Reversal of cocaine-conditioned place preference through methyl supplementation in mice: altering global DNA methylation in the prefrontal cortex.
ABSTRACT: Analysis of global methylation in cells has revealed correlations between overall DNA methylation status and some biological states. Recent studies suggest that epigenetic regulation through DNA methylation could be responsible for neuroadaptations induced by addictive drugs. However, there is no investigation to determine global DNA methylation status following repeated exposure to addictive drugs. Using mice conditioned place preference (CPP) procedure, we measured global DNA methylation level in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the prefrontal cortex (PFC) associated with drug rewarding effects. We found that cocaine-, but not morphine- or food-CPP training decreased global DNA methylation in the PFC. Chronic treatment with methionine, a methyl donor, for 25 consecutive days prior to and during CPP training inhibited the establishment of cocaine, but not morphine or food CPP. We also found that both mRNA and protein level of DNMT (DNA methytransferase) 3b in the PFC were downregulated following the establishment of cocaine CPP, and the downregulation could be reversed by repeated administration of methionine. Our study indicates a crucial role of global PFC DNA hypomethylation in the rewarding effects of cocaine. Reversal of global DNA hypomethylation could significantly attenuate the rewarding effects induced by cocaine. Our results suggest that methionine may have become a potential therapeutic target to treat cocaine addiction.
Project description:Drug-induced alterations in gene expression play an important role in the development of addictive behavior. Methionine has been proven to inhibit addictive behaviors of cocaine dependence. However, the mechanisms underlying how methionine use corresponds to drug-induced behaviors still remain unclear. We performed mRNA and miRNA high-throughput sequencing of the prefrontal cortex in a mouse model of cocaine CPP combined with L-methionine in order to identify L-methionine target miRNAs and genes that participate in the cocaine conditioned place preference (CPP). We found that the L-methionine inhibits cocaine CPP. Sequencing data analysis showed that L-methionine down-regulates genes enriched in the Glutamatergic Synapse pathways and significantly reversed the cocaine-induced expression changes of the substance dependence pathways (Morphine addiction and Nicotine addiction) and the neurotransmitter synapse pathways (Glutamatergic Synapse, Cholinergic Synapse and GABAergic Synapse). Furthermore, the Glutamatergic synapse was either overlapped between DEGs with DEGs-miRNA induced by cocaine CPP, or with the MET effects on cocaine CPP. Nineteen targeted genes were investigated and five were identified (Gria4, Grid1, Grik4, Grik5 and Grin3a) to belong to iGluR family. Interestingly, there were several miRNAs that had the same sequence which targets the iGluR family: Mmu-miR-30e-50p and mmu-miR-380-5p share UUGAC motif and targets Grik4; mmu-miR-6940-3p and mmu-miR-212-5p both share UGGCU motif which targets Gria4 and Grid1 respectively. Thus, we demonstrated the efficacy of L-methionine in counteracting the effects of cocaine CPP and identified specific genes of synaptic plasticity pathways, especially the Glutamatergic synapse pathway, which is modulated by L-methionine in response to cocaine dependence. Overall design: PFC region of cocaine-conditioned place preference mice and methionine treated cocaine-conditioned place preference mice were performed mRNA and miRNA sequenceing
Project description:Abnormal BDNF signaling contributes to the structural and behavioral plasticity induced by drugs of abuse. However, the mechanisms regulating expression of Bdnf in drug addiction remain elusive. In the present study, using the conditioned place preference (CPP) model, we showed that expression of Bdnf IV is upregulated in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of conditioned animals while Bdnf I is upregulated in cocaine-treated mice irrespective of conditioning. The methylation level of a putative c-MYB binding site in the promoter region of Bdnf IV was significantly decreased in the NAc under cocaine CPP conditioning but remained unchanged without conditioning, concurrently with increased binding of c-MYB to this site. Exon IV promoter/luciferase reporter assays revealed that transactivation of Bdnf by c-MYB was blocked by methylation of this c-MYB binding site. Administration of methionine, a precursor of SAM, inhibited cocaine CPP, reversed demethylation of c-MYB binding site and induction of Bdnf IV expression by cocaine CPP. Our results imply that Bdnf IV demethylation at c-MYB binding site is involved in cocaine-triggered seeking behavior, whereas Bdnf I responds to the immediate pharmacological effects of cocaine.
Project description:Recent research shows that chemotherapy agents can be more toxic to healthy brain cells than to the target cancer cells. They cause a range of side effects, including memory loss and cognitive dysfunction that can persist long after the completion of treatment. This condition is known as chemo brain. The molecular and cellular mechanisms of chemo brain remain obscure. Here, we analyzed the effects of two cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs-cyclophosphamide (CPP) and mitomycin C (MMC) - on transcriptomic and epigenetic changes in the murine prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampal regions. We for the first time showed that CPP and MMC treatments led to profound sex- and brain region-specific alterations in gene expression profiles. Gene expression changes were most prominent in the PFC tissues of female mice 3 weeks after MMC treatment, and the gene expression response was much greater for MCC than CPP exposure. MMC exposure resulted in oxidative DNA damage, evidenced by accumulation of 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) and a decrease in the level of 8-oxodG repair protein OGG1 in the PFC of female animals 3 weeks after treatment. MMC treatment decreased global DNA methylation and increased DNA hydroxymethylation in the PFC tissues of female mice. The majority of the changes induced by chemotherapy in the PFC tissues of female mice resembled those that occur during the brain's aging processes. Therefore, our study suggests a link between chemotherapy-induced chemo brain and brain aging, and provides an important roadmap for future analysis.
Project description:Gestational exposure to cocaine now affects several million people including adolescents and young adults. Whether prenatal drug exposures alter an individual's tendency to take and/or abuse drugs is still a matter of debate.This study sought to answer the question "Does prenatal exposure to cocaine, in a dose-response fashion, alter the rewarding effects of cocaine using a conditioned place preference (CPP) procedure during adolescence in the rat?" Further, we wanted to assess the possible sex differences and the role of being raised in an enriched versus impoverished environment.Virgin female Sprague-Dawley rats were dosed daily with cocaine at 30 mg/kg (C30), 60 mg/kg (C60), or vehicle intragastrically prior to mating and throughout gestation. Pups were culled, fostered and, on postnatal day (PND) 23, placed into isolation cages or enriched cages with three same-sex littermates and stimulus objects. On PND43-47, CPP was determined across a range of cocaine doses.C30 exposure increased sensitivity to the rewarding effects of cocaine in adolescent males, and being raised in an enriched environment further enhanced this effect. Rats exposed to C60 resembled the controls in cocaine CPP. Overall, females were modestly affected by prenatal cocaine and enrichment.These data support the unique sensitivity of males to the effects of gestational cocaine, that moderate prenatal cocaine doses produce greater effects on developing reward circuits than high doses and that housing condition interacts with prenatal treatment and sex such that enrichment increases cocaine CPP mostly in adolescent males prenatally exposed to moderate cocaine doses.
Project description:Addictive drugs such as cocaine induce synaptic plasticity in discrete regions of the reward circuit. The aim of the present study is to investigate whether cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) is causally linked. Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a central regulator of long-term synaptic plasticity, learning, and drug addiction. We examined whether blocking CaMKII activity in the VTA affected cocaine conditioned place preference (CPP) and cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity in its target brain region, the NAc. TatCN21 is a CaMKII inhibitory peptide that blocks both stimulated and autonomous CaMKII activity with high selectivity. We report that intra-VTA microinjections of tatCN21 before cocaine conditioning blocked the acquisition of cocaine CPP, whereas intra-VTA microinjections of tatCN21 before saline conditioning did not significantly affect cocaine CPP, suggesting that the CaMKII inhibitor blocks cocaine CPP through selective disruption of cocaine-cue-associated learning. Intra-VTA tatCN21 before cocaine conditioning blocked cocaine-evoked depression of excitatory synaptic transmission in the shell of the NAc slices ex vivo. In contrast, intra-VTA microinjection of tatCN21 just before the CPP test did not affect the expression of cocaine CPP and cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity in the NAc shell. These results suggest that CaMKII activity in the VTA governs cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity in the NAc during the time window of cocaine conditioning.
Project description:Relapse is a serious problem for the effective treatment of cocaine addiction.Examining cocaine re-exposure-induced behavioral and neurobiological alterations following chronic escalating-dose binge cocaine administration and withdrawal may provide insight into the neurobiological basis of cocaine relapse.Our goal was to determine how exposure to chronic escalating-dose cocaine affects development of subsequent cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) and changes in endogenous opioid systems.Mice were injected with either escalating-dose binge cocaine (15-30 mg/kg/injection × 3/day) or saline for 14-days and conditioned with 15 mg/kg of cocaine or saline (once per day for 10-days), starting either 1 or 14-days after the last day of binge injections.Mice exposed to chronic escalating cocaine did not develop CPP to cocaine when conditioning commenced on the first day of withdrawal (CPP test on day 10 of withdrawal). By contrast, mice did develop CPP to cocaine when conditioning started on the 14th day of withdrawal (CPP test on day 24 of withdrawal). Furthermore, preproenkephalin (Penk) mRNA levels in caudate putamen were significantly higher in mice that received 14-day withdrawal from escalating-dose binge cocaine before the CPP procedure (tested 24 days post-binge) than those that received 1-day withdrawal (tested 10 days post-binge).The rewarding effect of cocaine was blunted in early withdrawal from chronic escalating exposure, but recovered in more prolonged withdrawal. Time-dependent elevations in Penk mRNA levels may be part of the underlying mechanisms of this effect.
