Addiction Rehab: Effects of Morphine Withdrawal on the Membrane Properties of Medium Spiny Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell.

Effects of morphine withdrawal on the membrane properties of medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell.

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

Brain Res Bull. 2012 Oct 12;
Wu X, Shi M, Ling H, Wei C, Liu Y, Liu Z, Ren W

Medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) undergo persistent alterations in their biological and physiological characteristics upon exposure to drugs of abuse. Previous studies demonstrated that the biochemical, morphological, and intrinsic physiological properties of MSNs are heterogeneous and provided new insights into the physiological and molecular roles of individual MSNs in addictive behaviors. However, it remains unclear whether MSNs in the NAc shell (NAcSh), an important region for mediating behavioral sensitization, are electrophysiologically heterogeneous and how such heterogeneity is relevant to neuroadaptation associated with drug addiction. Here, the membrane properties, i.e., the intrinsic excitability and spike adaptation, of MSNs in the NAcSh from saline- or morphine-treated rats were investigated in vitro by whole-cell recording. In saline-treated rats, three distinct cell types were identified by their membrane properties: type I neurons showed high levels of intrinsic excitability and rapid spike adaptation; type II neurons showed moderate levels of intrinsic excitability and relatively slow spike frequency adaptation; type III neurons showed low levels of intrinsic excitability and putative strong spike adaptation. MSNs in rats undergoing withdrawal from chronic morphine treatment (10-14 days after the last injection) also exhibited the typical firing behaviors of these three types of neurons. However, the membrane properties of the MSNs were differentially altered after withdrawal. There was an enhancement in intrinsic excitability in type II MSNs and a promotion of spike adaptation in type I MSNs. The apamin-sensitive afterhyperpolarization current (I(AHP)) and the apamin-insensitive I(AHP) of the NAcSh MSNs were attenuated after chronic morphine withdrawal. These findings suggest that individual MSNs in the NAcSh manifest unique electrophysiological properties, which might contribute to psychostimulant-induced neuroadaptation.
HubMed – addiction


Cocaine place conditioning increases pro-opiomelanocortin gene expression in rat hypothalamus.

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

Neurosci Lett. 2012 Oct 12;
Zhou Y, Kruyer A, Ho A, Kreek MJ

Recent research suggests an involvement of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gene products in modulating cocaine reward and addiction-like behaviors in rodents. In this study, we investigated whether cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) alters POMC gene expression in the brain or pituitary of rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were conditioned with 4 injections of 0, 10 or 30mg/kg cocaine (i.p.) over 8 days and tested 4 days after the last conditioning session. Another group received the same pattern of cocaine injections without conditioning. POMC mRNA levels in the hypothalamus (including arcuate nucleus), amygdala and anterior pituitary, as well as plasma ACTH and corticosterone levels were measured. Cocaine place conditioning at 10 and 30mg/kg doses increased POMC mRNA levels in a dose-dependent manner in the hypothalamus, with no effect in the amygdala. Cocaine CPP had no effect on POMC mRNA levels in the anterior pituitary or on plasma ACTH or corticosterone levels. In rats that received cocaine at 30mg/kg without conditioning, there was no such effect on hypothalamic POMC mRNA levels. Alteration of POMC gene expression in the hypothalamus is region-specific after cocaine place conditioning, and dose-dependent. The increased POMC gene expression in the hypothalamus suggests that it is involved in the reward/learning process of cocaine-induced conditioning.
HubMed – addiction


A target-driven collaborative care model for Major Depressive Disorder is effective in primary care in the Netherlands. A randomized clinical trial from the depression initiative.

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

J Affect Disord. 2012 Oct 12;
Huijbregts KM, de Jong FJ, van Marwijk HW, Beekman AT, Adèr HJ, Hakkaart-van Roijen L, Unützer J, van der Feltz-Cornelis CM

BACKGROUND: Practice variation in the primary care treatment of depression may be considerable in the Netherlands, due to relatively small and unregulated practices. We adapted the collaborative care model for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) to accommodate existing practice variation and tested whether this had added value over Care as Usual (CAU). METHODS: A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted to compare an adapted target driven collaborative care model with Care as Usual (CAU). Randomization was at the level of 18 (sub)urban primary care centers. The care manager and GP were supported by a web-based tracking and decision aid system that advised targeted treatment actions to achieve rapid response and if possible remission, and that warned the consultant psychiatrist if such treatment advice was not followed up. Eligible patients had a score of 10 or higher on the PHQ9, and met diagnostic criteria for major depression at the subsequent MINI Neuropsychiatric interview. A total of 93 patients were identified by screening. They received either collaborative care (CC) or CAU. Another 56 patients received collaborative care after identification by the GP. The outcome measures were response to treatment (50% or greater reduction of the PHQ9-total score from baseline) at three, six, nine and twelve months, and remission (a score of 0-4 on the PHQ9 at follow-up). RESULTS: Treatment response and remission in CAU were low. Collaborative care was more effective on achieving treatment response than CAU at three months for the total group of patients who received collaborative care [OR 5.2 ((1.41-16.09), NNT 2] and at nine months [OR 5.6 ((1.40-22.58)), NNT 3]. The effect was not statistically significant at 6 and 12 months. LIMITATIONS: A relatively high percentage of patients (36.5%) did not return one or more follow-up questionnaires. There was no evidence for selective non response. CONCLUSIONS: Our adapted target driven CC was considerably more effective than CAU for MDD in primary care in the Netherlands. The Numbers Needed To Treat (NNT) to achieve response in one additional patient were low (2-3), which suggest that introducing CC at a larger scale may be beneficial. The relatively large effects may be due to our focus on reducing practice variation through the introduction of easy to use web based tracking and decision aids. The findings are highly relevant for the application of the model in areas where practices tend to be small and for mixed healthcare systems such as in many countries in Europe. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Dutch trial register ISRCTN15266438 (
HubMed – addiction


Pharmacokinetics and central nervous system effects of the novel dual NK(1) /NK(3) receptor antagonist GSK1144814 in alcohol-intoxicated volunteers.

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2012 Oct 15;
Te Beek ET, Hay JL, Bullman JN, Burgess C, Nahon KJ, Klaassen ES, Gray FA, van Gerven JM

OBJECTIVE: Antagonism of both NK(1) and NK(3) receptors may be an effective strategy in pharmacotherapy of schizophrenia, drug addiction or depression. GSK1144814 is a novel selective dual NK(1) /NK(3) receptor antagonist. The potential influence of GSK1144814 on the effects of alcohol was investigated. METHODS: In a blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, two-period cross-over study, the pharmacokinetics and central nervous system (CNS) effects of single oral doses of 200 mg GSK1144814 were evaluated in 20 healthy volunteers, using a controlled alcohol infusion paradigm to maintain stable alcohol levels with subsequent analysis of eye movements, adaptive tracking, body sway, visual analogue scales, Epworth sleepiness scale and the verbal visual learning test. RESULTS: Frequent adverse effects were mild somnolence, fatigue and headache. Plasma concentration of GSK1144814 in the presence of alcohol was maximal 1.5 hours after dose administration. GSK1144814 did not affect alcohol pharmacokinetics. Co-administration of GSK1144814 and alcohol impaired saccadic reaction time and peak velocity, adaptive tracking, alertness, sleepiness, word recognition and recognition reaction time compared with administration of alcohol alone, but the size of the interaction was small. CONCLUSIONS: Administration of GSK1144814 in the presence of alcohol is generally well tolerated and not likely to produce clinically relevant additional impairments after alcohol consumption.
HubMed – addiction



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