A Single Amphetamine Infusion Reverses Deficits in Dopamine Nerve-Terminal Function Caused by a History of Cocaine Self-Administration.
ABSTRACT: 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:Abnormal levels of dopamine (DA) are thought to contribute to several neurological and psychiatric disorders including drug addiction. Extracellular DA levels are regulated primarily via reuptake by the DA transporter (DAT). Amphetamine, a potent psychostimulant, increases extracellular DA by inducing efflux through DAT. Recently, we discovered that G protein ?? subunits (G??) interact with DAT, and that in vitro activation of G?? promotes DAT-mediated efflux. Here, we investigated the role of G?? in the actions of amphetamine in DA neurons in culture, ex vivo nucleus accumbens (NAc), and freely moving rats. Activation of G?? with the peptide myr-Ser-Ile-Arg-Lys-Ala-Leu-Asn-Ile-Leu-Gly-Tyr-Pro-Asp-Tyr-Asp (mSIRK) in the NAc potentiated amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion, but not cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion, and systemic or intra-accumbal administration of the G?? inhibitor gallein attenuated amphetamine-induced, but not cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion. Infusion into the NAc of a TAT-fused peptide that targets the G??-binding site on DAT (TAT-DATct1) also attenuated amphetamine-induced but not cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion. In DA neurons in culture, inhibition of G?? with gallein or blockade of the G??-DAT interaction with the TAT-DATct1 peptide decreased amphetamine-induced DA efflux. Furthermore, activation of G?? with mSIRK potentiated and inhibition of G?? with gallein reduced amphetamine-induced increases of extracellular DA in the NAc in vitro and in freely moving rats. Finally, systemic or intra-accumbal inhibition of G?? with gallein blocked the development of amphetamine-induced, but not cocaine-induced place preference. Collectively, these results suggest that interaction between G?? and DAT plays a critical role in the actions of amphetamine and presents a novel target for modulating the actions of amphetamine in vivo.
Project description: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: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:Appropriate animal models of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and drug reinforcement allow investigation of possible underlying biological bases of ADHD and its comorbidity with cocaine addiction. Toward this end, spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) exhibiting an ADHD phenotype were compared with Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and Wistar (WIS) rats. Initially, 1.5?mg/kg oral methylphenidate or vehicle was administered between postnatal days 28 and 55, and acquisition of visual discrimination learning was examined. After discontinuing adolescent treatments, adult rats were evaluated for cocaine self-administration and dopamine transporter (DAT) function in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatum. During adolescence, SHRs showed deficits in visual discrimination relative to WKY and WIS rats when non-medicated. Methylphenidate improved visual discrimination only in SHRs. Compared with WKY and WIS rats, SHRs with previous methylphenidate treatment acquired cocaine self-administration faster, identified cocaine as a highly efficacious reinforcer by displaying an upward shift in the cocaine dose-response function, and showed the greatest motivation to self-administer cocaine by exhibiting the highest progressive ratio breakpoints. In the PFC, the maximal dopamine uptake (V(max)) at DAT was decreased in SHRs and increased in WKY and WIS rats by previous methylphenidate treatment. The affinity (K(m)) for dopamine at DAT in the PFC was not different between strains, nor was V(max) or K(m) altered in the striatum by previous methylphenidate treatment in any strain. Methylphenidate-induced decreases in dopamine clearance by DAT in the PFC may underlie increased cocaine self-administration in SHRs. These preclinical findings suggest that caution should be exercised when methylphenidate is prescribed for first-time treatment of ADHD in adolescent patients, as cocaine addiction vulnerability may be augmented.
