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Browsing by Subject "riippuvuus"

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  • Herkkola, Hennariia (2018)
    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is located in the ventral striatum and plays a critical role in drug addiction. NAc receives dopaminergic projections from ventral tegmental area (VTA) which is activated after administration of various abused drugs. Activation of VTA increases the release of dopamine in NAc. Increased dopamine levels induce the release of acetylcholine from striatal cholinergic interneurons. These cholinergic interneurons have been related to the development of addiction and other emotion-related disorders such as depression. Previous studies have shown that a lesion of cholinergic interneurons led to an increase in morphine-induced conditioned place preference in mice. Moreover, an activation of cholinergic interneurons by designer receptors (DREADD) has reduced food consumption motivated by food restriction. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether accumbal cholinergic interneurons mediate alcohol- and morphine-induced conditioned place preference and locomotor activity. The activation of cholinergic interneurons was controlled using DREADD (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) technology. DREADDs are G protein-coupled receptors. Cellular function and activation can be modulated by these receptors. DREADDs are activated by an otherwise inert synthetic ligand, clozapine-N-oxide (CNO). Fluorescent protein, mCherry, is attached to DREADDs so that the expression of receptors in brain tissue can be observed. Cre-spesific adeno-associated viruses (AAV) with DREADD gene were injected bilaterally to the nucleus accumbens of ChATcre mice in stereotactic surgery. The effects of alcohol and morphine were tested with conditioned place preference procedure. Mice were divided to three groups after DREADDs: activating receptor Gq (n = 10), inhibiting receptor Gi (n = 9) and control mC (n = 9). There were both male and female mice in every group. Alcohol did not induce conditioned place preference in any group. The locomotor activity of mice significantly increased after alcohol injection compared to saline injection. However, cholinergic interneurons had no effect on the increased locomotor activity. Morphine-induced conditioned place preference was expressed in every group but there were no significant differences between DREADDs and control group when the first 15 minutes and the whole 30 minutes of the place preference test was analysed. Though, Gq-receptor seemed to decrease the place preference compared to control group when the place preference test was observed in five minute intervals. Morphine also significantly increased the locomotor activity of mice, but there were no differences between the groups. Sex had no influence on the place preference, but female mice were more active than male mice during the alcohol conditioning and the alcohol place preference test. The locomotor activity of female mice also increased more than the activity of male mice after morphine injection. The effect of accumbal cholinergic interneurons on alcohol-induced conditioned place preference remained unclear. Activation of cholinergic interneurons suppressed morphine-induced conditioned place preference compared to control group but not enough so that the effect could be seen during the whole place preference test. The mice were same in the morphine test as in the alcohol test so the mice were conditioned to alcohol before morphine and therefore the results of morphine-induced conditioned place preference are not reliable.
  • Vehma, Santeri (2020)
    Nucleus accumbens, located in ventral striatum, is an important part of the brain reward system. Accumbens integrates information coming from various brain areas, and it’s important for feeling pleasure, reward learning and reward seeking, including drugs of abuse. Cholinergic interneurons represent a few percent of accumbal cells. Earlier research suggests that accumbal cholinergic activity decreases drug seeking and eating. The aim of this study was to examine the role of cholinergic interneuron activity in alcohol drinking and alcohol related locomotor activity. Cholinergic interneurons (ChI) were manipulated using DREADDs (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs), which can be selectively activated with clozapine-n-oxide (CNO). To express DREADDs selectively in ChIs, a cre-dependent viral vector that contained a gene coding for a cell-activating hM3D(Gq)-mCherry (n=9), cell-inhibiting hM4D(Gi)-mCherry (n=9), or control mCherry(n=8), was injected to nucleus accumbens of ChAT-cre- mice. Alcohol drinking was measured using Drinking In the Dark (DID)- model. Three hours after lights-out, the water bottles were replaced with 20% alcohol for two hours, for three days. On the fourth day, mice were injected with CNO or vehicle and alcohol was given for four hours. These cycles were repeated six times. In the locomotor assay, mice were injected with CNO or vehicle, followed by injection of alcohol or saline. Locomotor activity of the mice was observed for 30 minutes. In the DID- assay, the DREADD ligand CNO did not have effects on alcohol drinking within any of the three groups. However, Gi- mice drank more alcohol than Gq-mice even without the presence of CNO. These results are not reliable enough to draw conclusions, as they were confounded by unusually low drinking volumes. In the locomotor assay, CNO alone did not affect locomotion in any group. Together with alcohol, however, CNO decreased locomotion in all three groups, compared to alcohol alone. This is consistent with recent reports suggesting that CNO may have nonspecific behavioral effects.
