessed the development of tolerance after repeated nicotine exposure. Last, we assessed whether the effects of nicotine on EtOH-induced LORR extend to hypothermia and EtOH intake in the drinking in the dark (DID) paradigm.
We found that acute nicotine injection enhances EtOH's hypnotic effects in a synergistic manner and that receptor efficacy plays an important role in this interaction. Furthermore, tolerance developed to the enhancement of EtOH's hypnotic effects by nicotine after repeated exposure of the drug. α4* and α7 nAChRs seem to play an important role in nicotine-EtOH interaction in the LORR test. In addition, the magnitude of EtOH-induced LORR enhancement by nicotine was more pronounced in C57BL/6J than DBA/2J mice. Furthermore, acute nicotine enhanced ketamine and pentobarbital hypnotic effects in the mouse. Finally, nicotine enhanced EtOH-induced hypothermia but decreased EtOH intake in the DID test.
Our results demonstrate that nicotine synergistically enhances EtOH-induced LORR in the mouse.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pain encompasses both a sensory as well as an affective dimension and these are differentially processed in the brain and periphery. It is therefore important to develop animal models to reflect the non-reflexive assays in pain. In this study, we compared effects of the mu opioid receptor agonist morphine, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug ketoprofen and the kappa receptor opioid agonist U50,488H and antagonist JDTic on acetic acid-induced stretching and acetic acid-induced aversion in the condition place aversion (CPA) test in male ICR mice. Intraperitoneal administration of acetic acid (0.32-1%) was equipotent in stimulating stretching and CPA. Ketoprofen, morphine and U50,488H all inhibited the acid-induced stretching. Ketoprofen and morphine also blocked the acid-induced CPA but U50,488H failed to do so. The reversal ability of ketoprofen and morphine on acid-induced CPA is unique to pain-stimulated place aversion since these drugs failed to reduce non-noxious LiCl-induced CPA. Overall, this study characterized and validated a preclinical mouse model of pain-related aversive behavior that can be used to assess genetic and biological mechanisms of pain as well as improving the predictive validity of preclinical studies on candidate analgesics.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Neuropharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) is one type of preclinical procedure for research on pharmacological mechanisms that mediate abuse potential of drugs acting at various targets, including nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). This study compared effects of the nonselective nAChR agonist nicotine (0.032-1.0 mg/kg) and the α4β2-selective nAChR agonist 5-I-A-85380 (0.01-1.0 mg/kg) on ICSS in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats were implanted with electrodes targeting the medial forebrain bundle at the level of the lateral hypothalamus and trained to respond under a fixed-ratio 1 schedule for a range of brain stimulation frequencies (158-56 Hz). A broad range of 5-I-A-85380 doses produced an abuse-related increase (or "facilitation") of low ICSS rates maintained by low brain-stimulation frequencies, and this effect was blocked by both the nonselective nAChR antagonist mecamylamine and the selective α4β2 antagonist dihyrdo-β-erythroidine (DHβE). Conversely, nicotine produced weaker ICSS facilitation across a narrower range of doses, and higher nicotine doses decreased high rates of ICSS maintained by high brain-stimulation frequencies. The rate-decreasing effects of a high nicotine dose were blocked by mecamylamine but not DHβE. Chronic nicotine treatment produced selective tolerance to rate-decreasing effects of nicotine but did not alter ICSS rate-increasing effects of nicotine. These results suggest that α4β2 receptors are sufficient to mediate abuse-related rate-increasing effects of nAChR agonists in this ICSS procedure. Conversely, nicotine effects at non-α4β2 nAChRs appear to oppose and limit abuse-related effects mediated by α4β2 receptors, although tolerance can develop to these non-α4β2 effects. Selective α4β2 agonists may have higher abuse potential than nicotine. (PsycINFO Database Record
No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Therapeutic vaccines for nicotine addiction show pre-clinical efficacy. Yet, clinical evaluation of the first-generation nicotine vaccines did not meet expectations because only a subset of immunized subjects achieved effective serum antibody levels. Recent studies suggest that vaccine design affects B cell activation, and that the frequency of the hapten-specific B cell subsets contributes to vaccine efficacy against drugs of abuse. To extend this hypothesis to nicotine immunogens, we synthesized a novel hapten containing a carboxymethylureido group at the 2-position of the nicotine structure (2CMUNic) and compared its efficacy to the previously characterized 6CMUNic hapten. Haptens were conjugated to the keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) carrier protein, and evaluated for efficacy against nicotine in mice using the clinically approved alum adjuvant. Using a novel fluorescent antigen-based magnetic enrichment strategy paired with multicolor flow cytometry analysis, polyclonal hapten-specific B cell subsets