HDAC3 Is a Negative Regulator of Cocaine-Context-Associated Memory Formation.

HDAC3 Is a Negative Regulator of Cocaine-Context-Associated Memory Formation.

J Neurosci. 2013 Apr 10; 33(15): 6623-32
Rogge GA, Singh H, Dang R, Wood MA

Cocaine-induced neuroplasticity mediated by histone acetylating and deacetylating enzymes may contribute to addiction-like behaviors. For example, overexpression of histone deacetylases (HDACs) 4 or 5 in the nucleus accumbens suppresses cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) acquisition in mice. HDAC4 and HDAC5 are known to interact with HDAC3, but the role of HDAC3 in cocaine-induced behaviors has never been examined. In this study, we address the hypothesis that HDAC3 is a negative regulator of cocaine-context-associated memory formation in mice. We examined the role of HDAC3 during the conditioning phase of CPP, when the mouse has the opportunity to form an associative memory between the cocaine-paired context and the subjective effects of cocaine. To address this hypothesis, Hdac3(flox/flox) and Hdac3(+/+) mice (generated from a C57BL/6 background) were infused into the nucleus accumbens with adeno-associated virus expressing Cre recombinase to create focal, homozygous Hdac3 deletions. Hdac3(flox/flox) mice exhibit significantly enhanced CPP acquisition, which is correlated with increased gene expression during the consolidation phase of acquisition. Increased gene expression of c-Fos and Nr4a2 is correlated with decreased HDAC3 occupancy and increased histone H4 lysine 8 acetylation at their promoters. The results from this study demonstrate that HDAC3 negatively regulates cocaine-induced CPP acquisition. HubMed – addiction


Opioid modulation of ventral pallidal afferents to ventral tegmental area neurons.

J Neurosci. 2013 Apr 10; 33(15): 6454-9
Hjelmstad GO, Xia Y, Margolis EB, Fields HL

Activation of mu opioid receptors within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) can produce reward through the inhibition of GABAergic inputs. GABAergic neurons in the ventral pallidum (VP) provide a major input to VTA neurons. To determine the specific VTA neuronal targets of VP afferents and their sensitivity to mu opioid receptor agonists, we virally expressed channel rhodopsin (ChR2) in rat VP neurons and optogenetically activated their terminals in the VTA. Light activation of VP neuron terminals elicited GABAergic IPSCs in both dopamine (DA) and non-DA VTA neurons, and these IPSCs were inhibited by the mu opioid receptor agonist DAMGO. In addition, using a fluorescent retrograde marker to identify VTA-projecting VP neurons, we found them to be hyperpolarized by DAMGO. Both of these actions decrease GABAergic input onto VTA neurons, revealing two mechanisms by which endogenous or exogenous opioids can activate VTA neurons, including DA neurons. HubMed – addiction


Innately low D2 receptor availability is associated with high novelty-seeking and enhanced behavioural sensitization to amphetamine.

Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013 Apr 10; 1-16
Tournier BB, Steimer T, Millet P, Moulin-Sallanon M, Vallet P, Ibañez V, Ginovart N

High novelty-seeking has been related to an increased risk for developing addiction, but the neurobiological mechanism underlying this relationship is unclear. We investigated whether differences in dopamine (DA) D2/3-receptor (D2/3R) function underlie phenotypic divergence in novelty-seeking and vulnerability to addiction. Measures of D2/3R availability using the D2R-preferring antagonist [18F]Fallypride, and the D3R-preferring agonist [3H]-(+)-PHNO and of DA-related gene expression and behaviours were used to characterize DA signalling in Roman high- (RHA) and low-avoidance (RLA) rats, which respectively display high and low behavioural responsiveness both to novelty and psychostimulant exposure. When compared to RLA rats, high novelty-responding RHAs had lower levels of D2R, but not D3R, binding and mRNA in substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA) and showed behavioural evidence of D2-autoreceptor subsensitivity. RHA rats also showed a higher expression of the tyrosine hydroxylase gene in SN/VTA, higher levels of extracellular DA in striatum and augmentation of the DA-releasing effects of amphetamine (Amph), suggesting hyperfunctioning of midbrain DA neurons. RHA rats also exhibited lower availabilities and functional sensitivity of D2R, but not D3R, in striatum, which were inversely correlated with individual scores of novelty-seeking, which, in turn, predicted the magnitude of Amph-induced behavioural sensitization. These results indicate that innately low levels of D2R in SN/VTA and striatum, whether they are a cause or consequence of the concomitantly observed elevated DA tone, result in a specific pattern of DA signalling that may subserve novelty-seeking and vulnerability to drug use. This suggests that D2R deficits in SN/VTA and striatum could both constitute neurochemical markers of an addiction-prone phenotype. HubMed – addiction



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