4 research outputs found

    The Effects of N-Acetylcysteine on the Rat Mesocorticolimbic Pathway: Role of mGluR5 Receptors and Interaction with Ethanol

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    N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a prodrug that is marketed as a mucolytic agent and used for the treatment of acetaminophen overdose. Over the last few decades, evidence has been gathered that suggests the potential use of NAC as a new pharmacotherapy for alcohol use disorder (AUD), although its mechanism of action is already being debated. In this paper, we set out to assess both the potential involvement of the glutamate metabotropic receptors (mGluR) in the possible dual effect of NAC administered at two different doses and NAC's effect on ethanol-induced activation. To this aim, 30 or 120 mg/kg of NAC was intraperitoneally administered to rats with the presence or absence of the negative allosteric modulator of mGluR5 (MTEP 0.1 mg/kg). Thereafter, the cFOS IR-cell expression was analyzed. Secondly, we explored the effect of 120 mg/kg of NAC on the neurochemical and behavioral activation induced by intra-VTA ethanol administration (150 nmol). Our results showed that the high NAC dose stimulated cFOS expression in the NAcc, and that this effect was suppressed in the presence of MTEP, thus suggesting the implication of mGluR5. Additionally, high doses could attenuate the ethanol-induced increase in cFOS-expression in the NAcc, probably due to a phenomenon based on the long-term depression of the MSNs. Additional experiments are required to corroborate our hypothesis

    Crosstalk between Mu-Opioid receptors and neuroinflammation: Consequences for drug addiction and pain

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    Mu-Opioid Receptors (MORs) are well-known for participating in analgesia, sedation, drug addiction, and other physiological functions. Although MORs have been related to neuroinflammation their biological mechanism remains unclear. It is suggested that MORs work alongside Toll-Like Receptors to enhance the release of pro-inflammatory mediators and cytokines during pathological conditions. Some cytokines, including TNF-őĪ, IL-1ő≤ and IL-6, have been postulated to regulate MORs levels by both avoiding MOR recycling and enhancing its production. In addition, Neurokinin-1 Receptor, also affected during neuroinflammation, could be regulating MOR trafficking. Therefore, inflammation in the central nervous system seems to be associated with altered/increased MORs expression, which might regulate harmful processes, such as drug addiction and pain. Here, we provide a critical evaluation on MORs' role during neuroinflammation and its implication for these conditions. Understanding MORs' functioning, their regulation and implications on drug addiction and pain may help elucidate their potential therapeutic use against these pathological conditions and associated disorders

    Different brain oxidative and neuroinflammation status in rats during prolonged abstinence depending on their ethanol relapse-like drinking behavior: Effects of ethanol reintroduction

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    Rationale: Accumulating evidence suggests that chronic alcohol consumption is associated with excessive oxidative damage and neuroinflammatory processes and these events have been associated to early alcohol withdrawal. In the present research we wonder if brain oxidative stress and neuroinflammation remains altered during prolonged withdrawal situations and whether these alterations can be correlated with relapse behavior in alcohol consumption. The effects of alcohol reintroduction were also evaluated. Methods: We have used a model based on the alcohol deprivation effect (ADE) within a cohort of wild-type male Wistar rats. Two subpopulations were identified according to the alcohol relapse-like drinking behavior displayed (ADE and NO-ADE subpopulations). Oxidized and reduced glutathione content was determined within the hippocampus and the amygdala using a mass spectrometry method. The levels of mRNA of seven different inflammatory mediators in the prefrontal cortex of rats were quantified. All the analyses were performed in two different conditions: after 21-day alcohol deprivation (prolonged abstinence) and after 24 h of ethanol reintroduction in both subpopulations. Results: ADE and NO-ADE rats showed different endophenotypes. ADE rats always displayed a significant lower alcohol intake rate and ethanol preference than NO-ADE rats. The results also demonstrated the existence of altered brain redox and neuroinflammation status after prolonged abstinence exclusively in ADE rats. Moreover, when ethanol was reintroduced in the ADE subpopulation, altered oxidative stress and neuroinflammatory markers were restored. Conclusions: Present findings provide new mechanisms underlying the neurobiology of relapse behavior and suggest the development of new pharmacological approaches to treat alcohol-induced relapse

    Glutamate and opioid antagonists modulate dopamine levels evoked by innately attractive male chemosignals in the nucleus accumbens of female rats

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    Sexual chemosignals detected by vomeronasal and olfactory systems mediate intersexual attraction in rodents, and act as a natural reinforcer to them. The mesolimbic pathway processes natural rewards, and the nucleus accumbens receives olfactory information via glutamatergic projections from the amygdala. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of the mesolimbic pathway in the attraction towards sexual chemosignals. Our data show that female rats with no previous experience with males or their chemosignals display an innate preference for male-soiled bedding. Focal administration of the opioid antagonist ő≤-funaltrexamine into the posterior ventral tegmental area does not affect preference for male chemosignals. Nevertheless, exposure to male-soiled bedding elicits an increase in dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens shell and core, measured by microdialysis. Infusion of the opioid antagonist naltrexone in the accumbens core does not significantly affect dopamine efflux during exposure to male chemosignals, although it enhances dopamine levels 40 minutes after withdrawal of the stimuli. By contrast, infusion of the glutamate antagonist kynurenic acid in the accumbens shell inhibits the release of dopamine and reduces the time that females spend investigating male-soiled bedding. These data are in agreement with previous reports in male rats showing that exposure to opposite-sex odors elicits dopamine release in the accumbens, and with data in female mice showing that the behavioral preference for male chemosignals is not affected by opioidergic antagonists. We hypothesize that glutamatergic projections from the amygdala into the accumbens might be important to modulate the neurochemical and behavioral responses elicited by sexual chemosignals in rats
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