The 5-HT1B serotonin receptor regulates methylphenidate-induced gene expression in the striatum: Differential effects on immediate-early genes.
ABSTRACT: Drug combinations that include a psychostimulant such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor such as fluoxetine are indicated in several medical conditions. Co-exposure to these drugs also occurs with "cognitive enhancer" use by individuals treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Methylphenidate, a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, by itself produces some addiction-related gene regulation in the striatum. We have demonstrated that co-administration of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors potentiates these methylphenidate-induced molecular effects, thus producing a more "cocaine-like" profile. There is evidence that the 5-HT1B serotonin receptor subtype mediates some of the cocaine-induced gene regulation. We thus investigated whether the 5-HT1B receptor also modifies methylphenidate-induced gene regulation, by assessing effects of a selective 5-HT1B receptor agonist (CP94253) on immediate-early gene markers ( Zif268, c- Fos, Homer1a) in adolescent male rats. Gene expression was measured by in situ hybridization histochemistry. Our results show that CP94253 (3, 10 mg/kg) produced a dose-dependent potentiation of methylphenidate (5 mg/kg)-induced expression of Zif268 and c- Fos. This potentiation was widespread in the striatum and was maximal in lateral (sensorimotor) sectors, thus mimicking the effects seen after cocaine alone, or co-administration of fluoxetine. However, in contrast to fluoxetine, this 5-HT1B agonist did not influence methylphenidate-induced expression of Homer1a. CP94253 also potentiated methylphenidate-induced locomotor activity. These findings indicate that stimulation of the 5-HT1B receptor can enhance methylphenidate (dopamine)-induced gene regulation. This receptor may thus participate in the potentiation induced by fluoxetine (serotonin) and may serve as a pharmacological target to attenuate methylphenidate + selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor-induced "cocaine-like" effects.
Project description:Drug combinations that include the psychostimulant methylphenidate plus a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) such as fluoxetine are increasingly used in children and adolescents. For example, this combination is indicated in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depression comorbidity and other mental disorders. Such co-exposure also occurs in patients on SSRIs who use methylphenidate as a cognitive enhancer. The neurobiological consequences of these drug combinations are poorly understood. Methylphenidate alone can produce gene regulation effects that mimic addiction-related gene regulation by cocaine, consistent with its moderate addiction liability. We have previously shown that combining SSRIs with methylphenidate potentiates methylphenidate-induced gene regulation in the striatum. The present study investigated which striatal output pathways are affected by the methylphenidate + fluoxetine combination, by assessing effects on pathway-specific neuropeptide markers, and which serotonin receptor subtypes may mediate these effects. Our results demonstrate that a 5-day repeated treatment with fluoxetine (5 mg/kg) potentiates methylphenidate (5 mg/kg)-induced expression of both dynorphin (direct pathway marker) and enkephalin (indirect pathway). These changes were accompanied by correlated increases in the expression of the 5-HT1B, but not 5-HT2C, serotonin receptor in the same striatal regions. A further study showed that the 5-HT1B receptor agonist CP94253 (3-10 mg/kg) mimics the fluoxetine potentiation of methylphenidate-induced gene regulation. These findings suggest a role for the 5-HT1B receptor in the fluoxetine effects on striatal gene regulation. Given that 5-HT1B receptors are known to facilitate addiction-related gene regulation and behavior, our results suggest that SSRIs may enhance the addiction liability of methylphenidate by increasing 5-HT1B receptor signaling.
