Single prolonged stress effects on sensitization to cocaine and cocaine self-administration in rats.
ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often comorbid with substance use disorders (SUD). Single prolonged stress (SPS) is a well-validated rat model of PTSD that provides a framework to investigate drug-induced behaviors as a preclinical model of the comorbidity. We hypothesized that cocaine sensitization and self-administration would be increased following exposure to SPS. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to SPS or control treatment. After SPS, cocaine (0, 10 or 20 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered for 5 consecutive days and locomotor activity was measured. Another cohort was assessed for cocaine self-administration (0.1 or 0.32 mg/kg/i.v.) after SPS. Rats were tested for acquisition, extinction and cue-induced reinstatement behaviors. Control animals showed a dose-dependent increase in cocaine-induced locomotor activity after acute cocaine whereas SPS rats did not. Using a sub-threshold sensitization paradigm, control rats did not exhibit enhanced locomotor activity at Day 5 and therefore did not develop behavioral sensitization, as expected. However, compared to control rats on Day 5 the locomotor response to 20mg/kg repeated cocaine was greatly enhanced in SPS-treated rats, which exhibited enhanced cocaine locomotor sensitization. The effect of SPS on locomotor activity was unique in that SPS did not modify cocaine self-administration behaviors under a simple schedule of reinforcement. These data show that SPS differentially affects cocaine-mediated behaviors causing no effect to cocaine self-administration, under a simple schedule of reinforcement, but significantly augmenting cocaine locomotor sensitization. These results suggest that SPS shares common neurocircuitry with stimulant-induced plasticity, but dissociable from that underlying psychostimulant-induced reinforcement.
Project description:Neuronal adaptations in striatal dopamine signaling have been implicated in enhanced responses to addictive drugs. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) regulates striatal dopamine signaling and is a downstream target gene of the transcription factor DeltaFosB, which accumulates in striatal neurons after chronic cocaine exposure. Here we investigated the role of Cdk5 activity in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) on cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization, responding for reward-associated stimuli (conditioned reinforcement), and cocaine self-administration under a progressive ratio schedule. Repeated infusions of the Cdk5 inhibitor roscovitine into the NAc before cocaine injections augmented both the development and expression of cocaine sensitization without having any intrinsic stimulant actions of its own. Additionally, repeated intra-NAc infusions of roscovitine to saline-injected rats enhanced locomotor responses to a subsequent cocaine challenge. Similar effects were found after infusions of another Cdk5 inhibitor, olomoucine, but not its inactive congener, iso-olomoucine. Repeated inhibition of Cdk5 within the NAc also robustly enhanced the incentive-motivational effects of cocaine, similar to the effect of prior repeated cocaine exposure. The enhanced responding with conditioned reinforcement induced by cocaine persisted at least 2 weeks after the final roscovitine infusion. NAc infusions of olomoucine also produced acute and enduring increases in "breakpoints" achieved on a progressive ratio schedule for cocaine reinforcement. These results demonstrate profound and persistent effects of NAc Cdk5 inhibition on locomotor sensitization and incentive-motivational processes and provide direct evidence for a role for striatal Cdk5-induced alterations in the brain's long-term adaptations to cocaine.
