Differential influence of dopamine transport rate on the potencies of cocaine, amphetamine, and methylphenidate.
ABSTRACT: Dopamine transporter (DAT) levels vary across brain regions and individuals, and are altered by drug history and disease states; however, the impact of altered DAT expression on psychostimulant effects in brain has not been systematically explored. Using fast scan cyclic voltammetry, we measured the effects of elevated DAT levels on presynaptic dopamine parameters as well as the uptake inhibition potency of the blockers cocaine and methylphenidate (MPH) and the releaser amphetamine (AMPH) in the nucleus accumbens core. Here we found that increases in DAT levels, resulting from either genetic overexpression or MPH self-administration, caused markedly increased maximal rates of uptake (Vmax) that were positively correlated with the uptake inhibition potency of AMPH and MPH, but not cocaine. AMPH and MPH were particularly sensitive to DAT changes, with a 100% increase in Vmax resulting in a 200% increase in potency. The relationship between Vmax and MPH potency was the same as that for AMPH, but was different from that for cocaine, indicating that MPH more closely resembles a releaser with regard to uptake inhibition. Conversely, the effects of MPH on stimulated dopamine release were similar to those of cocaine, with inverted U-shaped increases in release over a concentration-response curve. This was strikingly different from the release profile of AMPH, which showed only reductions at high concentrations, indicating that MPH is not a pure releaser. These data indicate that although MPH is a DAT blocker, its uptake-inhibitory actions are affected by DAT changes in a similar manner to releasers. Together, these data show that fluctuations in DAT levels alter the potency of releasers and MPH but not blockers and suggest an integral role of the DAT in the addictive potential of AMPH and related compounds.
Project description:The dopamine transporter (DAT) is the primary site of action for psychostimulant drugs such as cocaine, methylphenidate, and amphetamine. Our previous work demonstrated a reduced ability of cocaine to inhibit the DAT following high-dose cocaine self-administration (SA), corresponding to a reduced ability of cocaine to increase extracellular dopamine. However, this effect had only been demonstrated for cocaine. Thus, the current investigations sought to understand the extent to which cocaine SA (1.5?mg/kg/inf × 40 inf/day × 5 days) altered the ability of different dopamine uptake blockers and releasers to inhibit dopamine uptake, measured using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in rat brain slices. We demonstrated that, similar to cocaine, the DAT blockers nomifensine and bupropion were less effective at inhibiting dopamine uptake following cocaine SA. The potencies of amphetamine-like dopamine releasers such as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, and phentermine, as well as a non-amphetamine releaser, 4-benzylpiperidine, were all unaffected. Finally, methylphenidate, which blocks dopamine uptake like cocaine while being structurally similar to amphetamine, shared characteristics of both, resembling an uptake blocker at low concentrations and a releaser at high concentrations. Combined, these experiments demonstrate that after high-dose cocaine SA, there is cross-tolerance of the DAT to other uptake blockers, but not releasers. The reduced ability of psychostimulants to inhibit dopamine uptake following cocaine SA appears to be contingent upon their functional interaction with the DAT as a pure blocker or releaser rather than their structural similarity to cocaine. Further, methylphenidate's interaction with the DAT is unique and concentration-dependent.
Project description:The dopamine transporter (DAT) is the primary molecular target responsible for the rewarding properties of the psychostimulants amphetamine (AMPH) and cocaine. AMPH increases extracellular dopamine (DA) by promoting its nonexocytotic release via DAT-mediated efflux. Previous studies in heterologous cells have shown that phosphorylation of the amino terminus of DAT is required for AMPH-induced DA efflux but not for DA uptake. However, the identity of many of the modulatory proteins and the molecular mechanisms that coordinate efflux and the ensuing behavioral effects remain poorly defined. Here, we establish a robust assay for AMPH-induced hyperlocomotion in Drosophila melanogaster larvae. Using a variety of genetic and pharmacological approaches, we demonstrate that this behavioral response is dependent on DA and on DAT and its phosphorylation. We also show that methylphenidate (MPH), which competitively inhibits DA uptake but does not induce DAT-mediated DA efflux, also leads to DAT-dependent hyperlocomotion, but this response is independent of DAT phosphorylation. Moreover, we demonstrate that the membrane raft protein Flotillin-1 is required for AMPH-induced, but not MPH-induced, hyperlocomotion. These results are the first evidence of a role for a raft protein in an AMPH-mediated behavior. Thus, using our assay we are able to translate molecular and cellular findings to a behavioral level and to differentiate in vivo the distinct mechanisms of two psychostimulants.