Project description:Use of psychostimulants such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) in medical treatments and as cognitive enhancers in the healthy is increasing. Methylphenidate produces some addiction-related gene regulation in animal models. Recent findings show that combining selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants such as fluoxetine with methylphenidate potentiates methylphenidate-induced gene regulation. We investigated the endurance of such abnormal gene regulation by assessing an established marker for altered gene regulation after drug treatments - blunting (repression) of immediate-early gene (IEG) inducibility - 14 days after repeated methylphenidate+fluoxetine treatment in adolescent rats. Thus, we measured the effects of a 6-day repeated treatment with methylphenidate (5 mg/kg), fluoxetine (5 mg/kg) or their combination on the inducibility (by cocaine) of neuroplasticity-related IEGs (Zif268, Homer1a) in the striatum, by in situ hybridization histochemistry. Repeated methylphenidate treatment alone produced modest gene blunting, while fluoxetine alone had no effect. In contrast, fluoxetine given in conjunction with methylphenidate produced pronounced potentiation of methylphenidate-induced blunting for both genes. This potentiation was seen in many functional domains of the striatum, but was most robust in the lateral, sensorimotor striatum. These enduring molecular changes were associated with potentiated induction of behavioral stereotypies in an open-field test. For illicit psychostimulants, blunting of gene expression is considered part of the molecular basis of addiction. Our results thus suggest that SSRIs such as fluoxetine may increase the addiction liability of methylphenidate. Key words: cognitive enhancer, dopamine, serotonin, gene expression, psychostimulant, SSRI antidepressant, striatum.
Project description:There is growing use of psychostimulant cognitive enhancers such as methylphenidate (Ritalin). Methylphenidate differs from the psychostimulant cocaine because it does not enhance synaptic levels of serotonin. We investigated whether exposure to methylphenidate combined with a serotonin-enhancing medication, the prototypical selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine (Prozac), would produce more "cocaine-like" molecular and behavioral changes.We measured the effects of fluoxetine on gene expression induced by the cognitive enhancer methylphenidate in the striatum and nucleus accumbens of rats, by in situ hybridization histochemistry. We also determined whether fluoxetine modified behavioral effects of methylphenidate.Fluoxetine robustly potentiated methylphenidate-induced expression of the transcription factors c-fos and zif 268 throughout the striatum and to some degree in the nucleus accumbens. Fluoxetine also enhanced methylphenidate-induced stereotypical behavior.Both potentiated gene regulation in the striatum and the behavioral effects indicate that combining the SSRI fluoxetine with the cognitive enhancer methylphenidate mimics cocaine effects, consistent with an increased risk for substance use disorder.
Project description:There is a growing use of psychostimulants, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin; dopamine re-uptake inhibitor), for medical treatments and as cognitive enhancers in the healthy. Methylphenidate is known to produce some addiction-related gene regulation. Recent findings in animal models show that selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including fluoxetine, can potentiate acute induction of gene expression by methylphenidate, thus indicating an acute facilitatory role for serotonin in dopamine-induced gene regulation. We investigated whether repeated exposure to fluoxetine, in conjunction with methylphenidate, in adolescent rats facilitated a gene regulation effect well established for repeated exposure to illicit psychostimulants such as cocaine-blunting (repression) of gene inducibility. We measured, by in situ hybridization histochemistry, the effects of a 5-day repeated treatment with methylphenidate (5?mg/kg), fluoxetine (5?mg/kg) or a combination on the inducibility (by cocaine) of neuroplasticity-related genes (Zif268, Homer1a) in the striatum. Repeated methylphenidate treatment alone produced minimal gene blunting, while fluoxetine alone had no effect. In contrast, fluoxetine added to methylphenidate robustly potentiated methylphenidate-induced blunting for both genes. This potentiation was widespread throughout the striatum, but was most robust in the lateral, sensorimotor striatum, thus mimicking cocaine effects. For illicit psychostimulants, blunting of gene expression is considered part of the molecular basis of addiction. Our results thus suggest that SSRIs, such as fluoxetine, may increase the addiction liability of methylphenidate.
Project description:Concomitant therapies combining psychostimulants such as methylphenidate and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are used to treat several mental disorders, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder/depression comorbidity. The neurobiological consequences of these drug combinations are poorly understood. Methylphenidate alone induces gene regulation that mimics partly effects of cocaine, consistent with some addiction liability. We previously showed that the SSRI fluoxetine potentiates methylphenidate-induced gene regulation in the striatum. The present study investigated which striatal output pathways are affected by the methylphenidate + fluoxetine combination, by assessing effects on pathway-specific neuropeptide markers. Results demonstrate that fluoxetine (5 mg/kg) potentiates methylphenidate (5 mg/kg)-induced expression of substance P and dynorphin, markers for direct pathway neurons. In contrast, no drug effects on the indirect pathway marker enkephalin were found. Because methylphenidate alone has minimal effects on dynorphin, the potentiation of dynorphin induction represents a more cocaine-like effect for the drug combination. On the other hand, the lack of an effect on enkephalin suggests a greater selectivity for the direct pathway compared with psychostimulants such as cocaine. Overall, the fluoxetine potentiation of gene regulation by methylphenidate occurs preferentially in sensorimotor striatal circuits, similar to other addictive psychostimulants. These results suggest that SSRIs may enhance the addiction liability of methylphenidate.
Project description:The psychostimulant methylphenidate (Ritalin) is used in conjunction with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in the treatment of medical conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder with anxiety/depression comorbidity and major depression. Co-exposure also occurs in patients on SSRIs who use psychostimulant 'cognitive enhancers'. Methylphenidate is a dopamine/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor that produces altered gene expression in the forebrain; these effects partly mimic gene regulation by cocaine (dopamine/norepinephrine/serotonin reuptake inhibitor). We investigated whether the addition of SSRIs (fluoxetine or citalopram; 5 mg/kg) modified gene regulation by methylphenidate (2-5 mg/kg) in the striatum and cortex of adolescent rats. Our results show that SSRIs potentiate methylphenidate-induced expression of the transcription factor genes zif268 and c-fos in the striatum, rendering these molecular changes more cocaine-like. Present throughout most of the striatum, this potentiation was most robust in its sensorimotor parts. The methylphenidate + SSRI combination also enhanced behavioral stereotypies, consistent with dysfunction in sensorimotor striatal circuits. In so far as such gene regulation is implicated in psychostimulant addiction, our findings suggest that SSRIs may enhance the addiction potential of methylphenidate.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses and/or repetitive stereotypical behavior. Obsessive-compulsive disorder patients exhibit reduced prepulse inhibition (PPI) and symptom exacerbation after challenge with 5-HT1B receptor agonists. Recently, gain-of-function alleles of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) have been associated with OCD. We tested the hypothesis that reducing 5-HTT function chronically, either genetically or via serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) treatment, attenuates PPI deficits and perseverative hyperlocomotion induced by 5-HT1B agonists in mice. METHODS:Mice received subchronic or chronic pretreatment with the SRI fluoxetine and acute treatment with RU24969 (5-HT1A/1B agonist) or 8-OH-DPAT (5-HT1A agonist) and were assessed for PPI, locomotor activity, and spatial patterns of locomotion. The same measures were evaluated in 5-HTT wild-type (WT), heterozygous (HT), and knockout (KO) mice after RU24969 treatment. The effects of WAY100635 (5-HTA antagonist) or GR127935 (5-HT1B/D antagonist) pretreatment on RU24969-induced effects were evaluated. Finally, 5-HT1B binding and functional coupling were assessed in 5-HTT-WT, -HT, and -KO mice, and normal fluoxetine-treated mice. RESULTS:Chronic, but not subchronic, fluoxetine treatment prevented RU24969-induced PPI deficits and perseverative hyperlocomotion. These RU24969-induced effects were mediated via 5-HT1B and not 5-HT1A receptors. 5-HTT-KO mice showed no effects of RU24969, and 5-HTT-HT mice exhibited intermediate phenotypes. 5-HT1B binding and functional coupling were reduced in the globus pallidus and substantia nigra of 5-HTT-KO mice. CONCLUSIONS:Our results demonstrate that chronic, but not subchronic, fluoxetine treatment and 5-HTT knockout robustly attenuate 5-HT1B agonist-induced PPI deficits and perseverative hyperlocomotion. These results may have implications for the etiology and treatment of OCD.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a progressive degeneration of substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons projecting to the striatum. Restoration of dopamine transmission by L-DOPA relieves symptoms of PD but causes prominent side effects. There is a strong serotonin innervation of the striatum by serotonergic neurons that remains relatively preserved in PD. The study of this innervation has been largely neglected. Here, we demonstrate that chronic L-DOPA administration to 6-OHDA-lesioned rodents increases, via D1 receptors, the levels of the 5-HT1B receptor and its adaptor protein, p11, in dopamine-denervated striatonigral neurons. Using unilaterally 6-OHDA-lesioned p11 WT and KO mice, it was found that administration of a selective 5-HT1B receptor agonist, CP94253, inhibited L-DOPA-induced rotational behavior and abnormal involuntary movements in a p11-dependent manner. These data reveal an L-DOPA-induced negative-feedback mechanism, whereby the serotonin system may influence the symptomatology of Parkinsonism.
