Animal Models of Nicotine Exposure: Relevance to Second-Hand Smoking, Electronic Cigarette Use, and Compulsive Smoking.

Animal models of nicotine exposure: relevance to second-hand smoking, electronic cigarette use, and compulsive smoking.

Front Psychiatry. 2013; 4: 41
Cohen A, George O

Much evidence indicates that individuals use tobacco primarily to experience the psychopharmacological properties of nicotine and that a large proportion of smokers eventually become dependent on nicotine. In humans, nicotine acutely produces positive reinforcing effects, including mild euphoria, whereas a nicotine abstinence syndrome with both somatic and affective components is observed after chronic nicotine exposure. Animal models of nicotine self-administration and chronic exposure to nicotine have been critical in unveiling the neurobiological substrates that mediate the acute reinforcing effects of nicotine and emergence of a withdrawal syndrome during abstinence. However, important aspects of the transition from nicotine abuse to nicotine dependence, such as the emergence of increased motivation and compulsive nicotine intake following repeated exposure to the drug, have only recently begun to be modeled in animals. Thus, the neurobiological mechanisms that are involved in these important aspects of nicotine addiction remain largely unknown. In this review, we describe the different animal models available to date and discuss recent advances in animal models of nicotine exposure and nicotine dependence. This review demonstrates that novel animal models of nicotine vapor exposure and escalation of nicotine intake provide a unique opportunity to investigate the neurobiological effects of second-hand nicotine exposure, electronic cigarette use, and the mechanisms that underlie the transition from nicotine use to compulsive nicotine intake. HubMed – addiction


Is it stress? The role of stress related systems in chronic food restriction-induced augmentation of heroin seeking in the rat.

Front Neurosci. 2013; 7: 98
Sedki F, Abbas Z, Angelis S, Martin J, D’Cunha T, Shalev U

Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by recurring episodes of abstinence and relapse. The precise mechanisms underlying this pattern are yet to be elucidated, but stress is thought to be a major factor in relapse. Recently, we reported that rats under withdrawal and exposed to a mild chronic stressor, prolonged food restriction, show increased heroin seeking compared to sated controls. Previous studies demonstrated a critical role for corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and corticosterone, hormones involved in the stress response, in acute food deprivation-induced reinstatement of extinguished drug seeking. However, the role of CRF and corticosterone in chronic food restriction-induced augmentation of drug seeking remains unknown. Here, male Long-Evans rats were trained to self-administer heroin for 10 days in operant conditioning chambers. Rats were then removed from the training chambers, and subjected to 14 days of unrestricted (sated rats) or a mildly restricted (FDR rats) access to food, which maintained their body weight (BW) at 90% of their baseline weight. On day 14, different groups of rats were administered a selective CRF1 receptor antagonist (R121919; 0.0, 20.0 mg/kg; s.c.), a non-selective CRF receptor antagonist (?-helical CRF; 0.0, 10.0, 25.0 ?g/rat; i.c.v.) or a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist (RU486; 0.0, 30.0 mg/kg; i.p.), and underwent a 1 h drug seeking test under extinction conditions. An additional group of rats was tested following adrenalectomy. All FDR rats showed a statistically significant increase in heroin seeking compared to the sated rats. No statistically significant effects for treatment with ?-helical CRF, R121919, RU486 or adrenalectomy were observed. These findings suggest that stress may not be a critical factor in the augmentation of heroin seeking in food-restricted rats. HubMed – addiction


‘A brave but vital initiative’: reining in corporate harm.

Tob Control. 2013 Jul; 22(4): 217
Malone RE

HubMed – addiction


Therapeutic Targeting of a Robust Non-Oncogene Addiction to PRKDC in ATM-Defective Tumors.

Sci Transl Med. 2013 Jun 12; 5(189): 189ra78
Riabinska A, Daheim M, Herter-Sprie GS, Winkler J, Fritz C, Hallek M, Thomas RK, Kreuzer KA, Frenzel LP, Monfared P, Martins-Boucas J, Chen S, Reinhardt HC

When the integrity of the genome is threatened, cells activate a complex, kinase-based signaling network to arrest the cell cycle, initiate DNA repair, or, if the extent of damage is beyond repair capacity, induce apoptotic cell death. The ATM protein lies at the heart of this signaling network, which is collectively referred to as the DNA damage response (DDR). ATM is involved in numerous DDR-regulated cellular responses-cell cycle arrest, DNA repair, and apoptosis. Disabling mutations in the gene encoding ATM occur frequently in various human tumors, including lung cancer and hematological malignancies. We report that ATM deficiency prevents apoptosis in human and murine cancer cells exposed to genotoxic chemotherapy. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches, we demonstrate in vitro and in vivo that ATM-defective cells display strong non-oncogene addiction to DNA-PKcs (DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit). Further, this dependence of ATM-defective cells on DNA-PKcs offers a window of opportunity for therapeutic intervention: We show that pharmacological or genetic abrogation of DNA-PKcs in ATM-defective cells leads to the accumulation of DNA double-strand breaks and the subsequent CtBP-interacting protein (CtIP)-dependent generation of large single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) repair intermediates. These ssDNA structures trigger proapoptotic signaling through the RPA/ATRIP/ATR/Chk1/p53/Puma axis, ultimately leading to the apoptotic demise of ATM-defective cells exposed to DNA-PKcs inhibitors. Finally, we demonstrate that DNA-PKcs inhibitors are effective as single agents against ATM-defective lymphomas in vivo. Together, our data implicate DNA-PKcs as a drug target for the treatment of ATM-defective malignancies. HubMed – addiction