Project description:Behavioral stressors increase addiction risk in humans and increase the rewarding valence of drugs of abuse including cocaine, nicotine and ethanol in animal models. Prior studies have established that this potentiation of drug reward was mediated by stress-induced release of the endogenous dynorphin opioids and subsequent kappa opioid receptor (KOR) activation. In this study, we used in vivo fast scan cyclic voltammetry to test the hypothesis that KOR activation before cocaine administration might potentiate the evoked release of dopamine from ventral tegmental (VTA) synaptic inputs to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and thereby increase the rewarding valence of cocaine. The KOR agonist U50488 inhibited dopamine release evoked by either medial forebrain bundle (MFB) or pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) activation of VTA inputs to the shell or core of the mouse NAc. Cocaine administration increased the dopamine response recorded in either the shell or core evoked by either MFB or PPTg stimulation. Administration of U50488 15 min before cocaine blocked the conditioned place preference (CPP) to cocaine, but only significantly reduced the effect of cocaine on the dopamine response evoked by PPTg stimulation to NAc core. In contrast, administration of U50488 60 min before cocaine significantly potentiated cocaine CPP and significantly increased the effects of cocaine on the dopamine response evoked by either MFB or PPTg stimulation, recorded in either NAc shell or core. Results of this study support the concept that stress-induced activation of KOR by endogenous dynorphin opioids may enhance the rewarding valence of drugs of abuse by potentiating the evoked dopamine response.
Project description:Impaired glutathione (GSH) synthesis and dopaminergic transmission are important factors in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Our research aimed to assess the effects of l-buthionine-(S,R)-sulfoximine (BSO), a GSH synthesis inhibitor, and GBR 12909, a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, administered alone or in combination, to Sprague-Dawley rats during early postnatal development (p5-p16), on the levels of GSH, sulfur amino acids, global DNA methylation, and schizophrenia-like behavior. GSH, methionine (Met), homocysteine (Hcy), and cysteine (Cys) contents were determined in the liver, kidney, and in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HIP) of 16-day-old rats. DNA methylation in the PFC and HIP and schizophrenia-like behavior were assessed in adulthood (p90-p93). BSO caused the tissue-dependent decreases in GSH content and alterations in Met, Hcy, and Cys levels in the peripheral tissues and in the PFC and HIP. The changes in these parameters were accompanied by alterations in the global DNA methylation in the studied brain structures. Parallel to changes in the global DNA methylation, deficits in the social behaviors and cognitive functions were observed in adulthood. Only BSO + GBR 12909-treated rats exhibited behavioral alterations resembling positive symptoms in schizophrenia patients. Our results suggest the usefulness of this neurodevelopmental model for research on the pathomechanism of schizophrenia.
Project description:Cocaine addiction is a global public health and socioeconomic issue that requires pharmacological and cognitive therapies. Currently there are no FDA-approved medications to treat cocaine addiction. However, in preclinical studies, interventions ranging from herbal medicine to deep-brain stimulation have shown promise for the therapy of cocaine addiction. Recent developments in molecular biology, pharmacology, and medicinal chemistry have enabled scientists to identify novel molecular targets along the pathways involved in drug addiction. In 1994, a receptor that showed a great deal of homology to the traditional opioid receptors was characterized. However, endogenous and exogenous opioids failed to bind to this receptor, which led scientists to name it opioid receptor-like receptor, now referred to as the nociceptin receptor. The endogenous ligand of NOPr was identified a year later and named orphanin FQ/nociceptin. Nociceptin and NOPr are widely distributed throughout the CNS and are involved in many physiological responses, such as food intake, nociceptive processing, neurotransmitter release, etc. Furthermore, exogenous nociceptin has been shown to regulate the activity of mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons, glutamate, and opioid systems, and the stress circuit. Importantly, exogenous nociceptin has been shown to reduce the rewarding and addictive actions of a number of drugs of abuse, such as psychostimulants, alcohol, and opioids. This paper reviews the existing literature on the role of endogenous nociceptin in the rewarding and addictive actions of cocaine. The effect of exogenous nociceptin on these processes is also reviewed. Furthermore, the effects of novel small-molecule NOPr ligands on these actions of cocaine are discussed. Overall, a review of the literature suggests that NOPr could be an emerging target for cocaine addiction pharmacotherapy.
Project description:Neuropeptides play important roles in modulating the rewarding value of abused drugs. Trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) was recently reported to modulate withdrawal syndrome of morphine, but the effects of TFF3 on the cocaine-induced behavioral changes are still elusive. In the present study, cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion and conditioned place preference (CPP) rat paradigms were provided to investigate the role of TFF3 in the reward response to cocaine. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis was used to analyse the dopamine concentration. The results showed that systemic TFF3 administration (0.1 mg/kg i.p.) significantly augmented cocaine- induced hyperlocomotion and CPP formation, without any effects on locomotor activity and aversive or rewarding effects per se. TFF3 significantly augmented the increment of the dopamine concentration in the NAc and the activity of the mTOR signalling pathway induced by acute cocaine exposure (10 mg/kg, i.p.) in the NAc shell, but not the core. The Intra-NAc shell infusion of rapamycin blocked TFF3-induced hyperactivity in cocaine-treatment rats. These findings indicated that TFF3 could potentiate behavioural response to cocaine, which may be associated with regulating dopamine concentration. Furthermore, the findings indicated that mTOR signalling pathway in the NAc shell is important for TFF3-induced enhancement on the cocaine-induced behavioral changes.