Project description:Amphetamines elevate extracellular dopamine, but the underlying mechanisms remain uncertain. Here we show in rodents that acute pharmacological inhibition of the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT) blocks amphetamine-induced locomotion and self-administration without impacting cocaine-induced behaviours. To study VMAT's role in mediating amphetamine action in dopamine neurons, we have used novel genetic, pharmacological and optical approaches in Drosophila melanogaster. In an ex vivo whole-brain preparation, fluorescent reporters of vesicular cargo and of vesicular pH reveal that amphetamine redistributes vesicle contents and diminishes the vesicle pH-gradient responsible for dopamine uptake and retention. This amphetamine-induced deacidification requires VMAT function and results from net H(+) antiport by VMAT out of the vesicle lumen coupled to inward amphetamine transport. Amphetamine-induced vesicle deacidification also requires functional dopamine transporter (DAT) at the plasma membrane. Thus, we find that at pharmacologically relevant concentrations, amphetamines must be actively transported by DAT and VMAT in tandem to produce psychostimulant effects.
Project description:Dopamine (DA) signaling dysfunction is believed to contribute to multiple neuropsychiatric disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The rare DA transporter (DAT) coding substitution Ala559Val found in subjects with ADHD, bipolar disorder and autism, promotes anomalous DA efflux in vitro and, in DAT Val559 mice, leads to increased reactivity to imminent handling, waiting impulsivity, and enhanced motivation for reward. Here, we report that, in contrast to amphetamine and methylphenidate, which induce significant locomotor activation, cocaine administration to these mice elicits no locomotor effects, despite retention of conditioned place preference (CPP). Additionally, cocaine fails to elevate extracellular DA. Given that amphetamine and methylphenidate, unlike cocaine, lack high-affinity interactions with the serotonin (5-HT) transporter (SERT), we hypothesized that the lack of cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion in DAT Val559 mice arises from SERT blockade and augmented 5-HT signaling relative to cocaine actions on wildtype animals. Consistent with this idea, the SERT blocker fluoxetine abolished methylphenidate-induced locomotor activity in DAT Val559 mice, mimicking the effects seen with cocaine. Additionally, a cocaine analog (RTI-113) with greater selectivity for DAT over SERT retains locomotor activation in DAT Val559 mice. Furthermore, genetic elimination of high-affinity cocaine interactions at SERT in DAT Val559 mice, or specific inhibition of 5-HT2C receptors in these animals, restored cocaine-induced locomotion, but did not restore cocaine-induced elevations of extracellular DA. Our findings reveal a significant serotonergic plasticity arising in the DAT Val559 model that involves enhanced 5-HT2C signaling, acting independently of striatal DA release, capable of suppressing the activity of cocaine-sensitive motor circuits.
Project description:The ability of many drugs of abuse, including cocaine, to mediate reinforcement and drug-seeking behaviors is in part mediated by the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) system, in which CRH exerts its effects partly via the CRH receptor subtype 1 (CRHR1) in extra-hypothalamic areas. In fact, CRHR1 expressed in regions of the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system have been demonstrated to modify cocaine-induced DA release and alter cocaine-mediated behaviors. Here we examined the role of neuronal selectivity of CRHR1 within the mesolimbic system on cocaine-induced behaviors. First we used a transgenic mouse line expressing GFP under the control of the Crhr1 promoter for double fluorescence immunohistochemistry to demonstrate the cellular location of CRHR1 in both dopaminergic and D1 dopaminoceptive neurons. We then studied cocaine sensitization, self-administration, and reinstatement in inducible CRHR1 knockouts using the CreERT2/loxP in either dopamine transporter (DAT)-containing neurons (DAT-Crhr1) or dopamine receptor 1 (D1)-containing neurons (D1-Crhr1). For sensitization testing, mice received five daily injections of cocaine (15 mg/kg IP). For self-administration, mice received eight daily 2 h cocaine (0.5 mg/kg per infusion) self-administration sessions followed by extinction and reinstatement testing. There were no differences in the acute or sensitized locomotor response to cocaine in DAT-Crhr1 or D1-Crhr1 mice and their respective controls. Furthermore, both DAT-Crhr1 and D1-Crhr1 mice reliably self-administered cocaine at the level of controls. However, DAT-Crhr1 mice demonstrated a significant increase in cue-induced reinstatement relative to controls, whereas D1-Crhr1 mice demonstrated a significant decrease in cue-induced reinstatement relative to controls. These data demonstrate the involvement of CRHR1 in cue-induced reinstatement following cocaine self-administration, and implicate a bi-directional role of CRHR1 for cocaine craving.
