508 research outputs found

    Stress-Induced Cocaine Seeking Requires a Beta-2 Adrenergic Receptor-Regulated Pathway from the Ventral Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis That Regulates CRF Actions in the Ventral Tegmental Area

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    The ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (vBNST) has been implicated in stress-induced cocaine use. Here we demonstrate that, in the vBNST, corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) is expressed in neurons that innervate the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a site where the CRF receptor antagonist antalarmin prevents the reinstatement of cocaine seeking by a stressor, intermittent footshock, following intravenous self-administration in rats. The vBNST receives dense noradrenergic innervation and expresses β adrenergic receptors (ARs). Footshock-induced reinstatement was prevented by bilateral intra-vBNST injection of the β-2 AR antagonist, ICI-118,551, but not the β-1 AR antagonist, betaxolol. Moreover, bilateral intra-vBNST injection of the β-2 AR agonist, clenbuterol, but not the β-1 agonist, dobutamine, reinstated cocaine seeking, suggesting that activation of vBNST β-2 AR is both necessary for stress-induced reinstatement and sufficient to induce cocaine seeking. The contribution of a β-2 AR-regulated vBNST-to-VTA pathway that releases CRF was investigated using a disconnection approach. Injection of ICI-118,551 into the vBNST in one hemisphere and antalarmin into the VTA of the contralateral hemisphere prevented footshock-induced reinstatement, whereas ipsilateral manipulations failed to attenuate stress-induced cocaine seeking, suggesting that β-2 AR regulate vBNST efferents that release CRF into the VTA, activating CRF receptors, and promoting cocaine use. Last, reinstatement by clenbuterol delivered bilaterally into the vBNST was prevented by bilateral vBNST pretreatment with antalarmin, indicating that β-2 AR-mediated actions in the vBNST also require local CRF receptor activation. Understanding the processes through which stress induces cocaine seeking should guide the development of new treatments for addiction

    Corticosterone Regulates Both Naturally Occurring and Cocaine‐Induced Dopamine Signaling by Selectively Decreasing Dopamine Uptake

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    Stressful and aversive events promote maladaptive reward‐seeking behaviors such as drug addiction by acting, in part, on the mesolimbic dopamine system. Using animal models, data from our laboratory and others show that stress and cocaine can interact to produce a synergistic effect on reward circuitry. This effect is also observed when the stress hormone corticosterone is administered directly into the nucleus accumbens (NAc), indicating that glucocorticoids act locally in dopamine terminal regions to enhance cocaine\u27s effects on dopamine signaling. However, prior studies in behaving animals have not provided mechanistic insight. Using fast‐scan cyclic voltammetry, we examined the effect of systemic corticosterone on spontaneous dopamine release events (transients) in the NAc core and shell in behaving rats. A physiologically relevant systemic injection of corticosterone (2 mg/kg i.p.) induced an increase in dopamine transient amplitude and duration (both voltammetric measures sensitive to decreases in dopamine clearance), but had no effect on the frequency of transient release events. This effect was compounded by cocaine (2.5 mg/kg i.p.). However, a second experiment indicated that the same injection of corticosterone had no detectable effect on the dopaminergic encoding of a palatable natural reward (saccharin). Taken together, these results suggest that corticosterone interferes with naturally occurring dopamine uptake locally, and this effect is a critical determinant of dopamine concentration specifically in situations in which the dopamine transporter is pharmacologically blocked by cocaine

    Corticosterone Acts in the Nucleus Accumbens to Enhance Dopamine Signaling and Potentiate Reinstatement of Cocaine Seeking

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    Stressful life events are important contributors to relapse in recovering cocaine addicts, but the mechanisms by which they influence motivational systems are poorly understood. Studies suggest that stress may “set the stage” for relapse by increasing the sensitivity of brain reward circuits to drug-associated stimuli. We examined the effects of stress and corticosterone on behavioral and neurochemical responses of rats to a cocaine prime after cocaine self-administration and extinction. Exposure of rats to acute electric footshock stress did not by itself reinstate drug-seeking behavior but potentiated reinstatement in response to a subthreshold dose of cocaine. This effect of stress was not observed in adrenalectomized animals, and was reproduced in nonstressed animals by administration of corticosterone at a dose that reproduced stress-induced plasma levels. Pretreatment with the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU38486 did not block the corticosterone effect. Corticosterone potentiated cocaine-induced increases in extracellular dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), and pharmacological blockade of NAc dopamine receptors blocked corticosterone-induced potentiation of reinstatement. Intra-accumbens administration of corticosterone reproduced the behavioral effects of stress and systemic corticosterone. Corticosterone treatment acutely decreased NAc dopamine clearance measured by fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, suggesting that inhibition of uptake2-mediated dopamine clearance may underlie corticosterone effects. Consistent with this hypothesis, intra-accumbens administration of the uptake2 inhibitor normetanephrine potentiated cocaine-induced reinstatement. Expression of organic cation transporter 3, a corticosterone-sensitive uptake2 transporter, was detected on NAc neurons. These findings reveal a novel mechanism by which stress hormones can rapidly regulate dopamine signaling and contribute to the impact of stress on drug intake

    Neurobiological Mechanisms That Contribute to Stress-related Cocaine Use

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    The ability of stressful life events to trigger drug use is particularly problematic for the management of cocaine addiction due to the unpredictable and often uncontrollable nature of stress. For this reason, understanding the neurobiological processes that contribute to stress-related drug use is important for the development of new and more effective treatment strategies aimed at minimizing the role of stress in the addiction cycle. In this review we discuss the neurocircuitry that has been implicated in stress-induced drug use with an emphasis on corticotropin releasing factor actions in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and an important pathway from the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis to the VTA that is regulated by norepinephrine via actions at beta adrenergic receptors. In addition to the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie stress-induced cocaine seeking, we review findings suggesting that the ability of stressful stimuli to trigger cocaine use emerges and intensifies in an intake-dependent manner with repeated cocaine self-administration. Further, we discuss evidence that the drug-induced neuroadaptations that are necessary for heightened susceptibility to stress-induced drug use are reliant on elevated levels of glucocorticoid hormones at the time of cocaine use. Finally, the potential ability of stress to function as a “stage setter” for drug use – increasing sensitivity to cocaine and drug-associated cues – under conditions where it does not directly trigger cocaine seeking is discussed. As our understanding of the mechanisms through which stress promotes drug use advances, the hope is that so too will the available tools for effectively managing addiction, particularly in cocaine addicts whose drug use is stress-driven

    Corticosterone Potentiation of Cocaine-Induced Reinstatement of Conditioned Place Preference in Mice is Mediated by Blockade of the Organic Cation Transporter 3

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    The mechanisms by which stressful life events increase the risk of relapse in recovering cocaine addicts are not well understood. We previously reported that stress, via elevated corticosterone, potentiates cocaine-primed reinstatement of cocaine seeking following self-administration in rats and that this potentiation appears to involve corticosterone-induced blockade of dopamine clearance via the organic cation transporter 3 (OCT3). In the present study, we use a conditioned place preference/reinstatement paradigm in mice to directly test the hypothesis that corticosterone potentiates cocaine-primed reinstatement by blockade of OCT3. Consistent with our findings following self-administration in rats, pretreatment of male C57/BL6 mice with corticosterone (using a dose that reproduced stress-level plasma concentrations) potentiated cocaine-primed reinstatement of extinguished cocaine-induced conditioned place preference. Corticosterone failed to re-establish extinguished preference alone but produced a leftward shift in the dose–response curve for cocaine-primed reinstatement. A similar potentiating effect was observed upon pretreatment of mice with the non-glucocorticoid OCT3 blocker, normetanephrine. To determine the role of OCT3 blockade in these effects, we examined the abilities of corticosterone and normetanephrine to potentiate cocaine-primed reinstatement in OCT3-deficient and wild-type mice. Conditioned place preference, extinction and reinstatement of extinguished preference in response to low-dose cocaine administration did not differ between genotypes. However, corticosterone and normetanephrine failed to potentiate cocaine-primed reinstatement in OCT3-deficient mice. Together, these data provide the first direct evidence that the interaction of corticosterone with OCT3 mediates corticosterone effects on drug-seeking behavior and establish OCT3 function as an important determinant of susceptibility to cocaine use

    Measurement of the cosmic ray spectrum above 4×10184{\times}10^{18} eV using inclined events detected with the Pierre Auger Observatory

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    A measurement of the cosmic-ray spectrum for energies exceeding 4×10184{\times}10^{18} eV is presented, which is based on the analysis of showers with zenith angles greater than 6060^{\circ} detected with the Pierre Auger Observatory between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2013. The measured spectrum confirms a flux suppression at the highest energies. Above 5.3×10185.3{\times}10^{18} eV, the "ankle", the flux can be described by a power law EγE^{-\gamma} with index γ=2.70±0.02(stat)±0.1(sys)\gamma=2.70 \pm 0.02 \,\text{(stat)} \pm 0.1\,\text{(sys)} followed by a smooth suppression region. For the energy (EsE_\text{s}) at which the spectral flux has fallen to one-half of its extrapolated value in the absence of suppression, we find Es=(5.12±0.25(stat)1.2+1.0(sys))×1019E_\text{s}=(5.12\pm0.25\,\text{(stat)}^{+1.0}_{-1.2}\,\text{(sys)}){\times}10^{19} eV.Comment: Replaced with published version. Added journal reference and DO

    Energy Estimation of Cosmic Rays with the Engineering Radio Array of the Pierre Auger Observatory

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    The Auger Engineering Radio Array (AERA) is part of the Pierre Auger Observatory and is used to detect the radio emission of cosmic-ray air showers. These observations are compared to the data of the surface detector stations of the Observatory, which provide well-calibrated information on the cosmic-ray energies and arrival directions. The response of the radio stations in the 30 to 80 MHz regime has been thoroughly calibrated to enable the reconstruction of the incoming electric field. For the latter, the energy deposit per area is determined from the radio pulses at each observer position and is interpolated using a two-dimensional function that takes into account signal asymmetries due to interference between the geomagnetic and charge-excess emission components. The spatial integral over the signal distribution gives a direct measurement of the energy transferred from the primary cosmic ray into radio emission in the AERA frequency range. We measure 15.8 MeV of radiation energy for a 1 EeV air shower arriving perpendicularly to the geomagnetic field. This radiation energy -- corrected for geometrical effects -- is used as a cosmic-ray energy estimator. Performing an absolute energy calibration against the surface-detector information, we observe that this radio-energy estimator scales quadratically with the cosmic-ray energy as expected for coherent emission. We find an energy resolution of the radio reconstruction of 22% for the data set and 17% for a high-quality subset containing only events with at least five radio stations with signal.Comment: Replaced with published version. Added journal reference and DO
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