were measured in mice immunized with either 6CMUNic-KLH or 2CMUNic-KLH. The 6CMUNic-KLH showed significantly greater efficacy than 2CMUNic-KLH on nicotine distribution to serum and to the brain. The 6CMUNic-KLH elicited higher anti-nicotine serum antibody titers, and a greater frequency of hapten-specific B cells than 2CMUNic-KLH. Within the splenic polyclonal B cell population, a higher number of hapten-specific IgM(high) and germinal centre B cells predicted greater vaccine efficacy against nicotine distribution. These early pre-clinical findings suggest that hapten structure affects activation of B cells, and that variations in the frequency of early-activated hapten-specific B cell subsets underlie individual differences in vaccine efficacy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nociceptin/orphanin FQ opioid peptide (NOP) receptor is a widely expressed GPCR involved in the modulation of pain, anxiety, and motor behaviors. Dissecting the functional properties of this receptor is limited by the lack of systemically active ligands that are brain permeant. The small molecule NOP receptor- selective, full agonist 8-(1S,3αS)-(2,3,3a,4,5,6-hexahydro-1H-phenalin-1-yl)-1-phenyl-1,3,8-triazaspiro[4,5]decan-4-one (Ro 64-6198) hydrochloride is an orally active ligand, but its difficult and cost-prohibitive synthesis limits its widespread use and availability for animal studies. Here, we detail a more efficient and convenient method of synthesis, and use both in vitro and in vivo pharmacological assays to fully characterize this ligand. Specifically, we characterize the pharmacodynamics of Ro 64-6198 in cAMP and G-protein coupling in vitro and examine, for the first time, the effects of nociceptin/orphanin FQ and Ro 64-6198 in arrestin recruitment assays. Further, we examine the effects of Ro 64-6198 on analgesia, anxiety, and locomotor responses in vivo. This new synthesis and pharmacological characterization provide additional insights into the useful, systemically active, NOP receptor agonist Ro 64-6198.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · ACS Chemical Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Agonists at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) constitute one drug class being evaluated as candidate analgesics. Previous preclinical studies have implicated α4β2 and α7 nAChRs as potential mediators of the antinociceptive effects of nicotine and other nAChR agonists; however, these studies have relied exclusively on measures of pain-stimulated behavior, which can be defined as behaviors that increase in frequency, rate or intensity after presentation of a noxious stimulus. Pain is also associated with depression of many behaviors, and drug effects can differ in assays of pain-stimulated vs. pain-depressed behavior. Accordingly, this study compared effects of nicotine, the selective α4/6β2 agonist 5-I-A-85380, and the selective α7 agonist PNU 282987 in assays of pain-stimulated and pain-depressed behavior in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Intraperitoneal injection of dilute lactic acid served as an acute noxious stimulus to either stimulate a stretching response or depress operant responding maintained by electrical brain stimulation in an intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) procedure. Nicotine produced a dose-dependent, time-dependent and mecamylamine-reversible blockade of both acid-stimulated stretching and acid-induced depression of ICSS. 5-I-A-85380 also blocked both acid-stimulated stretching and acid-induced depression of ICSS, whereas PNU 282987 produced no effect in either procedure. Both nicotine and 5-I-A-85380 -were ≥10-fold more potent to block acid-induced depression of ICSS than to block acid-induced stimulation of stretching. These results suggest that stimulation of α4β2 and/or α6β2 nAChRs may be especially effective to alleviate signs of pain-related behavioral depression in rats; however, nonselective behavioral effects may contribute to apparent antinociception.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Comprehensive studies that consolidate selective ligands, quantitative comparisons of G-protein versus arrestin2/3 coupling, together with structure-activity relationship models (SAR) for G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) systems are less commonly employed. Here we examine biased signaling at the nociceptin/orphanin FQ opioid receptor (NOPR), the most recently identified member of the opioid receptor family. Using real-time, live-cell assays we've identified the signaling profiles of several NOPR-selective ligands in upstream GPCR signaling (G-protein and arrestin pathways), in order to determine their relative transduction coefficients and signaling bias. Complementing this analysis, we designed novel ligands based on the NOPR antagonist J-113,397 to explore structure activity relationships. Our study shows that NOPR is capable of biased signaling, and further the NOPR selective ligands MCOPPB and NNC 63-0532 are G-protein biased agonists. Additionally, minor structural modification of J-113,397 can dramatically shift signaling from antagonist to partial agonist activity. We explore these findings with in silico modeling of binding poses. This work is the first to demonstrate functional selectivity and identification of biased ligands at the nociceptin opioid receptor.