  • Pulkkinen, Nita (2013)
    Amphetamine and its derivatives are widely used as medicines but also abused as psychostimulant drugs. The most important action of amphetamine in the central nervous system is to release dopamine to the extracellular space which leads to enhanced dopaminergic neurotransmission. Amphetamine also releases serotonin and norepinephrine by similar mechanisms and it affects indirectly other neurotransmitter systems too. It still remains partly unsolved how amphetamine exactly releases monoamines but it is known to have multiple sites of action. Amphetamine is a substrate for dopamine transporter (DAT) and it acts as a competitive inhibitor of the transporter reducing uptake of dopamine. Amphetamine enters the cell mainly through DAT and partly by diffusing through the cell membrane. The drug induces changes in DAT leading to reverse transport of dopamine from the cytoplasm into the synaptic cleft through DAT. Amphetamine is also substrate for vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) preventing the uptake of dopamine into storage vesicles and promoting its release from the vesicles to cytoplasm. Additionally, amphetamine inhibits monoamine oxidase (MAO), enzyme which degrades monoamines. It also enhances dopamine synthesis and according to recent studies amphetamine augments exocytotic dopamine release. Drug addiction is a chronic disorder related to structural and functional adaptive changes of neurons, called neuronal plasticity. GDNF (glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor) is one of the many molecules regulating plasticity. It is especially important to the dopaminergic system and some investigations have suggested that it has potential as a protective agent against addiction. The aim of this study was to investigate how the overexpression of endogenic GDNF affects dopaminergic system and how it changes drug responses. A hypermorphic mouse strain (GDNFh), which is overexpressing physiological GDNF, was used. Their wild-type littermates were used as controls. Using brain microdialysis it was measured how the extracellular dopamine concentration changes in striatum and nucleus accumbens (NAcc) after amphetamine stimulation. Amphetamine was administered straight to the brain through the microdialysis probe. Microdialysis was performed on days 1 and 4, and on days 2 and 3 the mice were given amphetamine intraperitoneally. This was done to find out if the response to amphetamine changed after repeated dosing. In addition to these experiments, the biological activity of three small-molecule GDNF mimetics in intact brains was tested by microdialysis. On the first day amphetamine increased striatal dopamine output more in the heterozygous GDNFh mouse than in the wild-type mice. This stronger reaction to amphetamine may be explained by the enhanced activity of DAT in the GDNFh-het mice leading to higher intracellular amphetamine concentration. Also the striatal dopamine levels are increased in the GDNFh-het. On the fourth day no differences were detected between the genotypes. In the NAcc no significant difference was found between the genotypes. Instead in NAcc amphetamine caused a smaller increase in the dopamine output on day 4 than on day 1 in both genotypes suggesting that tolerance was developed. These results confirm that endogenic GDNF has a remarkable role in the regulation of the dopamine system and hence addiction but further investigations are needed to clarify its versatile actions. The small-molecule GDNF mimetics increased striatal dopamine output thus showing biological activity and encouraging to further investigations.
  • Kinnunen, Marja (2015)
    Histamine is a monoamine structured signal molecule, which takes part in many functions of living organisms. It was first found in brain approximately 70 years ago. Neuronal histamine regulates for example biological rhythms, energy metabolism and thermoregulation. In the 1980's, H3-receptor was recognized in the brain. Neuronal histamine regulates functions of other transmitters for example gamma-aminobutyric acid, glutamate, acetylcholine, noradrenaline and dopamine. Currently, the interactions of histamine and dopamine are not well characterized. Though, it is known that histaminergic fibers innerviate almost every dopaminergic area of the brain. There are also several H3-receptors in the striatum and in the limbic system. These brain areas are important for the rewarding effect of dopamine. The aim of the experimental part of this Master's thesis was to examine the location of histaminergic and dopaminergic nervous systems in mouse brain by using immunohistochemistry. Primary antibodies that were produced in rabbit (anti-histamine (HA)) and in mouse (anti-tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)), and secondary anti-rabbit and anti-mouse anti-bodies, that were produced in goat and conjugated with fluorophores, were used in the study. The samples were imaged with a confocal microscope. The primary aim was to find out, in which addiction related brain areas, histamine and dopamine cells and fibers are located and how they are situated in relation to each other. H3-receptor antagonists have been shown to decrease the consumption and rewarding effect of alcohol in animal models. Therefore, it was examined if non-imidazole structured H3-receptor antagonist also inhibits the rewarding effect of amphetamine, and if it decreases the locomotor activity induced by amphetamine. JNJ-39220675, a neutral antagonist of H3-receptor, and behavioral paradigm of conditioned place preference (CPP) were used in the experiment. CPP was also used to find out if D2-receptor agonist quinpirole cause reward or aversion. The effect of JNJ-39220675 on quinpirole's place preference and change in locomotor activity was also investigated. The interactions of these two pharmacological ligands were also examined in a separate locomotor activity experiment. C57BL/6J mice were used in all experiments. The results show that there are possible synaptic connections of histaminergic and dopaminergic system in substantia nigra, supramammillary nucleus, dorsomedial hypothalamic area and ventral periaqueductal grey area. Also, histaminergic nerve fibers innerviate to the dorsal striatum, which regulates motor functions, and to the ventral striatum, which is a part of the rewarding system of the brain. Hence, it is possible that histamine regulates the actions of dopa-mine in these brain areas. The behavioral experiments showed that JNJ-39220675 inhibits acutely increased locomotor activity caused by amphetamine, and decreases desensitation of decreased locomotor action caused by repeated dose of quinpirole. However, JNJ-39220675 did not have any effect on the rewarding effect of amphetamine, which causes strong sensitization. Also, JNJ-39220675 did not have an effect on quinpirole's aversive action. It remains to be seen, if H3-receptor is a potential target for new medicines in the treatment of different brain diseases and addiction in the future.
  • Ojala, Katja (2010)
    Glutamate is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Glutamatergic neurotransmission plays a central role in the development and maintenance of drug addiction. Glutamate interacts with other neurotransmitters such as dopamine in the actions concerning addiction. During the development of drug addiction, plastic changes in the neuronal connections related to memory and learning occur for example in the amount of synapses and in the efficacy of their action. Glutamatergic AMPA receptor and especially its GluA1 subunit are thought to be included in the neurobiological mechanisms related to drug addiction. Compulsive drug craving and relapses to drug use after a period of abstinence are central problems among people suffering drug addiction. Conditioned place preference is a technique that is used to study motivational properties of drugs in experimental animals. The aim of this master's thesis was to examine the importance of glutamatergic AMPA receptor GluA1 subunit in the morphine-induced place preference and in its extinction and reinstatement behaviour. Locomotor activity of mice was studied during all the phases of experiment. Glutamatergic AMPA receptor GluA1 subunit-deficient (GluA1-/-) and their control (wildtype) mice, based on C57BL/6J mouse strain, were used in the experiments. During the conditioning phase, the mice were trained to associate the effects of morphine (20 mg/kg) with a specific environment. After conditioning, the extinction with morphine paired conditioning environment was assessed by giving saline (0,9 % NaCl solution) to mice. The extinction phase was followed by reinstatement test, in which mice were given morphine (20 mg/kg). The seeking of animals with morphine paired conditioning environment described drug-seeking during different phases of experiment. GluA1-/- mice were more hyperactive when placed in the testing environment compared to the wildtype mice. However, the morphine-induced locomotor activity did not differ between genotypes. Locomotor activity of both genotypes was sensitized equally in consequence of repeated morphine exposures. Morphine induced place preference in both genotypes. Furthermore, the extinction of morphine place preference happened in both genotypes. However, the results of reinstatement test differed partly between genotypes. The place preference was reinstated by morphine in wildtype mice, but not in GluA1-/- mice, when using repeated testing extinction method. Instead of place preference, wildtype mice exhibited place aversion, when extinction method was saline conditioning. As a result of these experiments, extinction method can have an impact on the results of reinstatement test and conclusions cannot be done on the importance of GluA1 subunit in morphine reinstatement. In conclusion, the results of place preference experiments support the conception that GluA1 subunit is not significant in morphine conditioning. However, based on these experiments, GluA1 subunit is not important in morphine extinction, as one might assume on the basis of literature. GluA1 subunit may have an importance in morphine reinstatement, although the results of reinstatement test were partly contradictory.
  • Meijer, Juri (2012)
    Smoking is one of the major causes for premature deaths worldwide. Tobacco smoke contains nicotine, which activates the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) expressed by the human body. nAChRs are part of the cholinergic system and its endogenous neurotransmitter is acetylcholine. The nAChRs are excitatory and the often regulate the release of other neurotransmitters. Nicotine is one of the most addicting compounds known. The rewarding effects of nicotine are mediated through the activation of the mesolimbic dopamine pathway. The mesolimbic pathway is triggered also by the compounds activating the endogenous opioid system thus mediating the rewarding effects and opioid addiction. The nicotine - opioid interactions have been widely studied. It is observed that majority of opioid abusers and patients receiving opioid replacement therapy are smokers. It has been also detected that nicotine releases endogenous opioid peptides in vivo in the brain regions mediating both addiction and analgesia. In addition, the rewarding effect of nicotine attenuates in opioid receptor knock-out rodents. Furthermore, it has been observed that nicotine's rewarding effects can be reduced with opioid receptor antagonists. In order to prevent smoking's negative effects the use opioid antagonists for smoking cessation has been clinically researched with poor results. Many of the opioids in clinical use have diverse and direct interaction with the nAChRs in vitro. E.g. it has been observed that methadone and morphine have an effect on the function of the nAChRs. This may explain partially the smoking behaviour of replacement therapy patients. Opioids are prescribed mainly for the treatment of moderate to intense pain. Nicotine is too found to be analgesic in vivo but in humans its analgesic effect has been questionable. In the experimental part of thesis binding and functional interactions with human's α4β2-nAChR expressed by SH-EP1-hα4β2 cell line was researched with clinically commonly used opioids codeine, oxycodone and tramadol. Competitive binding was studied using [3H]-epibatidine binding assay and the functional effects were studied using 86Rb+-efflux assay. The results suggest that oxycodone and tramadol act as weak competitive antagonists of α4β2-nAChR in vitro in concentrations that are clinically irrelevant. According to the results, however, codeine acts as positive allosteric modulator of α4β2-nAChR potentiating the effects of nicotine in micromolar concentrations. The effect is similar to galantamine, used in treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The clinical relevance of codeine's potentiating nicotine's effect on the function of α4β2-nAChR cannot be estimated according to the results from these studies. Therefore, in order to confirm the results experiments with codeine need to be done in vivo using e.g. α4- and β2-knock-out mice in order to clarify α4β2-nAChR's role in the analgesic and rewarding effects of codeine. However, the results from the experimental part provide valuable information on the interactions of nicotine and opioids. Results from studies conducted with α4β2-nAChRs have not been published enough to determine the importance of the phenomenon in i.a. drug addiction and analgesia.