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:The activation of dopamine receptors within the mesolimbic dopamine system is known to be involved in the initiation and maintenance of cocaine use. Expression of the D2 dopamine receptor subtype has been implicated as both a predisposing factor and consequence of chronic cocaine use. It is unclear whether there is a predictive relationship between D2 dopamine receptor function and cocaine sensitivity that would enable cocaine abuse. Therefore, we exploited individual differences in behavioral responses to D2 dopamine receptor stimulation to test its relationship with cocaine-mediated behaviors. Outbred, male Sprague-Dawley rats were initially characterized by their locomotor responsiveness to the D2 dopamine receptor agonist, quinpirole, in a within-session ascending dose-response regimen (0, 0.1, 0.3 & 1.0 mg/kg, sc). Rats were classified as high or low quinpirole responders (HD2 and LD2, respectively) by a median split of their quinpirole-induced locomotor activity. Rats were subsequently tested for differences in the psychostimulant effects of cocaine by measuring changes in cocaine-induced locomotor activity (5 and 15 mg/kg, ip). Rats were also tested for differences in the development of conditioned place preference to a low dose of cocaine (7.5 mg/kg, ip) that does not reliably produce a cocaine conditioned place preference. Finally, rats were tested for acquisition of cocaine self-administration and maintenance responding on fixed ratio 1 and 5 schedules of reinforcement, respectively. Results demonstrate that HD2 rats have enhanced sensitivity to the locomotor stimulating properties of cocaine, display greater cocaine conditioned place preference, and self-administer more cocaine compared to LD2 animals. These findings suggest that individual differences in D2 dopamine receptor sensitivity may be predictive of cocaine sensitivity and reward.
Project description:D-amphetamine maintenance therapy shows promise as a treatment for people with cocaine addiction. Preclinical studies using Long Access (LgA) cocaine self-administration procedures suggest D-amphetamine may act by preventing tolerance to cocaine's effects at the dopamine transporter (DAT). However, Intermittent Access (IntA) cocaine self-administration better reflects human patterns of use, is especially effective in promoting addiction-relevant behaviors, and instead of tolerance, produces psychomotor, incentive, and neural sensitization. We asked, therefore, how D-amphetamine maintenance during IntA influences cocaine use and cocaine's potency at the DAT. Male rats self-administered cocaine intermittently (5 min ON, 25 min OFF x10; 5-h/session) for 14 sessions, with or without concomitant D-amphetamine maintenance therapy during these 14 sessions (5 mg/kg/day via s.c. osmotic minipump). We then assessed responding for cocaine under a progressive ratio schedule, responding under extinction and cocaine-primed reinstatement of drug seeking. We also assessed the ability of cocaine to inhibit dopamine uptake in the nucleus accumbens core using fast scan cyclic voltammetry ex vivo. IntA cocaine self-administration produced psychomotor (locomotor) sensitization, strong motivation to take and seek cocaine, and it increased cocaine's potency at the DAT. D-amphetamine co-administration suppressed the psychomotor sensitization produced by IntA cocaine experience. After cessation of D-amphetamine treatment, the motivation to take and seek cocaine was also reduced, and sensitization of cocaine's actions at the DAT was reversed. Thus, treatment with D-amphetamine might reduce cocaine use by preventing sensitization-related changes in cocaine potency at the DAT, consistent with an incentive-sensitization view of addiction.
Project description:<h4>Rationale</h4>Stress exposure has a lasting impact on motivated behavior and can exacerbate existing vulnerabilities for developing a substance use disorder. Several models have been developed to examine how stressful experiences shape drug reward. These range from locomotor sensitization and conditioned place preference to the propensity for drug self-administration or responding to drug-predictive cues. While self-administration studies are considered to have more translational relevance, most of the studies to date have been conducted in rats. Further, many self-administration studies are conducted in single-housed animals, adding the additional stressor of social isolation.<h4>Objectives</h4>We sought to establish how chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) and social housing conditions impact cocaine self-administration and cocaine-seeking behaviors in C57BL/6 mice.<h4>Methods</h4>We assessed self-administration behavior (cocaine or saline, 0.5 mg/kg/infusion) in C57BL/6 mice subjected to 10-day CSDS or in unstressed controls. Mice were housed either in pairs or in isolation during self-administration. We compared the effect of housing on acquisition of self-administration, seeking, extinction, drug-induced reinstatement, and after re-exposure to the social stressor.<h4>Results</h4>Pair-housing during self-administration revealed increased social avoidance after CSDS is associated with decreased cocaine intake. In contrast, single-housing revealed stress-sensitive cocaine intake, with increased social avoidance after CSDS associated with increased early cocaine intake. Pair-, but not single-housed mice are susceptible to drug-induced reinstatement independent of CSDS history. Stress re-exposure sensitized cocaine-seeking in stressed single-housed mice.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The social context surrounding cocaine intake can bidirectionally influence cocaine-related behaviors after psychosocial stress and should be considered when studying stress and drug cross-sensitization.