The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence indicates that kappa-opioid receptors (KORs) and their endogenous ligand, dynorphin (DYN), can play important roles in regulating the effects of stress. Here, we examined the role of KOR systems in the molecular and behavioral effects of acute (1-day) and chronic (10-day) social defeat stress (SDS) in mice. We found that acute SDS increased DYN mRNA levels within the nucleus accumbens, a key element of brain dopamine (DA) systems. In contrast, chronic SDS produced long-lasting decreases in DYN mRNA levels. We then examined whether disruption of KOR function would affect development of SDS-induced depressive-like behaviors, as measured in the intracranial self-stimulation and social interaction tests. Ablation of KORs from DA transporter-expressing neurons delayed the development of SDS-induced anhedonia in the intracranial self-stimulation test, suggesting increased stress resilience. However, administration of the long-lasting KOR antagonist JDTic (30 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) before the SDS regimen did not affect anhedonia, suggesting that disruption of KOR function outside DA systems can oppose stress resilience. Social avoidance behavior measured after the 10-day SDS regimen was not altered by ablation of KORs in DA transporter-expressing neurons or by JDTic administration before testing. Our findings indicate that KORs expressed in DA systems regulate the effects of acute, but not chronic, social stress.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Behavioural pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We hypothesized that an anti-METH mAb could be used in combination with a METH-conjugate vaccine (MCV) to safely improve the overall quality and magnitude of the anti-METH immune response. The benefits would include immediate onset of action (from the mAb), timely increases in the immune responses (from the combined therapy) and duration of antibody response that could last for months (from the MCV). A novel METH-like hapten (METH-SSOO9) was synthesized and then conjugated to immunocyanin monomers of Keyhole limpet hemocyanin (ICKLH) to create the MCV, ICKLH-SOO9. The vaccine, in combination with previously discovered anti-METH mAb7F9, was then tested in rats for safety and potential efficacy. The combination antibody therapy allowed safe achievement of an early high anti-METH antibody response, which persisted throughout the study. Indeed, even after four months the METH vaccine antibodies still had the capacity to significantly reduce METH brain concentrations resulting from a 0.56 mg/kg METH dose.
No preview · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depression has been associated with poor performance following errors, but the clinical implications, response to treatment and neurobiological mechanisms of this post-error behavioral adjustment abnormality remain unclear. To fill this gap in knowledge, we tested depressed patients in a partial hospital setting before and after treatment (cognitive behavior therapy combined with medication) using a flanker task. To evaluate the translational relevance of this metric in rodents, we performed a secondary analysis on existing data from rats tested in the 5-choice serial reaction time task after treatment with corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a stress peptide that produces depressive-like signs in rodent models relevant to depression. In addition, to examine the effect of treatment on post-error behavior in rodents, we examined a second cohort of rodents treated with JDTic, a kappa-opioid receptor antagonist that produces antidepressant-like effects in laboratory animals. In depressed patients, baseline post-error accuracy was lower than post-correct accuracy, and, as expected, post-error accuracy improved with treatment. Moreover, baseline post-error accuracy predicted attentional control and rumination (but not depressive symptoms) after treatment. In rats, CRF significantly degraded post-error accuracy, but not post-correct accuracy, and this effect was attenuated by JDTic. Our findings demonstrate deficits in post-error accuracy in depressed patients, as well as a rodent model relevant to depression. These deficits respond to intervention in both species. Although post-error behavior predicted treatment-related changes in attentional control and rumination, a relationship to depressive symptoms remains to be demonstrated.