The Effects of Acute Abstinence From Smoking and Performance-Based Rewards on Performance Monitoring.

The effects of acute abstinence from smoking and performance-based rewards on performance monitoring.

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 May 17;
Schlienz NJ, Hawk LW, Rosch KS

RATIONALE: Abstinence from smoking disrupts performance in multiple cognitive domains, and such cognitive effects may serve to maintain smoking behavior. Rather than having specific effects on a narrow domain of processing, abstinence may disrupt more general cognitive control processes and/or motivation. OBJECTIVES: The present study tested the prediction that overnight abstinence from smoking would disrupt a general performance monitoring system indexed via the error-related negativity (ERN). A secondary aim was to determine the extent to which performance-based monetary rewards improved the ERN among smokers and whether the effect of the reward was diminished during abstinence. METHODS: The ERN was assessed during a flanker task among 25 heavy, non-treatment-seeking smokers both when smoking as usual and after overnight abstinence; reward and no-reward trial blocks occurred within each session. RESULTS: As predicted, mean ERN amplitude was reduced during abstinence. The ERN was enhanced by reward; this effect did not vary with smoking abstinence. CONCLUSION: This study provides novel data which suggest that acute abstinence from smoking disrupts a neurophysiological index of a general performance monitoring system that is involved in a range of cognitive functions. The ERN may be a useful complement to narrow-band cognitive studies of abstinence and interventions designed to target cognition in addiction. Because the ERN was concurrently sensitive to abstinence and performance-based incentives, it may be particularly useful for examining the interplay of cognition and motivation in smoking and smoking cessation. HubMed – addiction


Using conditioned place preference to identify relapse prevention medications.

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2013 May 13;
Napier TC, Herrold AA, de Wit H

Stimuli, including contexts, which predict the availability or onset of a drug effect, can acquire conditioned incentive motivational properties. These conditioned properties endure after withdrawal, and can promote drug-seeking which may result in relapse. Conditioned place preference (CPP) assesses the associations between drugs and the context in which they are experienced. Here, we review the potential utility of CPP procedures in rodents and humans to evaluate medications that target conditioned drug-seeking responses. We discuss the translational potential of the CPP procedure from rodents to humans, and review findings with FDA-approved treatments that support the use of CPP to develop relapse-reduction medications. We also discuss challenges and methodological questions in applying the CPP procedure to this purpose. We argue that an efficient and valid CPP procedure in humans may reduce the burden of full clinical trials with drug-abusing patients that are currently required for testing promising treatments. HubMed – addiction


Sex-dependent changes in brain CB1R expression and functionality and immune CB2R expression as a consequence of maternal deprivation and adolescent cocaine exposure.

Pharmacol Res. 2013 May 13;
Llorente-Berzal A, Assis MA, Rubino T, Zamberletti E, Marco EM, Parolaro D, Ambrosio E, Viveros MP

Early life stress has been associated with several psychiatric disorders, including drug addiction. Actually, maternal deprivation (MD) alters the endocannabinoid system which participates in motivation and reward for drugs, including cocaine. At youth, the rate of cocaine abuse is alarmingly increasing. Herein, we have investigated the consequences of MD and/or adolescent cocaine exposure in brain CB1Rs and CB2Rs in immune tissues. Control and maternally deprived (24h on postnatal day, pnd, 9) male and female Wistar rats were administered cocaine (8mg/kg/day) or saline during adolescence (pnd 28-42). At adulthood, [(3)H]-CP-55,940 autoradiographic binding was employed for the analysis of CB1R density and CP-55,940-stimulated [(35)S]-GTPgammaS binding for CB1R functionality; CB2R expression was analyzed by western blotting. Sex differences in CB1R expression and functionality were found, and MD induced important and enduring sex-dependent changes. In addition, the plastic changes induced by adolescent cocaine administration in brain CB1Rs were differentially influenced by early life events. MD increased spleen CB2R expression while adolescent cocaine administration attenuated this effect; cocaine exposure also diminished CB2R expression in bone marrow. Present findings provide evidence for changes in brain CB1R expression and functionality and immune CB2R expression as a consequence of early life stress and adolescent cocaine exposure, and indicate functional interactions between both treatments which in many regions differ between males and females. HubMed – addiction


Chronic methamphetamine treatment induces oxytocin receptor up-regulation in the amygdala and hypothalamus via an adenosine A2A receptor-independent mechanism.

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2013 May 13;
Zanos P, Wright SR, Georgiou P, Yoo JH, Ledent C, Hourani S, Kitchen I, Winsky-Sommerer R, Bailey A

There is mounting evidence that the neuropeptide oxytocin is a possible candidate for the treatment of drug addiction. Oxytocin was shown to reduce methamphetamine self-administration, conditioned place-preference, hyperactivity and reinstatement in rodents, highlighting its potential for the management of methamphetamine addiction. Thus, we hypothesised that the central endogenous oxytocinergic system is dysregulated following chronic methamphetamine administration. We tested this hypothesis by examining the effect of chronic methamphetamine administration on oxytocin receptor density in mice brains with the use of quantitative receptor autoradiographic binding. Saline (4 mg/kg/day, i.p.) or methamphetamine (1 mg/kg/day, i.p.) was administered daily for 10 days to male, CD1 mice. Quantitative autoradiographic mapping of oxytocin receptors was carried out with the use of [(125)I]-vasotocin in brain sections of these animals. Chronic methamphetamine administration induced a region specific upregulation of oxytocin receptor density in the amygdala and hypothalamus, but not in the nucleus accumbens and caudate putamen. As there is evidence suggesting an involvement of central adenosine A2A receptors on central endogenous oxytocinergic function, we investigated whether these methamphetamine-induced oxytocinergic neuroadaptations are mediated via an A2A receptor-dependent mechanism. To test this hypothesis, autoradiographic oxytocin receptor binding was carried out in brain sections of male CD1 mice lacking A2A receptors which were chronically treated with methamphetamine (1 mg/kg/day, i.p. for 10 days) or saline. Similar to wild-type animals, chronic methamphetamine administration induced a region-specific upregulation of oxytocin receptor binding in the amygdala and hypothalamus of A2A receptor knockout mice and no genotype effect was observed. These results indicate that chronic methamphetamine use can induce profound neuroadaptations of the oxytocinergic receptor system in brain regions associated with stress, emotionality and social bonding and that these neuroadaptations are independent on the presence of A2A receptors. These results may at least partly explain some of the behavioural consequences of chronic methamphetamine use. HubMed – addiction


‘Food Addiction’ and its Association with a Dopaminergic Multilocus Genetic Profile.

Physiol Behav. 2013 May 13;
Davis C, Loxton NJ, Levitan RD, Kaplan AS, Carter JC, Kennedy JL

BACKGROUND: Our objective was to employ a novel genetic methodology – whereby functional variants of the dopamine pathway were aggregated to reflect a polygenic liability – in the study of food addiction. We anticipated that the composite index of elevated dopamine signaling (a multilocus genetic profile score [MLGP]) would distinguish those with a designation of food addiction (according to the Yale Food Addiction Scale [YFAS] criteria), and age and weight equivalent controls. Our second aim was to assess whether this index was positively associated with eating-related sub-phenotypes of food addiction (e.g. binge eating and food cravings). METHODS: Adults (n=120) recruited from the community were solicited for an overeating/overweight study. Eating-behavior questionnaires were completed and a blood sample was taken for genotyping. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The YFAS identified 21 participants with food addiction. As predicted, the MLGP score was higher in those with YFAS-diagnosed food addiction, and it correlated positively with binge eating, food cravings, and emotional overeating. We then tested a multiple-mediation model proposing that reward-driven overeating facilitates the relationship between the MLGP score and food addiction. The model was statistically significant, supporting the view that the relationship between a composite genetic index of dopamine signaling and food addiction is mediated by certain aspects of reward-responsive overeating. HubMed – addiction



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