Project description:A new pharmacokinetic approach treating cocaine addiction involves rapidly metabolizing cocaine before it reaches brain reward centers using mutated human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) or cocaine hydrolase (CocH). Recent work has shown that helper-dependent adenoviral (hdAD) vector-mediated plasma CocH reduced the locomotor-activating effects of cocaine and prevented reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior up to 6 months in rats. The present study investigated whether hdAD-CocH could decrease ongoing intravenous cocaine (0.4 mg/kg) self-administration. The hdAD-CocH vector was injected into self-administering rats, and after accumulation of plasma CocH, there was a dramatic reduction in cocaine infusions earned under a fixed ratio 1 schedule of reinforcement that lasted for the length of the study (>2 months). Pretreatment with the selective BChE and CocH inhibitor iso-OMPA (1.5 mg/kg) restored cocaine intake; therefore, the decline in self-administration was likely due to rapid CocH-mediated cocaine metabolism. Direct measurements of cocaine levels in plasma and brain samples taken after the conclusion of behavioral studies provided strong support for this conclusion. Further, rats injected with hdAD-CocH did not experience a deficit in operant responding for drug reinforcement and self-administered methamphetamine (0.05 mg/kg) at control levels. Overall, these outcomes suggest that viral gene transfer can yield plasma CocH levels that effectively diminish long-term cocaine intake and may have potential treatment implications for cocaine-dependent individuals seeking to become and remain abstinent.
Project description:Systemic infusions of the orexigenic peptide ghrelin (GHR) increase dopamine levels within the nucleus accumbens and augment cocaine-stimulated locomotion and conditioned place preference in rats; observations that suggest an important role for GHR and GHR receptors (GHR-Rs) in drug reinforcement. In the present studies, we examined the development of cocaine locomotor sensitization in rats, sustaining either pharmacologic antagonism or genetic ablation of GHR-Rs. In a pharmacologic study, adult male rats were injected (i.p.) with either 0, 3 or 6 mg/kg JMV 2959 (a GHR-R1 receptor antagonist), and 20 minutes later, with either vehicle or 10 mg/kg cocaine HCl on each of 7 consecutive days. Rats pretreated with JMV 2959 showed significantly attenuated cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion. In a second study, adult wild-type (WT) or mutant rats sustaining ENU-induced knockout of GHR-R [GHR-R ((-/-) )] received daily injections (i.p.) of vehicle (0.9% saline) or 10.0 mg/kg cocaine HCl for 14 successive days. GHR-R null rats treated repeatedly with cocaine showed diminished development of cocaine locomotor sensitization relative to WT rats treated with cocaine. To verify the lack of GHR-R function in the GHR-R ((-/-) ) rats, a separate feeding experiment was conducted in which WT rats, but not GHR-R ((-/-) ) rats, were noted to eat more after a systemic injection of 15 nmol GHR than after vehicle. These results suggest that GHR-R activity is required for the induction of locomotor sensitization to cocaine and complement an emerging literature implicating central GHR systems in drug reward. GHR is an orexigenic gut peptide that is transported across the blood-brain barrier and interacts with GHR-Rs located on ventral tegmental dopamine neurons.
Project description:Metabotropic glutamate receptor 2/3 (mGluR2/3) agonists were shown previously to nonselectively decrease both cocaine- and food-maintained responding in rats. mGluR2 positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) may represent improved therapeutic compounds because of their modulatory properties and higher selectivity for mGluR2. We analyzed the effects of the selective, brain penetrant, and systemically active mGluR2 PAM potassium 3'-([(2-cyclopentyl-6-7-dimethyl-1-oxo-2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-5-yl)oxy]methyl)biphenyl l-4-carboxylate (BINA) and the mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 on intravenous cocaine self-administration and cocaine-seeking behavior in rats that had short (1 h, ShA) or long (6 h, LgA) access to cocaine. The effects of BINA on food responding and food-seeking behavior were also analyzed. Finally, we examined the effects of BINA on brain reward function and cocaine-induced reward enhancement using the intracranial self-stimulation procedure. BINA decreased cocaine self-administration in both ShA and LgA rats, with no effect on food self-administration. Alternatively, LY379268 nonselectively decreased both cocaine and food self-administration. BINA decreased cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking with no effect on food seeking. The cocaine-induced enhancement of brain reward function was blocked by BINA, although the highest doses of BINA decreased brain reward function when administered alone, suggesting additive, rather than interactive, effects of BINA and cocaine. In conclusion, BINA attenuated the reinforcing and counteracted the reward-enhancing effects of cocaine and decreased cue-induced cocaine-seeking behavior, without affecting behaviors motivated by food reinforcement. The higher selectivity of BINA compared with an mGluR2/3 agonist for drug- vs food-motivated behaviors suggests a therapeutic role for mGluR2 PAMs for the treatment of cocaine addiction and possibly other drugs of abuse.
Project description:Orexins ('hypocretins') are peptides produced by neurons of the hypothalamus that project to structures implicated in reward and emotion processing. Converging evidence demonstrates functional roles of orexin signaling in arousal, sleep/wakefulness and motivated behaviors for natural and drug rewards. Suvorexant, a dual orexin receptor antagonist, recently received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to treat insomnia. In Experiment 1, rats self-administered cocaine under a progressive-ratio schedule of reinforcement and the effects of suvorexant on motivation to self-administer cocaine were measured. In Experiment 2, the effects of suvorexant on cocaine reward were assessed by using a place conditioning paradigm, and 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations were also recorded to track changes in hedonic reactivity to cocaine. To rule out potentially confounding effects of suvorexant-induced somnolence, locomotor activity was also measured. In Experiment 3, the effects of suvorexant on cocaine-evoked elevations in ventral striatal dopamine were examined. Data reveal that suvorexant (i) reduced the number of cocaine infusions earned during progressive-ratio self-administration; (ii) attenuated initial positive hedonic reactivity to cocaine and prevented cocaine place preference; (iii) did not affect cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion and (iv) reduced cocaine-induced elevations in extracellular ventral striatal dopamine. The present study examined the therapeutic potential of suvorexant in rodent models of cocaine use disorder. These results contribute toward a growing literature supporting therapeutic roles of orexin receptor antagonists in treating substance use disorders.
Project description:Exposure to prolonged, uncontrollable stress reduces reward-seeking behavior, resulting in anhedonia in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder. However, it is unclear to what degree stressed subjects lose interest in rewards themselves or in reward-related cues that instigate reward-seeking behavior. In the present study, we investigated the effects of single prolonged stress (SPS) on cue-directed behavior in two different procedures: Pavlovian conditioned approach (PCA) and cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking. In Experiment 1, rats were exposed to SPS and tested for the acquisition of sign-tracking (cue-directed) and goal-tracking (reward-directed) behaviors during a PCA procedure. In Experiment 2, rats were exposed to SPS and tested for the expression of sign- and goal-tracking as well as cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking. Because dopaminergic activity in the nucleus accumbens is known to play a central role in many cue-directed behaviors, including both sign-tracking and cue-induced reinstatement, Experiment 3 used in vivo microdialysis to measure the effect of SPS on baseline and evoked dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens. SPS decreased sign-tracking and increased goal-tracking during the acquisition of PCA behavior without affecting reward consumption. In addition, SPS decreased cue-induced reinstatement without affecting cocaine self-administration. Finally, SPS decreased evoked but not baseline levels of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. These results suggest that SPS decreases the motivational, but not consummatory, aspects of reward-seeking behavior, which may result from long-term, SPS-induced reductions in dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens.