Effect of exercise and morphine on psychological and physical dependencies, BDNF and TrkB gene expression in rat's hippocampus.
ABSTRACT: To compare the effect of exercise and morphine on abstinence syndrome and hippocampal gene expression in rat model.Thirty adult male rats were exposed to voluntary wheel exercise (low, medium, high) for 28 days. The subjects entered Conditioned Place Preference (CPP) apparatus and experienced morphine (low, medium, high) CPP and followed by naloxone test. Correlation between exercise level, morphine injection, concurrent morphine administration and exercise with morphine CPP, BDNF and TrkB genes was determined. Rats were euthanized, decapitated and the hippocampus was removed. The expression of BDNF and TrkB genes were evaluated by real time PCR.Active rats ran an average of 839.18 m/d. A significant (P<0.001) correlation between exercise level, morphine injection, concurrent morphine administration and exercise with morphine CPP and BDNFand TrKB gene expressions was found.Voluntary exercise in different levels potentiates the brain rewarding system, CPP scale, and hippocampal BDNF and TrKB expressions. High range of voluntary exercise demonstrated an increase in the likelihood of developing addictive and drug-seeking behavior.
Project description:Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in learning and memory in multiple brain areas. In the present study, we investigated the roles of BDNF in aversive memories associated with conditioned drug withdrawal in acute morphine-dependent rats.Conditioned place aversion (CPA) was induced in male SD rats exposed to a single dose of morphine (10 mg/kg, sc) followed by naloxone (0.3 mg/kg, sc). In some rats, BDNF receptor antagonist K252a (8.5 ng per side) or BDNF scavenger TrkB-FC (0.65 μg per side) was bilaterally microinjected into amygdala before naloxone injection. BDNF mRNA and protein expression levels in amygdala were detected after the behavior testing.CPA behavior was induced in rats by the naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal, which was accompanied by significantly increased levels of BDNF mRNA and protein in the amygdala. Bilateral microinjection of TrkB-FC or K252a into the amygdala completely blocked CPA behavior in the rats.Formation of aversive memories associated with conditioned drug withdrawal in acute morphine-dependent rats requires BDNF expression in the amygdala.
Project description:Hyponatremia due to elevated arginine vasopressin (AVP) secretion increases mortality in liver failure patients. The mechanisms causing dysregulation of AVP secretion are unknown. Our hypothesis is that inappropriate AVP release associated with liver failure is due to increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the supraoptic nucleus (SON). BDNF diminishes GABAA inhibition in SON AVP neurons by increasing intracellular chloride through tyrosine receptor kinase B (TrkB) activation and downregulation of K+/Cl- cotransporter 2 (KCC2). This loss of inhibition could increase AVP secretion. This hypothesis was tested using shRNA against BDNF (shBDNF) in the SON in bile duct ligated (BDL) male rats. All BDL rats had significantly increased liver weight (p < 0.05; 6-9) compared to shams. BDL rats with control -shRNA injections (BDL scrambled [SCR]) developed hyponatremia with increased plasma AVP and copeptin (CPP; all p < 0.05; 6-9) compared to sham groups. This is the first study to show that phosphorylation of TrkB is significantly increased along with significant decrease in phosphorylation of KCC2 in BDL SCR rats compared to the sham rats (p < 0.05;6-8). Knockdown of BDNF in the SON of BDL rats (BDL shBDNF) significantly increased plasma osmolality and hematocrit compared to BDL SCR rats (p < 0.05; 6-9). The BDL shBDNF rats had significant (p < 0.05; 6-9) decreases in plasma AVP and CPP concentration compared to BDL SCR rats. The BDNF knockdown also significantly blocked the increase in TrkB phosphorylation and decrease in KCC2 phosphorylation (p < 0.05; 6-8). The results indicate that BDNF produced in the SON contributes to increased AVP secretion and hyponatremia during liver failure.
Project description:Fetal exposure to general anesthetics may pose significant neurocognitive risks but methods to mitigate against these detrimental effects are still to be determined. We set out, therefore, to assess whether single or repeated in utero exposure to sevoflurane triggers long-term cognitive impairments in rat offspring. Since maternal exercise during pregnancy has been shown to improve cognition in offspring, we hypothesized that maternal treadmill exercise during pregnancy would protect against sevoflurane-induced neurotoxicity. In the first experiment, pregnant rats were exposed to 3% sevoflurane for 2 h on gestational (G) day 14, or to sequential exposure for 2 h on G13, G14 and G15. In the second experiment, pregnant rats in the exercise group were forced to run on a treadmill for 60 min/day during the whole pregnancy. The TrkB antagonist ANA-12 was used to investigate whether the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/TrkB/Akt signaling pathway is involved in the neuroprotection afforded by maternal exercise. Our data suggest that repeated, but not single, exposure to sevoflurane caused a reduction in both histone acetylation and BDNF expression in fetal brain tissues and postnatal hippocampus. This was accompanied by decreased numbers of dendritic spines, impaired spatial-dependent learning and memory dysfunction. These effects were mitigated by maternal exercise but the TrkB antagonist ANA-12 abolished the beneficial effects of maternal exercise. Our findings suggest that repeated, but not single, exposure to sevoflurane in pregnant rats during the second trimester caused long-lasting learning and memory dysfunction in the offspring. Maternal exercise ameliorated the postnatal neurocognitive impairment by enhancing histone acetylation and activating downstream BDNF/TrkB/Akt signaling.
Project description:Exogenous brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) can regulate behavioral sensitization and conditioned place preference (CPP) when animals are exposed to repeated cocaine administration. However, it is unclear whether BDNF signaling through the TrkB receptor can mediate these behavioral responses when animals are given a single cocaine exposure. Because TrkB knockout mice die as neonates, we engineered a transgenic mouse that expressed a dominant negative form of TrkB (dnTrkB) in a conditional and reversible manner. We assessed also activation of endogenous TrkB by quantifying levels of phosphorylated TrkB (p-TrkB) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). We found that a single exposure to cocaine was sufficient to increase p-TrkB within the NAc 9-12h after administration. Expression of the dnTrkB transgene not only prevented the acute cocaine-induced increase in p-TrkB, but it also prevented behavioral sensitization and CPP following a single cocaine injection. These findings demonstrate that TrkB activation is required both for behavioral sensitization and CPP to a single cocaine exposure. The fact that enhanced TrkB activation is induced within 9h of a single injection of cocaine suggests that inhibition of TrkB signaling commencing hours after cocaine exposure may prevent at least the initial antecedents to the sensitizing and reinforcing effects of this psychostimulant.
Project description:Persistent drug-seeking behavior has been associated with deficits in neural circuits that regulate the extinction of addictive behaviors. Although there is extensive data that associates addiction phases with neuroplasticity changes in the reward circuit, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of extinction learning of opioid associated cues. Here, we combined morphine-conditioned place preference (CPP) with real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to identify the effects of extinction training on the expression of genes (mRNAs) associated with synaptic plasticity and opioid receptors in the ventral striatum/nucleus accumbens (VS/NAc). Following morphine extinction training, we identified two animal subgroups showing either extinction (low CPP) or extinction-resistance (high CPP). A third group were conditioned to morphine but did not receive extinction training (sham-extinction; high CPP). RT-PCR results showed that brain derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) was upregulated in rats showing successful extinction. Conversely, the lack of extinction training (sham-extinction) upregulated genes associated with kinases (Camk2g), neurotrophins (Ngfr), synaptic connectivity factors (Ephb2), glutamate neurotransmission (Grm8) and opioid receptors (?1, ?1). To further identify genes modulated by morphine itself, comparisons with their saline-counterparts were performed. Results revealed that Bdnf was consistently upregulated in the extinction group. Alternatively, widespread gene modulation was observed in the group with lack of extinction training (i.e. Drd2, Cnr1, Creb, ?1, ?1) and the group showing extinction resistance (i.e. Crem, Rheb, Tnfa). Together, our study builds on the identification of putative genetic markers for the extinction learning of drug-associated cues.
Project description:We have previously found that healthy aged rats are more likely to suffer profound memory impairments following a severe bacterial infection than are younger adult rats. Such a peripheral challenge is capable of producing a neuroinflammatory response, and in the aged brain this response is exaggerated and prolonged. Normal aging primes, or sensitizes, microglia, and this appears to be the source of this amplified inflammatory response. Among the outcomes of this exaggerated neuroinflammatory response are impairments in synaptic plasticity and reductions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), both of which have been associated with cognitive impairments. Since it has been shown that physical exercise increases BDNF mRNA in the hippocampus, the present study examined voluntary exercise in 24-month-old F344×BN rats as a neuroprotective therapeutic in our bacterial infection model. Although aged rats ran only an average of 0.7 km per week, this small amount of exercise was sufficient to completely reverse infection-induced impairments in hippocampus-dependent long-term memory compared with sedentary animals. Strikingly, exercise prevented the infection-induced exaggerated neuroinflammatory response and the blunted BDNF mRNA induction seen in the hippocampus of sedentary rats. Moreover, voluntary exercise abrogated age-related microglial sensitization, suggesting a possible mechanism for exercise-induced neuroprotection in aging.
Project description:Gut microbiota has been found to establish a bidirectional relationship with the central nervous system. Variations of the gut microbiota has been implicated in various mental disorders, including opioid use disorders. Morphine exposure has been repeatedly found to disrupt the gut microbiota, but association between the gut microbiota and the sensitivity to morphine reward remains unknown. In this study the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm was used for morphine-treated rats and saline-treated rats. After the CPP procedure, the morphine-treated rats were divided equally into the low and high CPP (L- and H-CPP) groups according to the CPP scores. We adopted 16S rRNA sequencing for the fecal bacterial communities at baseline and post-conditioning. By comparing the morphine-treated group with saline-treated group, we found alterations of microbial composition in the morphine-treated group, but no significant differences in alpha diversity. The L-CPP group and H-CPP group differed in microbial composition both before and after morphine treatment. The relative abundance of certain taxa was correlated to the CPP scores, such as Alloprevotella and Romboutsia. This study provides direct evidence that morphine exposure alters the composition of the gut microbiota in rats and that microbial alterations are correlated to the sensitivity to morphine reward. These findings may help develop novel therapeutic and preventive strategies for opioid use disorder.
Project description:We delineated a heritable phenotype resulting from the self-administration of cocaine in rats. We observed delayed acquisition and reduced maintenance of cocaine self-administration in male, but not female, offspring of sires that self-administered cocaine. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) mRNA and BDNF protein were increased in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and there was an increased association of acetylated histone H3 with Bdnf promoters in only the male offspring of cocaine-experienced sires. Administration of a BDNF receptor antagonist (the TrkB receptor antagonist ANA-12) reversed the diminished cocaine self-administration in male cocaine-sired rats. In addition, the association of acetylated histone H3 with Bdnf promoters was increased in the sperm of sires that self-administered cocaine. Collectively, these findings indicate that voluntary paternal ingestion of cocaine results in epigenetic reprogramming of the germline, having profound effects on mPFC gene expression and resistance to cocaine reinforcement in male offspring.
Project description:A major unresolved issue in treating pain is the paradoxical hyperalgesia produced by the gold-standard analgesic morphine and other opiates. We found that hyperalgesia-inducing treatment with morphine resulted in downregulation of the K(+)-Cl(-) co-transporter KCC2, impairing Cl(-) homeostasis in rat spinal lamina l neurons. Restoring the anion equilibrium potential reversed the morphine-induced hyperalgesia without affecting tolerance. The hyperalgesia was also reversed by ablating spinal microglia. Morphine hyperalgesia, but not tolerance, required ? opioid receptor-dependent expression of P2X4 receptors (P2X4Rs) in microglia and ?-independent gating of the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) by P2X4Rs. Blocking BDNF-TrkB signaling preserved Cl(-) homeostasis and reversed the hyperalgesia. Gene-targeted mice in which Bdnf was deleted from microglia did not develop hyperalgesia to morphine. However, neither morphine antinociception nor tolerance was affected in these mice. Our findings dissociate morphine-induced hyperalgesia from tolerance and suggest the microglia-to-neuron P2X4-BDNF-KCC2 pathway as a therapeutic target for preventing hyperalgesia without affecting morphine analgesia.
Project description:Adolescence in humans represents a unique developmental time point associated with increased risk-taking behavior and experimentation with drugs of abuse. We hypothesized that exposure to drugs of abuse during adolescence may increase the risk of addiction in adulthood. To test this, rats were treated with a subchronic regimen of morphine or saline in adolescence, and their preference for morphine was examined using conditioned place preference (CPP) and drug-induced reinstatement in adulthood. The initial preference for morphine did not differ between groups; however, rats treated with morphine during adolescence showed robust reinstatement of morphine CPP after drug re-exposure in adulthood. This effect was not seen in rats pretreated with a subchronic regimen of morphine as adults, suggesting that exposure to morphine specifically during adolescence increases the risk of relapse to drug-seeking behavior in adulthood. We have previously established a role for microglia, the immune cells of the brain, and immune molecules in the risk of drug-induced reinstatement of morphine CPP. Thus, we examined the role of microglia within the nucleus accumbens of these rats and determined that rats exposed to morphine during adolescence had a significant increase in Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) mRNA and protein expression specifically on microglia. Morphine binds to TLR4 directly, and this increase in TLR4 was associated with exaggerated morphine-induced TLR4 signaling and microglial activation in rats previously exposed to morphine during adolescence. These data suggest that long-term changes in microglial function, caused by adolescent morphine exposure, alter the risk of drug-induced reinstatement in adulthood.