Project description:There are ? 1.6 million people who meet the criteria for cocaine addiction in the United States, and there are currently no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies. Amphetamine-based dopamine-releasing drugs have shown efficacy in reducing the motivation to self-administer cocaine and reducing intake in animals and humans. It is hypothesized that amphetamine acts as a replacement therapy for cocaine through elevation of extracellular dopamine levels. Using voltammetry in brain slices, we tested the ability of a single amphetamine infusion in vivo to modulate dopamine release, uptake kinetics, and cocaine potency in cocaine-naive animals and after a history of cocaine self-administration (1.5 mg/kg/infusion, fixed-ratio 1, 40 injections/day × 5 days). Dopamine kinetics were measured 1 and 24 h after amphetamine infusion (0.56 mg/kg, i.v.). Following cocaine self-administration, dopamine release, maximal rate of uptake (Vmax), and membrane-associated dopamine transporter (DAT) levels were reduced, and the DAT was less sensitive to cocaine. A single amphetamine infusion reduced Vmax and membrane DAT levels in cocaine-naive animals, but fully restored all aspects of dopamine terminal function in cocaine self-administering animals. Here, for the first time, we demonstrate pharmacologically induced, immediate rescue of deficits in dopamine nerve-terminal function in animals with a history of high-dose cocaine self-administration. This observation supports the notion that the DAT expression and function can be modulated on a rapid timescale and also suggests that the pharmacotherapeutic actions of amphetamine for cocaine addiction go beyond that of replacement therapy.
Project description:4-Methylamphetamine (4-MA) is an emerging drug of abuse that acts as a substrate at plasma membrane transporters for dopamine (DAT), norepinephrine (NET), and serotonin (SERT), thereby causing nonexocytotic release of monoamine transmitters via reverse transport. Prior studies by us showed that increasing the N-alkyl chain length of N-substituted 4-MA analogues converts 4-MA from a transportable substrate (i.e., releaser) at DAT and NET to a nontransported blocker at these sites. Here, we studied the effects of the individual optical isomers of N-methyl-, N-ethyl-, and N- n-propyl 4-MA on monoamine transporters and abuse-related behavior in rats because action/function might be related to stereochemistry. Uptake inhibition and release assays were conducted in rat brain synaptosomes whereas electrophysiological assessments of drug-transporter interactions were examined using cell-based biosensors. Intracranial-self-stimulation in rats was employed to assess abuse potential in vivo. The experimental evidence demonstrates that S(+) N-methyl 4-MA is a potent and efficacious releaser at DAT, NET, and SERT with the highest abuse potential among the test drugs, whereas R(-) N-methyl 4-MA is a less potent releaser with reduced abuse potential. The S(+)ethyl analogue has decreased efficacy as a releaser at DAT but retains full release activity at NET and SERT with a reduction in abuse-related effects; the R(-)ethyl analogue has a similar profile but is less potent. S(+) N-Propyl 4-MA is a nontransported blocker at DAT and NET but an efficacious releaser at SERT, whereas the R enantiomer is almost inactive. In conclusion, the S enantiomers of the N-alkyl 4-MA analogues are most potent. Lengthening the N-alkyl chain converts compounds from potent nonselective releasers showing abuse-related effects to more selective SERT releasers with no apparent abuse potential.
Project description:In vivo brain microdialysis was used in conjunction with "reverse-dialysis" of the dopamine-transporter (DAT) blockers GBR 12909 and methylphenidate (MPH) to observe the temporal course of their effects on d-amphetamine (d-AMPH)-induced increases in dopamine (DA) efflux in the rat nucleus accumbens (NAc). Reverse-dialysis of d-AMPH (10 μM) for 30 min resulted in a 2000-2500% increase in DA efflux. Pretreatment with GBR 12909 or MPH (20, 100 μM) for 90 min, which on their own elevated DA levels ∼2000-3000% above baseline values, dose-dependently occluded d-AMPH-evoked DA efflux. In GBR 12909-treated rats, basal levels of DA remained dramatically elevated at 24, 48, and 72 h following treatment, while levels in the MPH group returned back toward pretreatment values. Despite this contrast in basal DA efflux, the magnitudes of DA efflux evoked by a second exposure to d-AMPH were comparable in the two treatment groups. Together, these data support the development of DAT blockers as potential pharmacological interventions for the control of psychostimulant abuse. Furthermore, our data implicate DAT as a common site of action for both GBR 12909 and MPH, as well as d-AMPH.
Project description:Methylphenidate (MPH) is commonly diverted for recreational use, but the neurobiological consequences of exposure to MPH at high, abused doses are not well defined. Here we show that MPH self-administration in rats increases dopamine transporter (DAT) levels and enhances the potency of MPH and amphetamine on dopamine responses and drug-seeking behaviours, without altering cocaine effects. Genetic overexpression of the DAT in mice mimics these effects, confirming that MPH self-administration-induced increases in DAT levels are sufficient to induce the changes. Further, this work outlines a basic mechanism by which increases in DAT levels, regardless of how they occur, are capable of increasing the rewarding and reinforcing effects of select psychostimulant drugs, and suggests that individuals with elevated DAT levels, such as ADHD sufferers, may be more susceptible to the addictive effects of amphetamine-like drugs.
Project description:Acute amphetamine (AMPH) exposure elevates extracellular dopamine through a variety of mechanisms that include inhibition of dopamine reuptake, depletion of vesicular stores, and facilitation of dopamine efflux across the plasma membrane. Recent work has shown that the DAT substrate AMPH, unlike cocaine and other nontransported blockers, can also stimulate endocytosis of the plasma membrane dopamine transporter (DAT). Here, we show that when AMPH enters the cytoplasm it rapidly stimulates DAT internalization through a dynamin-dependent, clathrin-independent process. This effect, which can be observed in transfected cells, cultured dopamine neurons, and midbrain slices, is mediated by activation of the small GTPase RhoA. Inhibition of RhoA activity with C3 exotoxin or a dominant-negative RhoA blocks AMPH-induced DAT internalization. These actions depend on AMPH entry into the cell and are blocked by the DAT inhibitor cocaine. AMPH also stimulates cAMP accumulation and PKA-dependent inactivation of RhoA, thus providing a mechanism whereby PKA- and RhoA-dependent signaling pathways can interact to regulate the timing and robustness of AMPH's effects on DAT internalization. Consistent with this model, the activation of D1/D5 receptors that couple to PKA in dopamine neurons antagonizes RhoA activation, DAT internalization, and hyperlocomotion observed in mice after AMPH treatment. These observations support the existence of an unanticipated intracellular target that mediates the effects of AMPH on RhoA and cAMP signaling and suggest new pathways to target to disrupt AMPH action.
Project description:Human dopamine (DA) transporter (hDAT) regulates dopaminergic signaling in the central nervous system by maintaining the synaptic concentration of DA at physiological levels, upon reuptake of DA into presynaptic terminals. DA translocation involves the co-transport of two sodium ions and the channeling of a chloride ion, and it is achieved via alternating access between outward-facing (OF) and inward-facing states of DAT. hDAT is a target for addictive drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamine (AMPH), and therapeutic antidepressants. Our recent quantitative systems pharmacology study suggested that orphenadrine (ORPH), an anticholinergic agent and anti-Parkinson drug, might be repurposable as a DAT drug. Previous studies have shown that DAT-substrates like AMPH or -blockers like cocaine modulate the function of DAT in different ways. However, the molecular mechanisms of modulation remained elusive due to the lack of structural data on DAT. The newly resolved DAT structure from Drosophila melanogaster opens the way to a deeper understanding of the mechanism and time evolution of DAT-drug/ligand interactions. Using a combination of homology modeling, docking analysis, molecular dynamics simulations, and molecular biology experiments, we performed a comparative study of the binding properties of DA, AMPH, ORPH, and cocaine and their modulation of hDAT function. Simulations demonstrate that binding DA or AMPH drives a structural transition toward a functional form predisposed to translocate the ligand. In contrast, ORPH appears to inhibit DAT function by arresting it in the OF open conformation. The analysis shows that cocaine and ORPH competitively bind DAT, with the binding pose and affinity dependent on the conformational state of DAT. Further assays show that the effect of ORPH on DAT uptake and endocytosis is comparable to that of cocaine.
Project description:Methylphenidate (MPH) is a commonly abused psychostimulant prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. MPH has a mechanism of action similar to cocaine (COC) and is commonly characterized as a dopamine transporter (DAT) blocker. While there has been extensive work aimed at understanding dopamine (DA) nerve terminal changes following COC self-administration, very little is known about the effects of MPH self-administration on the DA system. We used fast scan cyclic voltammetry in nucleus accumbens core slices from animals with a 5-day self-administration history of 40 injections/day of either MPH (0.56?mg/kg) or COC (1.5?mg/kg) to explore alterations in baseline DA release and uptake kinetics as well as alterations in the interaction of each compound with the DAT. Although MPH and COC have similar behavioral effects, the consequences of self-administration on DA system parameters were found to be divergent. We show that COC self-administration reduced DAT levels and maximal rates of DA uptake, as well as reducing electrically stimulated release, suggesting decreased DA terminal function. In contrast, MPH self-administration increased DAT levels, DA uptake rates and DA release, suggesting enhanced terminal function, which was supported by findings of increased metabolite/DA tissue content ratios. Tyrosine hydroxylase messenger RNA, protein and phosphorylation levels were also assessed in both groups. Additionally, COC self-administration reduced COC-induced DAT inhibition, while MPH self-administration increased MPH-induced DAT inhibition, suggesting opposite pharmacodynamic effects of these two drugs. These findings suggest that the factors governing DA system adaptations are more complicated than simple DA uptake blockade.
Project description:Drugs of abuse, including cocaine, amphetamine (AMPH), and heroin, elevate extracellular dopamine (DA) levels in the brain, thereby altering the activity/plasticity of reward circuits and precipitating addiction. The physiological release of DA occurs through the calcium-dependent fusion of a synaptic vesicle with the plasma membrane. Extracellular DA is cleared by uptake through the Na+/Cl- -dependent DA transporter (DAT). In contrast, the substrate AMPH induces nonvesicular release of DA mediated by DAT. Extracellular AMPH is generally believed to trigger DA efflux through DAT by facilitating exchange for cytosolic DA. Here, in outside-out patches from heterologous cells stably expressing DAT or from dopaminergic neurons, by using ionic conditions in the patch pipette that mimic those produced by AMPH stimulation, we report that AMPH causes DAT-mediated DA efflux by two independent mechanisms: (i) a slow process consistent with an exchange mechanism and (ii) a process that results in rapid (millisecond) bursts of DA efflux through a channel-like mode of DAT. Because channel-like release of DA induced by AMPH is rapid and contains a large number of DA molecules, with a single burst of DA on par with a quantum of DA from exocytotic release of a vesicle, this burst mode of release may play a role in the synaptic actions and psychostimulant properties of AMPH and related compounds. Unlike AMPH, the endogenous substrate DA, when present on both sides of the plasma membrane, inhibits this channel-like activity, thereby suggesting that the DAT channel-like mode cannot accumulate DA against a concentration gradient.