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Translational Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pyrido[3,4]homotropane[PHT], a conformationally rigid, high affinity analog of nicotine. (+)-PHT was previously shown to be 266 times more potent than (-)-PHT for inhibition of [3H]epibatidine binding to nAChRs, but had no antinociceptive activity in mouse tail-flick or hot-plate tests and was not a nicotinic antagonist even when administered intrathecally. (-)-PHT had no agonist activity, but was a potent antagonist. Here, electrophysiological studies with rat nAChRs show (+)-PHT to be a low efficacy partial agonist selective for α4β2-nAChRs, relative to α3β4-nAChRs (15-fold) and α7-nAChRs (45-fold). (-)-PHT was an antagonist with selectivity for α3β4, relative to α4β2- (3-fold) and α7- (11-fold) nAChRs. In [3H] DA release studies in mice, (+)-PHT was 10-fold more potent than (-)-PHT at α4β2*-nAChRs and 30-fold more potent at α6β2*-nAChRs. Studies using α5KO mice suggested that much of the activity at α4β2*-nAChRs is mediated by the α4β2α5-nAChR subtype. In Conditioned Place Preference studies, (-)-PHT was more potent than (+)-PHT in blocking nicotine reward. Off-target screens showed (+)- and (-)-PHT to be highly selective for nAChRs. The high potency, full agonism of (+)- and ( )-PHT at α6*-nAChR contrasts with the partial agonism observed for α4*-nAChR, making these ligands intriguing probes for learning more about the pharmacophores for various nAChRs.
No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · ACS Chemical Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pain-related functional impairment and behavioral depression are diagnostic indicators of pain and targets for its treatment. Nesting is an innate behavior in mice that may be sensitive to pain manipulations and responsive to analgesics. The goal of this study was to develop and validate a procedure for evaluation of pain-related depression of nesting in mice. Male ICR mice were individually housed and tested in their home cages. On test days, a 5cm x 5cm Nestlet™ was subdivided into six pieces, the pieces were evenly distributed on the cage floor, and Nestlet consolidation was quantified during 100-min sessions. Baseline nesting was stable within and between subjects, and nesting was depressed by two commonly used inflammatory pain stimuli [intraperitoneal injection of dilute acid; intraplantar injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)]. Pain-related depression of nesting was alleviated by drugs from two classes of clinically effective analgesics (the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug ketoprofen and the mu opioid receptor agonist morphine) but not by a drug from a class that has failed to yield effective analgesics (the centrally acting kappa opioid agonist U69,593). Neither ketoprofen nor morphine alleviated depression of nesting by U69,593, suggesting that ketoprofen and morphine effects were selective for pain-related depression of nesting. In contrast to ketoprofen and morphine, the kappa opioid receptor antagonist JDTic blocked depression of nesting by U69,593 but not by acid or CFA. These results support utility of this procedure to assess expression and treatment of pain-related depression in mice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Animal studies suggest that kappa opioid receptor antagonists (KORAn) potentially could treat a wide variety of addictive and depressive disorders. We assessed the KORAn JDTic for safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial evaluating single oral doses in healthy adult males. Predose and postdose safety assessments included orthostatic vital signs; 6-lead continuous telemetry monitoring (approximately 16 h predose to 24 h postdose); 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECGs); clinical chemistry, hematology, coagulation, and urinalysis; psychomotor functioning (using the Wayne Saccadic Fixator [WSF]); and adverse events. As a potential indicator of JDTic effects on affect, the POMS Standard™ instrument was administered predose and daily postdose Days 1 through 6. At 1 mg, 2 of 6 JDTic (and 0/6 placebo) subjects experienced a single, asymptomatic event of multiple beats of nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT). Their events were temporally similar with respect to time postdose (and the postdose timing of an NSVT event in a monkey). These events triggered a study stopping rule. No differences were observed between the placebo and JDTic subjects with respect to clinical chemistry, hematology, coagulation, urinalysis, orthostatic vital signs, WSF, or 12-lead ECG parameters. Plasma JDTic levels were below the lower limit of quantitation (0.1 nM) in all subjects. There were no significant differences in POMS scores between the placebo and JDTic groups. Although the evidence is circumstantial, it suggests NSVT is a potential JDTic toxicity in humans. Given the therapeutic potential of KORAn, further investigation is needed to determine if a significant JDTic human cardiac effect indeed exists, and if so whether it is specific to JDTic or represents a KORAn class effect.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 23 January 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.27.
Preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology