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This pinboard explores how BDNF and CRF contribute to drug dependence
This pinboard contains papers looking at the effects of BDNF and CRF signaling in the context of motivation. Specifically, how those proteins alter the reward circuitry and produce a drug-dependent phenotype. The pinboard also contains articles that contradict these findings and suggest a different role for BDNF.
Abstract: Recent work has shown that infusion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) promotes a switch in the mechanisms mediating morphine motivation, from a dopamine-independent to a dopamine-dependent pathway. Here we showed that a single infusion of intra-VTA BDNF also promoted a switch in the mechanisms mediating ethanol motivation, from a dopamine-dependent to a dopamine-independent pathway (exactly opposite to that seen with morphine). We suggest that intra-VTA BDNF, via its actions on TrkB receptors, precipitates a switch similar to that which occurs naturally when mice transit from a drug-naive, non-deprived state to a drug-deprived state. The opposite switching of the mechanisms underlying morphine and ethanol motivation by BDNF in previously non-deprived animals is consistent with their proposed actions on VTA GABAA receptors.
Pub.: 03 Jan '13, Pinned: 31 Aug '17
Abstract: The neural mechanisms underlying the transition from a drug-nondependent to a drug-dependent state remain elusive. Chronic exposure to drugs has been shown to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons. BDNF infusions into the VTA potentiate several behavioral effects of drugs, including psychomotor sensitization and cue-induced drug seeking. We found that a single infusion of BDNF into the VTA promotes a shift from a dopamine-independent to a dopamine-dependent opiate reward system, identical to that seen when an opiate-naïve rat becomes dependent and withdrawn. This shift involves a switch in the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors of VTA GABAergic neurons, from inhibitory to excitatory signaling.
Pub.: 30 May '09, Pinned: 31 Aug '17
Abstract: Drug administration to avoid unpleasant drug withdrawal symptoms has been hypothesized to be a crucial factor that leads to compulsive drug-taking behavior. However, the neural relationship between the aversive motivational state produced by drug withdrawal and the development of the drug-dependent state still remains elusive. It has been observed that chronic exposure to drugs of abuse increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons. In particular, BDNF expression is dramatically increased during drug withdrawal, which would suggest a direct connection between the aversive state of withdrawal and BDNF-induced neuronal plasticity. Using lentivirus-mediated gene transfer to locally knock down the expression of the BDNF receptor tropomyosin-receptor-kinase type B in rats and mice, we observed that chronic opiate administration activates BDNF-related neuronal plasticity in the VTA that is necessary for both the establishment of an opiate-dependent state and aversive withdrawal motivation. Our findings highlight the importance of a bivalent, plastic mechanism that drives the negative reinforcement underlying addiction.
Pub.: 06 Jun '14, Pinned: 31 Aug '17
Abstract: Dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are well known for mediating the positive reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse. Here we identify in rodents and humans a population of VTA dopaminergic neurons expressing corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). We provide further evidence in rodents that chronic nicotine exposure upregulates Crh mRNA (encoding CRF) in dopaminergic neurons of the posterior VTA, activates local CRF1 receptors and blocks nicotine-induced activation of transient GABAergic input to dopaminergic neurons. Local downregulation of Crh mRNA and specific pharmacological blockade of CRF1 receptors in the VTA reversed the effect of nicotine on GABAergic input to dopaminergic neurons, prevented the aversive effects of nicotine withdrawal and limited the escalation of nicotine intake. These results link the brain reward and stress systems in the same brain region to signaling of the negative motivational effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Pub.: 18 Nov '14, Pinned: 31 Aug '17
Abstract: Nicotine addiction is a worldwide epidemic that claims millions of lives each year. Genetic deletion of α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits has been associated with increased nicotine intake, however, it remains unclear whether acute nicotine is less aversive or more rewarding, and whether mice lacking the α5 nAChR subunit can experience withdrawal from chronic nicotine. We used place conditioning and conditioned taste avoidance paradigms to examine the effect of α5 subunit-containing nAChR deletion (α5 -/-) on conditioned approach and avoidance behaviour in nondependent and nicotine-dependent and -withdrawn mice, and compared these motivational effects with those elicited after dopamine receptor antagonism. We show that nondependent α5 -/- mice find low, non-motivational doses of nicotine rewarding, and do not show an aversive conditioned response or taste avoidance to higher aversive doses of nicotine. Furthermore, nicotine-dependent α5 -/- mice do not show a conditioned aversive motivational response to withdrawal from chronic nicotine, although they continue to exhibit a somatic withdrawal syndrome. These effects phenocopy those observed after dopamine receptor antagonism, but are not additive, suggesting that α5 nAChR subunits act in the same pathway as dopamine and are critical for the experience of nicotine's aversive, but not rewarding motivational effects in both a nondependent and nicotine-dependent and -withdrawn motivational state. Genetic deletion of α5 nAChR subunits leads to a behavioural phenotype that exactly matches that observed after antagonizing dopamine receptors, thus we suggest that modulation of nicotinic receptors containing α5 subunits may modify dopaminergic signalling, suggesting novel therapeutic treatments for smoking cessation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Pub.: 13 May '17, Pinned: 31 Aug '17
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