Project description:Rationale: The mechanisms responsible for the unique antidepressant properties of ketamine have only been partly resolved. Recent preclinical reports implicate the neurotransmitter serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] in the antidepressant-like response of ketamine, and modulation of 5-HT1B receptors has been hypothesized to attain an important role. Objectives: To evaluate the role of endogenous stimulation of 5-HT1B heteroreceptors in the antidepressant-like activity of S-ketamine. Method: Flinders sensitive line (FSL) rats, a genetic model of depression, were depleted of endogenous 5-HT by 4-chloro-DL-phenylalanine methyl ester HCl administration (pCPA; 86 mg/kg/day for 3 days). In pCPA-pretreated and control FSL rats, the acute and sustained effects of a single dose of S-ketamine (15 mg/kg) and the selective 5-HT1B receptor agonist CP94253 (1-6 mg/kg) alone and in combination with S-ketamine were studied in the forced swim test (FST), a commonly used assay that detects antidepressant activity. Results: pCPA pretreatment decreased cortical 5-HT levels to ?6% but did not affect the baseline behavioral phenotype of FSL rats. S-ketamine demonstrated acute and sustained antidepressant-like activity, both of which were abolished by 5-HT depletion. Combining S-ketamine with a sub-effective dose of CP94253 (1 mg/kg) rescued S-ketamine's acute and sustained antidepressant-like effects, when CP94253 was administered 2 h prior to the FST. Co-administration of S-ketamine and CP94253 did not affect the plasma level of either compound, suggesting that the observed behavioral interaction could not be ascribed to a kinetic drug-drug interaction. Conclusion: 5-HT1B receptor activation during testing appears to be critical for S-ketamine's antidepressant-like potentials in this model.
Project description:Acute SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) treatment has been shown to attenuate the abuse-related effects of cocaine; however, SSRIs have had limited success in clinical trials for cocaine abuse, possibly due to neurobiological changes that occur during chronic administration. In order to better understand the role of serotonin (5HT) in cocaine abuse and treatment, we examined the effects of chronic treatment with the SSRI fluoxetine at clinically relevant serum concentrations on cocaine-related neurobiology and behavior. Rhesus macaques self-administering cocaine underwent a 6-week dosing regimen with fluoxetine designed to approximate serum concentrations observed in humans. Self-administration and reinstatement were monitored throughout the treatment and washout period. In vivo microdiaylsis was used to assess changes in dopaminergic and serotonergic neurochemistry. Positron emission tomography was used to assess changes in the 5HT transporter and 2A receptor binding potential (BP). Functional output of the 5HT system was assessed using prolactin levels. Cocaine-primed reinstatement and cocaine-elicited dopamine overflow were significantly suppressed following chronic fluoxetine treatment. 5HT2A receptor BP was increased in the frontal cortex following treatment while prolactin release was blunted, suggesting desensitization of the 5HT2A receptor. These effects persisted after a 6-week washout period. Measures of pre-synaptic serotonergic function and cocaine self-administration were unaffected. These data demonstrate that acute and chronic fluoxetine treatments exert different effects on cocaine-related behavior. Furthermore, chronic fluoxetine treatment causes alterations in 5HT2A receptors in the frontal cortex that may selectively disrupt cocaine-primed reinstatement. Fluoxetine may not be useful for treatment of ongoing cocaine abuse but may be useful in relapse prevention.