Project description:Addiction to psychostimulants (ie, amphetamines and cocaine) imposes a major socioeconomic burden. Prevention and treatment represent unmet medical needs, which may be addressed, if the mechanisms underlying psychostimulant action are understood. Cocaine acts as a blocker at the transporters for dopamine (DAT), serotonin (SERT), and norepinephrine (NET), but amphetamines are substrates that do not only block the uptake of monoamines but also induce substrate efflux by promoting reverse transport. Reverse transport has been a focus of research for decades but its mechanistic basis still remains enigmatic. Recently, transporter-interacting proteins were found to regulate amphetamine-triggered reverse transport: calmodulin kinase IIα (αCaMKII) is a prominent example, because it binds the carboxyl terminus of DAT, phosphorylates its amino terminus, and supports amphetamine-induced substrate efflux in vitro. Here, we investigated whether, in vivo, the action of amphetamine was contingent on the presence of αCaMKII by recording the behavioral and neurochemical effects of amphetamine. Measurement of dopamine efflux in the dorsal striatum by microdialysis revealed that amphetamine induced less dopamine efflux in mice lacking αCaMKII. Consistent with this observation, the acute locomotor responses to amphetamine were also significantly blunted in αCaMKII-deficient mice. In addition, while the rewarding properties of amphetamine were preserved in αCaMKII-deficient mice, their behavioral sensitization to amphetamine was markedly reduced. Our findings demonstrate that amphetamine requires the presence of αCaMKII to elicit a full-fledged effect on DAT in vivo: αCaMKII does not only support acute amphetamine-induced dopamine efflux but is also important in shaping the chronic response to amphetamine.
Project description:Stimulant drugs, including novel psychoactive substances (NPS, formerly "legal highs") have addictive potential which their users may not realize. Stimulants increase extracellular dopamine levels in the brain, including the reward and addiction pathways, through interacting with dopamine transporter (DAT). This work aimed to assess the molecular and atomistic mechanisms of stimulant NPS actions at DAT, which translate into biological outcomes such as dopamine release in the brain's reward pathway. We applied combined in vitro, in vivo, and in silico methods and selected 2-diphenylmethylpiperidine (2-DPMP) as an example of stimulant NPS for this study. We measured in vitro binding of 2-DPMP to rat striatum and accumbens DAT by means of quantitative autoradiography with a selective DAT-radioligand [125I]RTI-121. We evaluated the effects of intravenously administered 2-DPMP on extracellular dopamine in the accumbens-shell and striatum using in vivo microdialysis in freely moving rats. We used dynamic modeling to investigate the interactions of 2-DPMP within DAT, in comparison with cocaine and amphetamine. 2-DPMP potently displaced the radioligand in the accumbens and striatum showing dose-dependence from 0.3 to 30 ?M. IC50 values were: 5.65 × 10-7M for accumbens shell and 6.21 × 10-7M for dorsal striatum. Dose-dependent responses were also observed in accumbens-shell and striatum in vivo, with significant increases in extracellular dopamine levels. Molecular dynamics simulations identified contrasting conformational changes of DAT for inhibitors (cocaine) and releasers (amphetamine). 2-DPMP led to molecular rearrangements toward an outward-facing DAT conformation that suggested a cocaine-type effect. The present combination of molecular modeling with experimental neurobiological procedures allows for extensive characterization of the mechanisms of drug actions at DAT as the main molecular target of stimulants, and provides an insight into the role of dopamine in the molecular and neurobiological mechanisms of brain responses to stimulant NPS that have addictive potential. Such knowledge reveals the risk of addiction related to NPS use. The research presented here can be adapted for other psychostimulants that act at their membrane protein targets.