Liste des publications

Les publications de l'équipe

IF du Neurocentre

54 publications

* equal contribution
Les IF indiqués ont été collectés par le Web of Sciences en Juin 2020

01/2020 | addiction   IF 6.3
The relevance of animal models of addiction.
Deroche-Gamonet V

2019 | Front Behav Neurosci   IF 2.6
Varenicline Targets the Reinforcing-Enhancing Effect of Nicotine on Its Associated Salient Cue During Nicotine Self-administration in the Rat.
Garcia-Rivas V, Fiancette JF, Cannella N, Carbo-Gas M, Renault P, Tostain J, Deroche-Gamonet V

Nicotine is acknowledged as the key addictive compound of tobacco. Varenicline (Champix((R)) or Chantix((R))), mainly acting as a partial agonist at the alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptor, is an approved smoking cessation pharmacotherapy, although with efficacy limited to a portion of smokers. Smokers differ in the motives that drive their drug seeking and Varenicline might be more efficient in some groups more than others. Studies in rodents revealed that nicotine-seeking is strongly supported by complex interactions between nicotine and environmental cues, and notably the ability of nicotine to enhance the reinforcing properties of salient environmental stimuli. It is not yet understood whether the decrease of nicotine-seeking by acute Varenicline in rats results from antagonism of the primary reinforcing effects of nicotine, of the reinforcement-enhancing effect of nicotine on cues, or of a combination of both. Thanks to a protocol that allows assessment of the reinforcement-enhancing effect of nicotine on cues during self-administration in rats, we showed that Varenicline targets both nicotine reinforcing effects and reinforcement-enhancing effect of nicotine on cues. Importantly, individual variations in the latter determined the amplitude of acute Varenicline-induced decrease in seeking. These results suggest that Varenicline might be more beneficial in smokers who are more sensitive to nicotine effects on surrounding stimuli.

05/03/2018 | Mol Psychiatry   IF 11.6
Depleting adult dentate gyrus neurogenesis increases cocaine-seeking behavior.
Deroche-Gamonet V, Revest JM, Fiancette JF, Balado E, Koehl M, Grosjean N, Abrous DN, Piazza PV

The hippocampus is the main locus for adult dentate gyrus (DG) neurogenesis. A number of studies have shown that aberrant DG neurogenesis correlates with many neuropsychiatric disorders, including drug addiction. Although clear causal relationships have been established between DG neurogenesis and memory dysfunction or mood-related disorders, evidence of the causal role of DG neurogenesis in drug-seeking behaviors has not been established. Here we assessed the role of new DG neurons in cocaine self-administration using an inducible transgenic approach that selectively depletes adult DG neurogenesis. Our results show that transgenic mice with decreased adult DG neurogenesis exhibit increased motivation to self-administer cocaine and a higher seeking response to cocaine-related cues. These results identify adult hippocampal neurogenesis as a key factor in vulnerability to cocaine addiction.

Tobacco use leads to 6 million deaths every year due to severe long-lasting diseases. The main component of tobacco, nicotine, is recognized as one of the most addictive drugs, making smoking cessation difficult, even when 70 percent of smokers wish to do so. Clinical and preclinical studies have demonstrated consistently that nicotine seeking is a complex behavior involving various psychopharmacological mechanisms. Evidence supports that the population of smokers is heterogeneous, particularly as regards the breadth of motives that determine the urge to smoke. Here, we review converging psychological, genetic and neurobiological data from clinical and preclinical studies supporting that the mechanisms controlling nicotine seeking may vary from individual to individual. It appears timely that basic neuroscience integrates this heterogeneity to refine our understanding of the neurobiology of nicotine seeking, as tremendous progress has been made in modeling the various psychopharmacological mechanisms driving nicotine seeking in rodents. For a better understanding of the mechanisms that drive nicotine seeking, we emphasize the need for individual-based research strategies in which nicotine seeking, and eventually treatment efficacy, are determined while taking into account individual variations in the mechanisms of nicotine seeking.

02/2017 | Neuropsychopharmacology   IF 6.4
Individual Variations in the Mechanisms of Nicotine Seeking: A Key for Research on Nicotine Dependence.
Garcia-Rivas V, Cannella N, Deroche-Gamonet V

27/11/2015 | Neuropsychopharmacology   IF 7
Differential Control of Cocaine Self-Administration by GABAergic and Glutamatergic CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors.
Martin-Garcia E, Bourgoin L, Cathala A, Kasanetz F, Mondesir M, Gutierrez-Rodriguez A, Reguero L, Fiancette JF, Grandes P, Spampinato U, Maldonado R, Piazza PV, Marsicano G, Deroche-Gamonet V

The type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) modulates numerous neurobehavioral processes and is therefore explored as a target for the treatment of several mental and neurological diseases. However, previous studies have investigated CB1 by targeting it globally, regardless of its two main neuronal localizations on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. In the context of cocaine addiction this lack of selectivity is critical since glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal transmission is involved in different aspects of the disease. To determine whether CB1 exerts different control on cocaine-seeking according to its two main neuronal localizations, we used mutant mice with deleted CB1 in cortical glutamatergic neurons (Glu-CB1) or in forebrain GABAergic neurons (GABA-CB1). In Glu-CB1, gene deletion concerns the dorsal telencephalon, including neocortex, paleocortex, archicortex, hippocampal formation and the cortical portions of the amygdala. In GABA-CB1, it concerns several cortical and non-cortical areas including the dorsal striatum, nucleus accumbens, thalamic and hypothalamic nuclei. We tested complementary components of cocaine self-administration, separating the influence of primary and conditioned effects. Mechanisms underlying each phenotype were explored using in vivo microdialysis and ex vivo electrophysiology. We show that CB1 expression in forebrain GABAergic neurons controls mouse sensitivity to cocaine, while CB1 expression in cortical glutamatergic neurons controls associative learning processes. In accordance, in the nucleus accumbens, GABA-CB1 receptors control cocaine-induced dopamine release and Glu-CB1 receptors control AMPAR/NMDAR ratio; a marker of synaptic plasticity. Our findings demonstrate a critical distinction of the altered balance of Glu-CB1 and GABA-CB1 activity that could participate in the vulnerability to cocaine abuse and addiction. Moreover, these novel insights advance our understanding of CB1 neuropathophysiology.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 27 November 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.351.

17/03/2014 | Neuropsychopharmacology   IF 7.8
Frequency of Cocaine Self-Administration Influences Drug Seeking in the Rat: Optogenetic Evidence for a Role of the Prelimbic Cortex.
Martin-Garcia E, Courtin J, Renault P, Fiancette JF, Wurtz H, Simonnet A, Levet F, Herry C, Deroche-Gamonet V

High-frequency intake and high drug-induced seeking are associated with cocaine addiction in both human and animals. However, their relationships and neurobiological underpinnings remain hypothetical. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), basolateral amygdala (BLA), and nucleus accumbens (NAc) have been shown to have a role in cocaine seeking. However, their involvement in regulating high-frequency intake and high cocaine-induced seeking is unclear. We manipulated frequency of cocaine self-administration and investigated whether it influenced cocaine seeking. The contribution of the aforementioned structures was evaluated using changes in expression of the immediate early gene c-Fos and targeted optogenetic manipulations. Rats that self-administered at High frequency (short inter-infusion intervals allowed by short time-out) showed higher cocaine-induced seeking than low frequency rats (long inter-infusions intervals imposed by long time-out), as measured with cocaine-induced reinstatement. c-Fos was enhanced in High frequency rats in the prelimbic (PL) and infralimbic (IL) areas of the mPFC, the BLA, and the NAc core and shell. Correlational analysis of c-Fos revealed that the PL was a critical node strongly correlated with both the IL and NAc core in High frequency rats. Targeted optogenetic inactivation of the PL decreased cocaine-induced reinstatement, but increased cocaine self-administration, in High frequency rats. In contrast, optogenetic activation of the PL had no effect on Low frequency rats. Thus, high-frequency intake promotes a PL-dependent control of cocaine seeking, with the PL exerting a facilitatory or inhibitory effect, depending on operant contingencies. Individual differences in cocaine-induced PL activation might be a source of vulnerability for poorly controlled cocaine-induced seeking and/or cocaine intake.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 16 April 2014; doi:10.1038/npp.2014.66.

03/01/2014 | Science   IF 31.5
Pregnenolone can protect the brain from cannabis intoxication.
Vallee M, Vitiello S, Bellocchio L, Hebert-Chatelain E, Monlezun S, Martin-Garcia E, Kasanetz F, Baillie GL, Panin F, Cathala A, Roullot-Lacarriere V, Fabre S, Hurst DP, Lynch DL, Shore DM, Deroche-Gamonet V, Spampinato U, Revest JM, Maldonado R, Reggio PH, Ross RA, Marsicano G, Piazza PV

Pregnenolone is considered the inactive precursor of all steroid hormones, and its potential functional effects have been largely uninvestigated. The administration of the main active principle of Cannabis sativa (marijuana), Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), substantially increases the synthesis of pregnenolone in the brain via activation of the type-1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptor. Pregnenolone then, acting as a signaling-specific inhibitor of the CB1 receptor, reduces several effects of THC. This negative feedback mediated by pregnenolone reveals a previously unknown paracrine/autocrine loop protecting the brain from CB1 receptor overactivation that could open an unforeseen approach for the treatment of cannabis intoxication and addiction.

Transition to addiction is the shift from controlled to uncontrolled drug use that occurs after prolonged drug intake in a limited number of drug users. A major challenge of addiction research in recent years has been to develop models for studying this pathological transition. Toward this goal, a DSM-IV/5-based multi-symptomatic model of cocaine addiction has been developed in the rat. It is based on an operational translation of the main features of the disease. 1. Addiction is not just taking drug; it is a non-adaptive drug use: The procedure models addiction in relation to its clinical definition. 2. All drug users do not face the same individual risk of developing addiction: The model includes an individual-based approach. 3. Addiction develops after protracted periods of controlled drug use: This procedure allows for the study of the long-term shift from controlled drug use to addiction. We describe this model in detail and show how it can contribute to our understanding of the pathophysiology of cocaine addiction. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'NIDA 40th Anniversary Issue'.

10/2013 | Psychopharmacology (Berl)
A multistep general theory of transition to addiction.
Piazza PV, Deroche-Gamonet V

BACKGROUND: Several theories propose alternative explanations for drug addiction. OBJECTIVES: We propose a general theory of transition to addiction that synthesizes knowledge generated in the field of addiction into a unitary explanatory frame. MAJOR PRINCIPLES OF THE THEORY: Transition to addiction results from a sequential three-step interaction between: (1) individual vulnerability; (2) degree/amount of drug exposure. The first step, sporadic recreational drug use is a learning process mediated by overactivation of neurobiological substrates of natural rewards that allows most individuals to perceive drugs as highly rewarding stimuli. The second, intensified, sustained, escalated drug use occurs in some vulnerable individuals who have a hyperactive dopaminergic system and impaired prefrontal cortex function. Sustained and prolonged drug use induces incentive sensitization and an allostatic state that makes drugs strongly wanted and needed. Habit formation can also contribute to stabilizing sustained drug use. The last step, loss of control of drug intake and full addiction, is due to a second vulnerable phenotype. This loss-of-control-prone phenotype is triggered by long-term drug exposure and characterized by long-lasting loss of synaptic plasticity in reward areas in the brain that induce a form of behavioral crystallization resulting in loss of control of drug intake. Because of behavioral crystallization, drugs are now not only wanted and needed but also pathologically mourned when absent. CONCLUSIONS: This general theory demonstrates that drug addiction is a true psychiatric disease caused by a three-step interaction between vulnerable individuals and amount/duration of drug exposure.

09/2013 | Neuropsychopharmacology
The mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 induced anti-reinstatement effects in rats exhibiting addiction-like behavior.
Cannella N, Halbout B, Uhrig S, Evrard L, Corsi M, Corti C, Deroche-Gamonet V, Hansson AC, Spanagel R

Medication development for cocaine-addicted patients is difficult, and many promising preclinical candidates have failed in clinical trials. One reason for the difficulty in translating preclinical findings to the human condition is that drug testing is typically conducted in behavioral procedures in which animals do not show addiction-like traits. Recently, a DSM-IV-based animal model has been developed that allows studying the transition to an addiction-like behavior. Changes in synaptic plasticity are involved in the transition to cocaine addiction. In particular, it has been shown that metabotropic glutamate receptor 2/3 (mGluR2/3)-mediated long-term depression is suppressed in the prelimbic cortex in addict-like rats. We therefore hypothesized that cocaine-seeking in addict-like rats could be treated with an mGluR2/3 agonist. Indeed, addict-like rats that were treated systemically with the mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 (0, 0.3, and 3 mg/kg) showed a pronounced reduction in cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking. In an attempt to dissect the role played by mGluR2 and mGluR3 in cue-induced reinstatement, we analyzed the mRNA expression patterns in several relevant brain areas but did not find any significant differences between cocaine addict-like and non-addict-like rats, suggesting that the behavioral differences observed are due to translational rather than transcriptional regulation. Another possibility to study the contributions of mGluR2 and mGluR3 in mediating addictive-like behavior is the use of knockout models. Because mGluR2 knockouts cannot be used in operant procedures due to motoric impairment, we only tested mGluR3 knockouts. These mice did not differ from controls in reinstatement, suggesting that mGluR2 receptors are critical in mediating addictive-like behavior.

Epidemiological studies have revealed striking associations between several distinct behavioral/personality traits and drug addiction, with a large emphasis on the sensation-seeking trait and the associated impulsive dimension of personality. However, in human studies, it is difficult to identify whether personality/behavioral traits actually contribute to increased vulnerability to drug addiction or reflect psychobiological adaptations to chronic drug exposure. Here we show how animal models, including the first multi-symptomatic model of addiction in the rat, have contributed to a better understanding of the relationships between different subdimensions of the sensation-seeking trait and different stages of the development of cocaine addiction, from vulnerability to initiation of cocaine self-administration to the transition to compulsive drug intake. We argue that sensation seeking predicts vulnerability to use cocaine, whereas novelty seeking, akin to high impulsivity, predicts instead vulnerability to shift from controlled to compulsive cocaine use, that is, addiction.

15/05/2012 | Mol Psychiatry
Prefrontal synaptic markers of cocaine addiction-like behavior in rats.
Kasanetz F*, Lafourcade M*, Deroche-Gamonet V*, Revest JM, Berson N, Balado E, Fiancette JF, Renault P, Piazza PV*, Manzoni OJ*

Defining the drug-induced neuroadaptations specifically associated with the behavioral manifestation of addiction is a daunting task. To address this issue, we used a behavioral model that differentiates rats controlling their drug use (Non-Addict-like) from rats undergoing transition to addiction (Addict-like). Dysfunctions in prefrontal cortex (PFC) synaptic circuits are thought to be responsible for the loss of control over drug taking that characterizes addicted individuals. Here, we studied the synaptic alterations in prelimbic PFC (pPFC) circuits associated with transition to addiction. We discovered that some of the changes induced by cocaine self-administration (SA), such as the impairment of the endocannabinoid-mediated long-term synaptic depression (eCB-LTD) was similarly abolished in Non-Addict- and Addict-like rats and thus unrelated to transition to addiction. In contrast, metabotropic glutamate receptor 2/3-mediated LTD (mGluR2/3-LTD) was specifically suppressed in Addict-like rats, which also show a concomitant postsynaptic plasticity expressed as a change in the relative contribution of AMPAR and NMDAR to basal glutamate-mediated synaptic transmission. Addiction-associated synaptic alterations in the pPFC were not fully developed at early stages of cocaine SA, when addiction-like behaviors are still absent, suggesting that pathological behaviors appear once the pPFC is compromised. These data identify specific synaptic impairments in the pPFC associated with addiction and support the idea that alterations of synaptic plasticity are core markers of drug dependence.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 15 May 2012; doi:10.1038/mp.2012.59.

02/2011 | Neuropsychopharmacology
High-novelty-preference rats are predisposed to compulsive cocaine self-administration.
Belin D, Berson N, Balado E, Piazza PV, Deroche-Gamonet V

Sensation/novelty-seeking is amongst the best markers of cocaine addiction in humans. However, its implication in the vulnerability to cocaine addiction is still a matter of debate, as it is unclear whether this trait precedes or follows the development of addiction. Sensation/novelty-seeking trait has been identified in rats on the basis of either novelty-induced locomotor activity (high-responder (HR) trait) or novelty-induced place preference (high-novelty-preference trait (HNP)). HR and HNP traits have been associated with differential sensitivity to psychostimulants. However, it has recently been demonstrated that HR rats do not develop compulsive cocaine self-administration (SA) after protracted exposure to the drug, thereby suggesting that at least one dimension of sensation/novelty seeking in the rat is dissociable from the vulnerability to switch from controlled to compulsive cocaine SA. We therefore investigated whether HNP, as measured as the propensity to choose a new environment in a free choice procedure, as opposed to novelty-induced locomotor activity, predicts the vulnerability to, and the severity of, addiction-like behavior for cocaine. For this, we identified HR/LR rats and HNP/LNP rats before any exposure to cocaine. After 60 days of cocaine SA, each rat was given an addiction score based on three addiction-like behaviors (persistence of responding when the drug is signaled as not available, high breakpoint under progressive ratio schedule and resistance to punishment) that resemble the clinical features of drug addiction, namely inability to refrain from drug seeking, high motivation for the drug and compulsive drug use despite adverse consequences. We show that, as opposed to HR rats, HNP rats represent a sub-population predisposed to compulsive cocaine intake, displaying higher addiction scores than LNP rats. This study thereby provides new insights into the factors predisposing to cocaine addiction, supporting the hypothesis that addiction is sustained by two vulnerable phenotypes: a 'drug use prone' phenotype such as HR which brings an individual to develop drug use and an 'addiction prone' phenotype, such as HNP, which facilitates the shift from sustained to compulsive drug intake and addiction.

01/2011 | Addict Biol   IF 4.8
A decrease in gamma-synuclein expression within the nucleus accumbens increases cocaine intravenous self-administration in the rat.
Boyer F, Balado E, Piazza PV, Dreyer JL, Deroche-Gamonet V

25/06/2010 | Science
Transition to addiction is associated with a persistent impairment in synaptic plasticity.
Kasanetz F, Deroche-Gamonet V, Berson N, Balado E, Lafourcade M, Manzoni O, Piazza PV

Corticosterone, the main glucorticoid hormone in rodents, facilitates behavioral responses to cocaine. Corticosterone is proposed to modulate cocaine intravenous self-administration (SA) and cocaine-induced locomotion through distinct receptors, the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), respectively. However, this remains debatable. On one hand, modulation of both responses by the GR was tested in different experimental conditions, i.e. light versus dark nycthemeral phase and naive versus cocaine-experienced animals. On the other hand, modulation of both responses by the MR was never tested directly but only inferred based on the ability of low plasma corticosterone levels (those for which corticosterone almost exclusively binds the MR) to compensate the effects of adrenalectomy. Our goal here was to test the involvement of the GR and the MR in cocaine-induced locomotor and reinforcing effects in the same experimental conditions. C57Bl/6J mice were trained for cocaine (1 mg/kg/infusion) intravenous SA over 40 SA sessions. The animals were then administered with mifepristone (30 mg/kg i.p.), a GR antagonist, or with spironolactone (20 mg/kg/i.p.), an MR antagonist, 2 hours before either cocaine intravenous SA or cocaine-induced locomotion. In a comparable nycthemeral period and in similarly cocaine-experienced animals, a blockade of the GR decreased cocaine-induced reinforcing effects but not cocaine-induced locomotion. A blockade of the MR decreased both cocaine-induced reinforcing (but to a much lesser extent than the GR blockade) and locomotor effects. Altogether, our results comforted the hypothesis that the GR modulates cocaine-related operant conditioning, while the MR would modulate cocaine-related unconditioned effects. The present data also reveal mifepristone as an interesting tool for manipulating the impact of corticosterone on cocaine-induced reinforcing effects in mice.

15/05/2009 | Biol Psychiatry
Pattern of intake and drug craving predict the development of cocaine addiction-like behavior in rats.
Belin D, Balado E, Piazza PV, Deroche-Gamonet V

BACKGROUND: Clinical observations suggest that cocaine addiction often emerges with new patterns of use. Whether these changes are a cause of addiction or its consequence is unknown. We investigated whether the development of an addiction-like behavior in the rat is associated with the pattern of cocaine intake and with cocaine craving, a major feature of cocaine addiction. METHODS: To determine whether changes in the pattern of cocaine use and enhanced craving precede or parallel the onset of addiction, we used a rat addiction model that incorporates core features of human addiction. For this purpose, the pattern of inter-infusion intervals (a measure of pattern of cocaine intake), sensitivity to cocaine-induced reinstatement (a measure of cocaine craving), and addiction-like behaviour were assessed over several months of intravenous cocaine self-administration. RESULTS: We found that, even at early stages of cocaine self-administration, both the pattern of cocaine intake and the intensity of drug-induced reinstatement predict the severity of cocaine use, measured after 75 days of self-administration. CONCLUSIONS: Our results identify key predictors of cocaine addiction-intensified pattern of drug use and high drug-induced craving-that may help in the identification of subjects at risk for subsequent development of severe cocaine addiction.

2009 | Nat Neurosci
Stress and addiction: glucocorticoid receptor in dopaminoceptive neurons facilitates cocaine seeking
Ambroggi F*, Turiault M*, Milet A, Deroche-Gamonet V, Parnaudeau S, Balado E, Barik J, van der Veen R, Maroteaux G, Lemberger T, Schutz G, Lazar M, Marinelli M, Piazza P V*, Tronche F*

The glucocorticoid receptor is a ubiquitous transcription factor mediating adaptation to environmental challenges and stress. Selective Nr3c1 (the glucocorticoid receptor gene) ablation in mouse dopaminoceptive neurons expressing dopamine receptor 1a, but not in dopamine-releasing neurons, markedly decreased the motivation of mice to self-administer cocaine, dopamine cell firing and the control exerted by dopaminoceptive neurons on dopamine cell firing activity. In contrast, anxiety was unaffected, indicating that glucocorticoid receptors modify a number of behavioral disorders through different neuronal populations.

2008 | PLoS ONE
Maternal environment influences cocaine intake in adulthood in a genotype-dependent manner.
van der Veen R, Koehl M, Abrous DN, de Kloet ER, Piazza PV, Deroche-Gamonet V

BACKGROUND: Accumulating epidemiological evidence points to the role of genetic background as a modulator of the capacity of adverse early experiences to give rise to mental illness. However, direct evidence of such gene-environment interaction in the context of substance abuse is scarce. In the present study we investigated whether the impact of early life experiences on cocaine intake in adulthood depends on genetic background. In addition, we studied other behavioral dimensions associated with drug abuse, i.e. anxiety- and depression-related behaviors. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: For this purpose, we manipulated the maternal environment of two inbred mouse strains, the C57BL/6J and DBA/2J by fostering them with non-related mothers, i.e. the C3H/HeN and AKR strains. These mother strains show respectively high and low pup-oriented behavior. As adults, C57BL/6J and DBA/2J were tested either for cocaine intravenous self-administration or in the elevated plus-maze and forced swim test (FST). We found that the impact of maternal environment on cocaine use and a depression-related behavior depends upon genotype, as cocaine self-administration and behavior in the FST were influenced by maternal environment in DBA/2J, but not in C57BL/6J mice. Anxiety was not influenced by maternal environment in either strain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our experimental approach could contribute to the identification of the psychobiological factors determining the susceptibility or the resilience of certain individuals to develop psychopathologies.

RATIONALE: Behavioural sensitization is a long lasting phenomenon that has been proposed to be involved in drug addiction. Although the expression of cocaine-induced sensitization has been associated with the activity of the mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons, little is known about the transcriptional adaptations of these neurons to a new challenge with cocaine long after cessation of repeated exposure to the drug. OBJECTIVES: We studied the time course of the mRNA levels of three main regulatory elements of dopaminergic transmission after a challenge with cocaine (15 mg/kg) that followed 21 days of withdrawal from a cocaine pretreatment (20 mg/kg, ip, every 2 days for 21 days) in C57Bl/6J mice. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Mice were placed 45 min in activity chambers and were killed 45 min, 2 h or 24 h after the challenge injection. Dopamine transporter (DAT), D2 auto-receptor (D2) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) mRNA levels were assessed by in situ hybridization in the ventral tegmental area and the substantia nigra compacta. RESULTS: As compared to vehicle challenge, cocaine challenge in vehicle pretreated mice induced a rapid increase (+208%) in DAT mRNA (45 min) followed by a delayed decrease (-70%) (24 h), while TH and D2 mRNA were both increased (+45%) 24 h after the challenge. In cocaine pretreated mice, cocaine-induced short-term increase and long-term decrease in DAT mRNA levels were amplified (+328%) and reduced (-40%), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Repeated exposure to cocaine alters the transcriptional response of DA neurons to a new cocaine challenge long after cessation of repeated exposure to the drug. They point to the DAT mRNA as a major responsive element to a new presentation of cocaine.

RATIONALE: Individual differences in cocaine-taking behavior and liability to develop abuse are clearly observed, but underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. A role for gene-environment interactions has been proposed but remains hypothetical. OBJECTIVES: We investigated whether gene-environment interactions influence intravenous cocaine self-administration (SA) in mice. We tested the effect of a past short group housing experience on cocaine SA in two inbred strains of mice, the C57BL/6J (C57) and DBA/2J (DBA). METHODS: Adult C57 and DBA mice were individually housed upon arrival in the laboratory. After 3 weeks, half of the animals of each strain were group housed for 19 days. One week after the end of group housing, cocaine SA or measurement of brain cocaine levels took place. RESULTS: Individually and ex-group-housed C57 mice did not differ for cocaine SA. On the contrary, the ex-group-housed DBA mice showed an upward shift in the dose-response curve as compared to individually housed DBA. Differences in brain cocaine levels could not account for the observed behavioral differences. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that vulnerability to cocaine reinforcing effects can be affected by gene-environment interactions. We propose a mouse model for the characterization of gene-environment interactions in the vulnerability to cocaine-taking behavior.

02/2006 | Psychopharmacology (Berl)
Preexposure during or following adolescence differently affects nicotine-rewarding properties in adult rats
Adriani W, Deroche-Gamonet V, Le Moal M, Laviola G, Piazza P V

RATIONALE: Many people come in contact with psychoactive drugs, yet not all of them become addicts. Epidemiology shows that a late approach with cigarette smoking is associated with a lower probability to develop nicotine dependence. Exposure to nicotine during periadolescence, but not similar exposure in the postadolescent period, increases nicotine self-administration in rats, but underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether exposure to nicotine during or after adolescence would alter rewarding properties of the same drug at adulthood, as assessed by place conditioning. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Periadolescent (PND 34-43) or postadolescent (PND 60-69) rats were injected with saline or nicotine (0.4 mg kg(-1)) for 10 days. The rats received three pairings with saline and three pairings with nicotine (0, 0.3, or 0.6 mg kg(-1)) 5 weeks after pretreatment. The rats were then tested for place conditioning in a drug-free state. RESULTS: Upon first exposure to the apparatus, animals pretreated with nicotine during adolescence showed elevated novelty-induced activation. The 0.3 (but not the 0.6) mg kg(-1) dose failed to produce both ongoing locomotor sensitization and place conditioning in animals pretreated with nicotine following adolescence. This suggests a rightward shift in the dose-response curve, namely, a reduced efficacy of nicotine. Conversely, the same dose was effective in saline-pretreated controls and noteworthy in rats pretreated during adolescence. CONCLUSION: Exposure following the adolescent period might diminish the risk to develop nicotine dependence. As for human implications, findings are consistent with a reduced vulnerability to nicotine addiction in people who start smoking late in their life.

02/2006 | Neuroscience
Gene expression regulation following behavioral sensitization to cocaine in transgenic mice lacking the glucocorticoid receptor in the brain
Izawa R, Jaber M, Deroche-Gamonet V, Sillaber I, Kellendonk C, Le Moal M, Tronche F, Piazza P V

Several findings suggest that glucocorticoid hormones influence the propensity of an individual to develop cocaine abuse. These hormones activate two related transcription factors, the glucocorticoid receptor and the mineralocorticoid receptor. We have shown previously that mice carrying a mutation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene specifically in neural cells, glucocorticoid receptor knock-out in the brain, show a dramatic decrease in cocaine-induced self-administration and no behavioral sensitization to this drug, two experimental procedures considered relevant models of addiction. Here, we investigated in glucocorticoid receptor knock-out in the brain mice the consequences of this mutation at the level of the expression of neuropeptide, dopamine receptor and glutamate receptor subunit mRNAs. We quantified mRNA levels in the cortex, striatum and accumbens under basal conditions and following acute or repeated cocaine treatments. Our results show that, under basal conditions, neuropeptide (substance P, dynorphin) and dopamine receptor (D1, D2) mRNAs were decreased in glucocorticoid receptor knock-out in the brain mice in the dorsal striatum but not in the accumbens. However, cocaine-induced changes in the levels of these mRNAs were not modified in glucocorticoid receptor knock-out in the brain mice. In contrast, mutant mice showed altered response in mRNA levels of N-methyl-D-aspartate, GLUR5 and GLUR6 glutamate receptor subunits as well as of enkephalin following cocaine administration. These modifications may be associated to decrease of behavioral effects of cocaine observed in glucocorticoid receptor knock-out in the brain mice.

07/2005 | Febs Journal
Stress, drugs and transcription. Specific inactivation of the GR in the brain, new insights on drug addiction
Turiault M, Ambroggi F, Deroche-Gamonet V, Rouzeau J D, Parnaudeau S, Sahly I, Lazar M, Piazza P V, Tronche F

13/08/2004 | Science
Evidence for addiction-like behavior in the rat.
Deroche-Gamonet V, Belin D, Piazza PV

Although the voluntary intake of drugs of abuse is a behavior largely preserved throughout phylogeny, it is currently unclear whether pathological drug use ('addiction') can be observed in species other than humans. Here, we report that behaviors that resemble three of the essential diagnostic criteria for addiction appear over time in rats trained to self-administer cocaine. As in humans, this addiction-like behavior is present only in a small proportion of subjects using cocaine and is highly predictive of relapse after withdrawal. These findings provide a new basis for developing a true understanding and treatment of addiction.

07/2003 | Psychopharmacology (Berl)
Relationships between individual sensitivity to CS- and cocaine-induced reinstatement in the rat.
Deroche-Gamonet V, Martinez A, Le Moal M, Piazza PV

RATIONALE: Maintaining abstinence is highly challenging for cocaine ex-users. Exposure to drug conditioned stimuli (CS) and to low doses of cocaine can provoke craving in humans and reinstate self-administration (SA) behavior in animal models. Whether drug- and CS-induced reinstatement depend on the same biological substrates remains controversial. OBJECTIVES: We investigated the relationships between cocaine- and CS-induced SA reinstatement within the same individuals as a function of the duration of the withdrawal period after cessation of extended cocaine SA. METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats were trained for cocaine intravenous SA (0.8 mg/kg per infusion) during 74 sessions (2 h daily exposure to cocaine) and submitted to withdrawal. Five and 30 days after the end of SA, cocaine- and CS-induced reinstatement were tested. RESULTS: Both after a short and a long withdrawal, CS- and cocaine-induced reinstatement were not related. Furthermore, cocaine-induced reinstatement measured after a short and a long withdrawal was positively related while CS-induced reinstatement was not. The sensitivity of an individual to cocaine-induced reinstatement is not related to its sensitivity to CS-induced reinstatement. Furthermore, vulnerability to cocaine-induced reinstatement is determined quickly after SA cessation and is a long lasting state, whilst vulnerability to CS-induced reinstatement develops quickly or slowly depending on the individual. CONCLUSIONS: These results support the view that cocaine and CS induce reinstatement through different mechanisms. They imply that reinstatement in drug abuse is a heterogeneous condition with some individuals being more sensitive to one factor than to the other. Research for effective anti-relapse therapies should take these elements into account.

01/06/2003 | J Neurosci
The glucocorticoid receptor as a potential target to reduce cocaine abuse.
Deroche-Gamonet V, Sillaber I, Aouizerate B, Izawa R, Jaber M, Ghozland S, Kellendonk C, Le Moal M, Spanagel R, Schutz G, Tronche F, Piazza PV

Several findings suggest that glucocorticoid hormones are involved in determining the propensity of an individual to develop cocaine abuse. These hormones activate two related transcription factors, the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and the mineralocorticoid receptor. In this study, we show that the selective inactivation of the GR gene in the brains of mice profoundly flattened the dose-response function for cocaine intravenous self-administration and suppressed sensitization, two experimental procedures considered relevant models of addiction. Furthermore, administration of a GR antagonist dose-dependently reduced the motivation to self-administer cocaine. Importantly, the absence of GR did not modify the basal behavioral and molecular effects of cocaine but selectively modified the excessive response to the drug spontaneously present in certain vulnerable individuals or induced by repeated drug exposure in others. In conclusion, we provide the first genetic evidence that the GR gene can modulate cocaine abuse. This suggests that targeting GR function in the brain could provide new therapeutic strategies to treat cocaine addiction for which there is no available treatment.

01/06/2003 | J Neurosci
Evidence for enhanced neurobehavioral vulnerability to nicotine during periadolescence in rats.
Adriani W, Spijker S, Deroche-Gamonet V, Laviola G, Le Moal M, Smit AB, Piazza PV

Epidemiological studies indicate that there is an increased likelihood for the development of nicotine addiction when cigarette smoking starts early during adolescence. These observations suggest that adolescence could be a 'critical' ontogenetic period, during which drugs of abuse have distinct effects responsible for the development of dependence later in life. We compared the long-term behavioral and molecular effects of repeated nicotine treatment during either periadolescence or postadolescence in rats. It was found that exposure to nicotine during periadolescence, but not a similar exposure in the postadolescent period, increased the intravenous self-administration of nicotine and the expression of distinct subunits of the ligand-gated acetylcholine receptor in adult animals. Both these changes indicated an increased sensitivity to the addictive properties of nicotine. In conclusion, adolescence seems to be a critical developmental period, characterized by enhanced neurobehavioral vulnerability to nicotine.

06/2002 | Psychopharmacology (Berl)
Study of the addictive potential of modafinil in naive and cocaine-experienced rats.
Deroche-Gamonet V, Darnaudery M, Bruins-Slot L, Piat F, Le Moal M, Piazza PV

RATIONALE: Modafinil is a drug that promotes wakefulness and, as such, is used to treat hypersomnia and narcolepsy. Preclinical and clinical studies suggest that modafinil could possess weak reinforcing effects in drug-experienced subjects. However, its abuse potential in drug-naive healthy individuals is still totally uninvestigated, despite the fact that availability of modafinil has recently increased. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of our study was to investigate the potential addictive properties of modafinil by testing its reinforcing effects in naive rats. The interactions of modafinil with the reinforcing effects of cocaine were also tested. METHODS: First, using i.v. self-administration and place conditioning tests, we studied the reinforcing and rewarding effects of a large range of doses of modafinil in naive rats. Second, we tested the influence of modafinil on reinforcing and incentive effects of cocaine in rats trained for cocaine self-administration. The effects of modafinil were compared with those of amphetamine and haloperidol. RESULTS: Modafinil did not produce reinforcing or rewarding effects and did not modify the effects of cocaine. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that modafinil does not possess an addictive potential in naive individuals. Furthermore, it would be behaviorally distinct from classical central nervous system stimulants which are known to alter cocaine-induced effects. However, as shown previously in nonhuman primates and in humans, modafinil could possibly have reinforcing effects in cocaine-experienced individuals.

Conditioning theories propose that, through a Pavlovian associative process, discrete stimuli acquire the ability to elicit neural states involved in the maintenance and relapse of a drug-taking behaviour. Experimental evidence indicates that drug-related cues play a role in relapse, however, their influence on the development and maintenance of drug self-administration has been poorly investigated. In this report, we analysed the effects of a drug-associated cue light on acquisition, maintenance and reinstatement of intravenous cocaine self-administration. The results show that a cocaine-associated cue light can act as an incentive in absence of the drug, but does not directly modify drug-reinforcing effects. Contingent and non-contingent presentations of a cocaine-associated cue light reinstated an extinguished self-administration behaviour. However, regardless of whether or not a cue light was associated with cocaine infusions, rats acquire cocaine intravenous self-administration reaching the same levels of intake. Furthermore, after self-administration has been acquired in presence of the cue light, the omission of the cue light or its non-contingent presentation did not modify rat behaviour. In conclusion, our work shows that cocaine-associated explicit cues do not directly interfere with the reinforcing effects of the drug.

RATIONALE: The endogenous cannabinoid system is thought to play a role in reinforcement processes. OBJECTIVES: We tested the effects of five doses of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) antagonist SR141716 [0, 0.3, 1, 3 and 10 mg/kg intraperitoneal (IP)] on intracranial self-stimulation at the level of the median forebrain bundle (MFB). Self-stimulation was assessed 30 min and 210 min after SR141716 administration. We compared the effect of SR141716 with the effect of a decrease in the magnitude of stimulation (-100 microA) and the effects of a cocaine injection (1, 5 and 10 mg/kg IP). METHODS: a protocol of rate-frequency curve for self-stimulation was applied. Two rate-frequency curves were established daily, 3 h apart. The frequency required to produce half-maximal performance (M50) and the maximal performance (RMax) were used as the parameters to characterize the rate-frequency functions. RESULTS: SR141716 decreased the sensitivity to the electrical brain stimulation. SR141716 induced a shift to the right of the rate-frequency curve. This effect depended on the dose administered and the time after injection. Thirty minutes after the injection, 1, 3 and 10 mg/kg SR141716 induced a significant decrease in sensitivity to electrical stimulation, as shown by an elevation in the M50 value. RMax showed a tendency to decrease with increasing doses. At 210 min after administration, 3 and 10 mg/kg SR141716 maintained their decreasing effect on the sensitivity to the stimulation as shown by the significant increase of the M50, however, the maximal response was restored to the basal value. A decrease in self-stimulation intensity produced an effect comparable to the one observed 30 min after either 3 or 10 mg/kg SR141716, while cocaine (5 and 10 mg/kg) produced the opposite effect. Neither condition affected the rate-frequency curve measured 3 h later. CONCLUSIONS: In accordance with recent observations, these experiments suggest that the endogenous cannabinoid system facilitates the perception or the effects of positive reinforcers. They also suggest that this neurochemical system could be a target of interest for treating psychopathologies implicating the reinforcing system.

01/06/2000 | J Neurosci
Vertical shifts in self-administration dose-response functions predict a drug-vulnerable phenotype predisposed to addiction.
Piazza PV, Deroche-Gamonent V, Rouge-Pont F, Deroche-Gamonet V, Le Moal M

The role of individual differences in the etiology of addiction is a very controversial issue. Neuroendocrine phenotypes that are able to predispose an individual to the development of drug intake have been identified previously. However, such information has been gathered by comparing individuals who differ in their sensitivity to low doses of the drug. Consequently, it remains unclear whether a phenotype predicting a higher sensitivity to low drug doses would be relevant in environmental conditions, such as the ones encountered by humans in which high drug doses are available. In this report, we studied dose-response, dose-intake, and ratio-intake functions for intravenous cocaine self-administration in the laboratory rat. We show that individual differences in drug self-administration originate from vertical shift in the dose-response function. Thus, no matter the dose, drug intake is very high in some 'vulnerable' subjects and very low in other 'resistant' ones. Vulnerable subjects, the upward shifted ones, would then have a higher chance to develop drug abuse also when high drug doses are available. In conclusion, these results provide a solid foundation for the existence of a drug-vulnerable phenotype relevant for the etiology of addiction.

A progressive increase in the frequency and intensity of drug use is one of the major behavioural phenomena characterizing the development of addiction. The nature of the drug-induced adaptations involved in this escalating drug intake remains unknown. Some theories propose that this escalation is due to a progressive decrease (tolerance) in the reinforcing or incentive effects of the drug. Alternative views posit that with chronic use the reinforcing or incentive effects of drugs increase, by a sensitization or a learning mechanism. In this report, we address the question of whether escalating cocaine intake is paralleled by an increase or a decrease in the reinforcing and incentive effects of the drug. Using the experimental model of intravenous drug self-administration with a within-session dose-response paradigm, we first studied the course of cocaine intake over 14 sessions in rats. After acquisition of cocaine self-administration, cocaine intake progressively increased at each dose tested. Then rats, previously allowed to self-administer cocaine during either six or 29 sessions, were compared in three different tests of the incentive and reinforcing effects of cocaine: cocaine-induced reinstatement of self-administration, cocaine-induced runway and cocaine-induced place conditioning. As compared with rats briefly exposed to cocaine self-administration (six sessions), rats with the longer experience (29 sessions) exhibited a higher intake of cocaine paralleled by a higher responsiveness in the cocaine-induced reinstatement and runway tests. Both groups of rats were similarly sensitive to the rewarding effects of the drug as evaluated by the threshold dose of cocaine inducing place conditioning. Our results demonstrate that escalating cocaine intake is paralleled by an increase in the motivational properties of the drug in the absence of apparent signs of tolerance to the reinforcing or incentive effects of cocaine.

Stressful experiences, glucocorticoids hormones and dopaminergic neurons seems to interact in determining a higher propensity to develop drug abuse. In this report, we studied the acute interaction between these three factors. For this purpose, we compared stress-induced dopamine release in intact rats and in rats in which stress-induced corticosterone secretion was experimentally blocked. Ten-minute tail-pinch was used as a stressor and dopamine release estimated in the nucleus accumbens by using the microdialysis technique. Individual differences were also taken into account by comparing rats identified as either predisposed (HRs) or resistant (LRs) to develop self-administration of drugs of abuse, on the basis of their locomotor response to novelty. It was found that suppression of stress-induced corticosterone secretion significantly decreased stress-induced dopamine release. However, such an effect greatly differed between HR and LR rats. When corticosterone secretion was intact HR animals had a higher and longer dopamine release in response to stress than LRs. The blockade of stress-induced corticosterone secretion selectively reduced the dopaminergic response of HRs that did not differ from LRs anymore. These findings strength the idea that glucocorticoids could be involved in determining propensity to develop drug self-administration. In particular, these hormones could play a role in determining the higher dopaminergic activity that characterizes drug proned individuals.

There is growing evidence that stressors occurring during pregnancy can impair biological and behavioral responses to stress in the adult offspring. For instance, prenatal stress enhances emotional reactivity, anxiety, and depressive-like behaviors associated with a prolonged stress-induced corticosterone secretion and a reduction in hippocampal corticosteroid receptors. Among the neurotransmitters involved in these hormonal and behavioral responses, acetylcholine may play a critical role. However, it is unknown whether prenatal stressful events also may influence the development of cholinergic systems. In the present study, hippocampal acetylcholine was measured, by in vivo microdialysis, in both male and female adult prenatally stressed rats, under basal conditions, after a mild stress (saline injection) or after intracerebroventricular administration of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF; 0.1 nM). No difference in basal release of acetylcholine was observed between control and prenatally stressed rats of both genders. Mild stress was found to increase hippocampal acetylcholine release to a greater extent in prenatally stressed rats than in controls. In males, the CRF-induced increase in hippocampal acetylcholine release was larger in prenatally stressed rats, as compared with controls, during the first hour after the injection and in females during the third hour after the injection. These data indicate that prenatal stress has long-term effects on the development of forebrain cholinergic systems. The augmented increase in hippocampal acetylcholine release after the mild stress and CRF injection in prenatally stressed rats may be involved in some of the hormonal and behavioral abnormalities found in prenatally stressed rats.

03/1998 | NIDA Res Monogr
Behavioral and biological factors associated with individual vulnerability to psychostimulant abuse.
Piazza PV, Deroche V, Rouge-Pont F, Le Moal M

07/1997 | Pharmacol Biochem Behav
Differences in the liability to self-administer intravenous cocaine between C57BL/6 x SJL and BALB/cByJ mice.
Deroche V, Caine SB, Heyser CJ, Polis I, Koob GF, Gold LH

Application of animal models of psychostimulant abuse for experimentation in mice is becoming increasingly important for studying the contribution of genetic differences, as well as the roles of selected (targeted) genes, in specific behaviors. The purpose of this study was to investigate strain differences in cocaine self-administration behavior between C57BL/6 x SJL hybrid mice and BALB/cByJ mice. These two strains were chosen because BALB/cByJ mice have a well-developed behavioral pharmacological profile, and hybrid strains on a C57BL/6 background are commonly used for generating transgenic expressing and knockout mutant mice. C57BL/6 x SJL mice dose-dependently acquired cocaine self-administration (1.0 mg/kg/injection but not 0.25 mg/kg/injection) by responding selectively in the active nose-poke hole and maintaining stable levels of daily drug intake; they also exhibited a characteristic inverted-U-shaped cocaine dose-effect function. BALB/cByJ mice failed to acquire cocaine self-administration at either dose under the same test conditions. The strain differences observed in self-administration did not seem to be attributed to other behavioral differences because the two strains exhibited similar amounts of spontaneous nose-poking in the absence of reinforcers, and BALB/cByJ mice responded more than C57BL/6 x SJL mice in a food-reinforced nose-poke operant task. Importantly, the dose-effect function for the motor stimulating effects of cocaine (3.8-30 mg/kg intraperitoneally) suggests enhanced sensitivity but reduced efficacy of cocaine in stimulating motor activity in BALB/cByJ mice relative to the C57BL/6 x SJL hybrid mice. These results indicate that the decreased liability of BALB/cByJ mice to acquire cocaine self-administration is not the result of differences in spontaneous activity or performance, but may reflect different sensitivities to the reinforcing, or rate-disrupting, properties of cocaine. The data support an influence of genetic background in the liability to self-administer cocaine. Thus, a hypothesis is proposed that the decreased liability of BALB/cByJ mice to acquire cocaine self-administration is related to differences in brain monoamine systems linked to the high 'emotionality' profile of BALB/c mice in novel or fearful situations, including perhaps cocaine administration.

Observations suggest that corticosterone, the principal glucocorticoid hormone in the rat, can modulate the behavioral effects of drugs of abuse. In this report, the influence of corticosterone on intravenous self-administration of cocaine was studied. In the first experiment, cocaine intravenous self-administration in adrenalectomized rats and in adrenalectomized rats receiving corticosterone replacement treatments was studied as a function of corticosterone concentrations and as a function of cocaine doses (0.025, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.8 mg/kg/infusion). In a second experiment, we tested, in intact rats, the effect of different doses of corticosterone (0.09, 0.18, 0.37, 0.58, 0.75 mg/kg) on the reinstatement of an extinguished cocaine self-administration behavior. It is reported that adrenalectomy markedly shifts the cocaine self-administration dose-effect curve downward. This effect was dose-dependently reversed by corticosterone; a complete restoration being obtained for corticosterone levels in the range of those induced by stress. Corticosterone administration also precipitated dose-dependently the reinstatement of cocaine self-administration. The maximal effect was obtained for a dose of corticosterone producing an increase in plasma levels similar to the increase produced by an intense stress. In conclusion, our results show that glucocorticoids facilitate the reinforcing effects of cocaine and support the hypothesis that glucocorticoids are one of the biological factors determining vulnerability to substance abuse.

06/1997 | J Pharmacol Exp Ther
Glucocorticoids and behavioral effects of psychostimulants. I: locomotor response to cocaine depends on basal levels of glucocorticoids.
Marinelli M, Rouge-Pont F, Deroche V, Barrot M, De Jesus-Oliveira C, Le Moal M, Piazza PV

In this study, we explored the influence of corticosterone, the major glucocorticoid in the rat, on the locomotor response to cocaine. In particular, in a first series of experiments, we determined the effects of suppressing endogenous glucocorticoids by adrenalectomy on a full dose-response curve of cocaine-induced locomotion and the influence, on this behavioral response, of different corticosterone concentrations, by implanting different corticosterone pellets in adrenalectomized rats. Adrenalectomy decreased the locomotor response to cocaine, inducing a vertical shift in the dose-response curve, and corticosterone dose-dependently reversed the decrease induced by adrenalectomy. The effects of adrenalectomy were fully replicated by the acute central infusion of corticosteroid receptor antagonists, and the action of glucocorticoids did not seem to depend on nonspecific effects such as a general alteration of motor responses or drug metabolism. Thus, neither adrenalectomy, corticosterone receptor antagonists nor corticosterone replacement modified saline-induced locomotion and the administration of corticosterone did not increase locomotion. Furthermore, adrenalectomy slightly increased brain concentrations of cocaine, an effect that cannot account for the decrease in drug-induced locomotion it induced. In a second series of experiments, we tested whether corticosterone levels at the time of adrenalectomy could influence the outcome of this surgical procedure on the locomotor response to cocaine. We thus adrenalectomized rats under different conditions resulting in different levels of the hormone. Corticosterone levels at the moment of adrenalectomy had dose-dependent long-term facilitatory effects on the response to the drug. These findings underline a facilitatory role of glucocorticoids in the behavioral effects of psychostimulant drugs.

06/08/1996 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Glucocorticoids have state-dependent stimulant effects on the mesencephalic dopaminergic transmission.
Piazza PV, Rouge-Pont F, Deroche V, Maccari S, Simon H, Le Moal M

An increase in the activity of mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons has been implicated in the appearance of pathological behaviors such as psychosis and drug abuse. Several observations suggest that glucocorticoids might contribute to such an increase in dopaminergic activity. The present experiments therefore analyzed the effects of corticosterone, the major glucocorticoid in the rat, both on dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens of freely moving animals by means of microdialysis, and on locomotor activity, a behavior dependent on accumbens dopamine. Given that glucocorticoids have certain state-dependent neuronal effects, their action on dopamine was studied in situations differing in dopaminergic tonus, including during the light and dark phases of the circadian cycle, during eating, and in groups of animals differing in their locomotor reactivity to novelty. Dopaminergic activity is increased in the dark period, further increased during food-intake, and is higher in rats defined as high responders to novelty than in low responders. Corticosterone, peripherally administered in a dose that approximates stress-induced plasma concentrations, increased extracellular concentrations of dopamine, and this increase was augmented in the dark phase, during eating, and in high responder rats. Corticosterone had little or no effects in the light phase and in low responder rats. Corticosterone also stimulated locomotor activity, an effect that paralleled the release of dopamine and was abolished by neurochemical (6-hydroxydopamine) depletion of accumbens dopamine. In conclusion, glucocorticoids have state-dependent stimulant effects on mesencephalic dopaminergic transmission, and an interaction between these two factors might be involved in the appearance of behavioral disturbances.

The present study examined the effects of receptor subtype-selective dopamine agonists and antagonists on (i) cocaine-induced responding for a cocaine-associated stimulus and (ii) on responding for food and cocaine reinforcement. Rats implanted with intravenous catheters were trained to lever-press for food or cocaine reinforcers on an FR5-FR5 multiple schedule, which was preceded by a 5-min component during which only stimuli previously associated with the primary reinforcers were available response-contingently. (i) Non-contingent delivery of cocaine at the beginning of the stimulus component significantly increased responding for the cocaine-associated stimulus, compared to responding for the food-associated cue. Changes in the dose of cocaine administered non-contingently before the stimulus component resulted in an inverted U-shaped dose-effect curve in responding for the cocaine-associated cue. In subsequent experiments, pretreatment with the dopamine D2 receptor agonist bromocriptine (4.0-16.0 mg/kg IP) attenuated the cocaine-induced increase in responding for the cocaine-associated cue. In contrast, pretreatment with low doses of SDZ 208-911, a dopamine D2 partial agonist (0.025-0.1 mg/kg SC), further potentiated the cocaine-induced response. Pretreatment with low and medium doses of the dopamine D1 and D2 receptor subtype-selective antagonists SCH 23390 (D1; 5-10 micrograms/kg SC) and raclopride (D2; 100-200 micrograms/kg SC) blocked responding for cocaine-associated cues, with SCH 23390 acting more selectively than raclopride. At higher doses (SCH 23390: 20 micrograms/kg SC; raclopride: 400 micrograms/kg SC), both drugs produced non-selective effects by inhibiting responses for the food-associated cue. (ii) Varying the dose of cocaine self-administered during the multiple schedule resulted in an inverted U-shaped dose-effect curve during the cocaine components, while the number of food pellets earned remained unchanged. Pretreatment with bromocriptine selectively reduced the number of cocaine infusions obtained. The compensatory increases in responding for cocaine typically associated with SCH 23390, raclopride or SDZ 208-911 pretreatment were also observed under the present schedule conditions, although the effect did not reach statistical significance in the case of SCH 23390 and raclopride, possibly due to methodological constraints. The results indicate that the present rat model of cocaine-seeking behavior is sensitive to pharmacological manipulations and may yield important information regarding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying conditioned and unconditioned reinforcing aspects of cocaine addiction.

1996 | NIDA Res Monogr
Stress, glucocorticoids, and mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons: a pathophysiological chain determining vulnerability to psychostimulant abuse.
Piazza PV, Marinelli M, Rouge-Pont F, Deroche V, Maccari S, Simon H, Le Moal M

Repeated exposures to stress sensitize motor and addictive effects of drugs of abuse. Recently, it has been shown that stress-induced behavioral sensitization depends on the secretion of glucocorticoids. We investigated if sensitization of dopamine-dependent effects of psychostimulants and opioids was influenced by glucocorticoid. Sensitization of the dopaminergic response to drugs is considered the neural substrate of behavioral sensitization and has been implicated in vulnerability to drug abuse. Dopamine-dependent effects of psychostimulants and opioids were evaluated by injecting either amphetamine into the nucleus accumbens (10 micrograms/side) or morphine into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) (1 microgram/side). The locomotor response to psychostimulants and opioids injected in these brain areas depends on the mesencephalic dopaminergic transmission. Drug-induced locomotion was compared in male rats in which corticosterone secretion was either in +tct or experimentally suppressed by an adrenalectomy associated with a substitutive treatment reproducing basal levels of the hormone. Eight days of food restriction (80% of the initial body weight) were used as a stressor. Suppression of stress-induced corticosterone secretion abolished food restriction-induced sensitization of the locomotor effects of intra-accumbens amphetamine and intra-VTA morphine. This effect was corticosterone dependent since the restoration of corticosterone levels in the range of those induced by stress totally reinstates sensitization. Our results suggest that glucocorticoids control stress-induced sensitization by changing the sensitivity of the mesencephalic dopaminergic transmission to drugs of abuse. Since dopaminergic effects of drugs are related to their addictive properties, secretion of glucocorticoids may be one of the factors determining the enhanced vulnerability to drugs observed in stressed subjects.

26/09/1994 | Brain Res
Inhibition of corticosterone synthesis by Metyrapone decreases cocaine-induced locomotion and relapse of cocaine self-administration.
Piazza PV, Marinelli M, Jodogne C, Deroche V, Rouge-Pont F, Maccari S, Le Moal M, Simon H

Several studies have recently shown that basal and stress-induced secretion of corticosterone may enhance vulnerability to drugs of abuse. In this report, we studied the effects of metyrapone, an inhibitor of the synthesis of corticosterone, on cocaine-induced locomotion and on the relapse of cocaine self-administration. Locomotor response to cocaine was studied because psychomotor effects of drugs have been shown to be related to their reinforcing properties. Self-administration was studied in the relapse phase since blockade of relapse is central to the therapy of addiction. Before these behavioral tests, rats in different experimental groups were injected subcutaneously with either metyrapone (100 mg/kg) or vehicle, twice a day for 8 days. Metyrapone treatment reduced cocaine-induced locomotor activity and relapse of cocaine self-administration, without inducing a nonspecific disruption of motor or food-directed behaviors. Under these experimental conditions, the metyrapone treatment totally blocked stress-induced corticosterone secretion but did not modify basal corticosterone levels. These results confirm the involvement of glucocorticoids in the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying vulnerability to drug abuse, and may have implications for the development of new therapeutic strategies of drug addiction.

05/1994 | J Neurosci
Corticosterone circadian secretion differentially facilitates dopamine-mediated psychomotor effect of cocaine and morphine.
Marinelli M, Piazza PV, Deroche V, Maccari S, Le Moal M, Simon H

Studies of intravenous self-administration and psychomotor effects of drugs have recently suggested that stress-induced corticosterone secretion may be an important factor determining vulnerability to drugs of abuse. In this report, we studied if basal physiological corticosterone secretion modulates sensitivity to cocaine and morphine, and if changes in the reactivity of mesolimbic dopaminergic (DA) neurons, one of the principal substrates of drug-reinforcing effects, are involved. For this purpose we determined the psychomotor effects of these drugs in animals in which corticosterone secretion was suppressed by adrenalectomy and in adrenalectomized animals submitted to different corticosterone replacement therapies designed to mimic (1) only the diurnal levels of the hormone, obtained by the subcutaneous implantation of 50 mg corticosterone pellets; (2) only the nocturnal levels, obtained by adding corticosterone (50 micrograms/ml) to the drinking solution during the dark period; and (3) the entire circadian fluctuation, obtained by combining the two previous treatments. Locomotor response to cocaine and morphine was studied after both systemic and central injections, into the nucleus accumbens for cocaine and into the ventral tegmental area for morphine. These sites were chosen because stimulant effects of cocaine and morphine injected in these structures are dopamine dependent. Our results show that suppression of corticosterone by adrenalectomy reduced the locomotor response to cocaine and morphine, injected both systemically and centrally. The reinstatement of diurnal levels of corticosterone totally reversed adrenalectomy's effects on the behavioral response to cocaine, whereas the reestablishment of the entire corticosterone circadian fluctuation (diurnal plus nocturnal levels) was necessary to reverse the response to morphine.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Short-term social isolation has been shown to increase individual reactivity to addictive drugs, although the biological factors involved in this effect are largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the influence of corticosterone secretion on the effects of social isolation on the response to opioids. The effects of social isolation on morphine-induced locomotor activity were compared in: (i) animals with an intact hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; (ii) animals in which stress-induced corticosterone secretion was blocked by adrenalectomy. The animals in the latter group were implanted with subcutaneous corticosterone pellets (50 mg), which slowly release corticosterone, producing stable plasma levels within the physiological range. Social isolation increased the locomotor response to morphine (2 mg/kg s.c.) in animals with an intact HPA axis, but not in animals in which corticosterone secretion was blocked. These results suggest that corticosterone secretion is required for the expression of the enhanced locomotor response to opioids induced by isolation. Since an enhanced locomotor reactivity to addictive drugs has been found to be frequently associated with an enhanced vulnerability to drug self-administration, these findings suggest a role for glucocorticoids in the vulnerability to the reinforcing effects of opioids.

15/12/1993 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Corticosterone in the range of stress-induced levels possesses reinforcing properties: implications for sensation-seeking behaviors.
Piazza PV, Deroche V, Deminiere JM, Maccari S, Le Moal M, Simon H

In both humans and animals certain individuals seek stimuli or situations that are considered stressful and consequently avoided by others. A common feature of such situations is an activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis leading to secretion of glucocorticoids. Since glucocorticoids have euphoric effects in some individuals and have been shown to potentiate the reinforcing properties of drugs of abuse in animals, we hypothesized that corticosterone secretion during stress-like situations may have reinforcing effects and that a higher sensitivity to the reinforcing effects of glucocorticoids might be a biological basis of sensation seeking. In this report we show that (i) corticosterone has reinforcing properties, as evidenced by the development of intravenous self-administration, (ii) self-administration of corticosterone is observed at plasma levels that are comparable to those induced by stress, and (iii) there are individual differences in corticosterone self-administration, which are related to individual reactivity to novelty and sensitivity to drugs of abuse, behavioral features akin to certain traits of high-sensation seekers. These findings provide insight into the physiological role of glucocorticoids and the biology of sensation seeking and may have clinical implications.

Clinical observations show that individual vulnerability to the reinforcing properties of drugs plays an important part in the subsequent development of addition. In animals, individual vulnerability to psychostimulants has been found to be predicted by their locomotor response to novelty as well as their corticosterone response. Rats with a high locomotor response to novelty (High Responders or HR) relative to Low Responders (LR), show a higher sensitivity to both the psychomotor and reinforcing effects of psychostimulants and a longer lasting corticosterone secretion in response to stress. In this study, we addressed two main questions. First, does the locomotor response to novelty also predict the psychomotor effects of morphine? Second, do differences in corticosterone secretion underlie individual differences in the stimulant effects of morphine? We compared the locomotor response to morphine (2 mg/kg s.c.) in: (i) HR and LR rats with an intact hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; (ii) HR and LR rats in which stress-induced corticosterone secretion was suppressed by adrenalectomy but basal levels of corticosterone were maintained by implantation of subcutaneous corticosterone pellets. In animals with an intact HPA axis, HR rats showed a higher locomotor response than did LRs to morphine. In animals in which corticosterone secretion was suppressed, the enhanced locomotor response of the HRs to morphine fell to that observed in the LRs. In conclusion our data show that, (1) individual reactivity to novelty can predict individual vulnerability to the psychomotor effects of opioids, and (2) stress-induced corticosterone secretion may play a role in determining individual differences in sensitivity to these drugs.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

17/09/1993 | Brain Res
Rats orally self-administer corticosterone.
Deroche V, Piazza PV, Deminiere JM, Le Moal M, Simon H

Corticosterone, the major glucocorticoid in the rat, may modulate the reinforcing properties of addictive drugs as well as act as a positive reinforcer for intravenous self-administration. Since glucocorticoids are generally administered to humans via the oral route, we examined the ability of corticosterone to induce oral self-administration in the rat. In a first experiment, animals with free access to food could choose between a corticosterone solution and water. Three doses (25, 50 and 100 micrograms/ml) were tested. The group receiving the 100 micrograms/ml dose was also submitted to an extinction followed by a reversal test. In a second experiment, we examined whether the reinforcing properties of corticosterone could induce drinking independently of food intake. In the pre-test phase rats had access to food only during a fixed period of the day (11.00 h to 14.00 h). Corticosterone solution (200 micrograms/ml) or tap water were available during this period, with free access to tap water for the rest of the day. During the test period, access to food was shifted forward in time, while the availability of the corticosterone solution remained the same. The first experiment showed that rats preferred a corticosterone solution to tap water, developing self-administration in a dose-dependent manner. This preference could be extinguished, but was regained during the reversal phase. In the second experiment, animals that had access to the corticosterone solution drank more than rats that had access to water in the absence of food. These results indicate that corticosterone has reinforcing properties after oral administration.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Food restriction has been shown to enhance the behavioral sensitivity to addictive drugs. The biological factors involved in this effect are largely unknown. Since food restriction, among other factors, increases corticosterone secretion, the role of this hormone in the effects of food restriction on the response to psychostimulants and opioids was investigated. The effects of food restriction on amphetamine- and morphine-induced locomotor activity were compared in: (i) animals with an intact hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis; (ii) animals in which food restriction-induced corticosterone secretion was suppressed by adrenalectomy, but which received exogenous corticosterone from a subcutaneous implant, which slowly releases corticosterone, producing a stable plasma level within the normal physiological range over a period of 20 days. It was found that food restriction enhanced sensitivity to the psychomotor effects of amphetamine (1 mg/kg i.p.) and morphine (1 mg/kg i.p.) in animals with an intact hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, but not in animals in which endogenous corticosterone secretion was eliminated. These results suggest that corticosterone secretion may be one of the mechanisms by which food restriction amplifies the behavioral responses to amphetamine and morphine. Since an enhanced locomotor reactivity to addictive drugs has been found to be frequently associated with an enhanced vulnerability to drug self-administration, these findings point to a role for glucocorticoids in the susceptibility to drug abuse.

Repeated exposure to stressful situations has been shown to increase individual reactivity to addictive drugs. However, the biological factors involved in such stress-induced changes are largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of corticosterone in the effects of restraint stress on the response to psychostimulants and opioids. The effects of repeated stress on amphetamine- and morphine-induced locomotor activity were compared in: (i) animals with an intact hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; (ii) animals in which stress-induced corticosterone secretion was blocked by adrenalectomy, but who received exogenous corticosterone from a subcutaneous implant. The implanted pellets (50 mg) slowly release corticosterone producing a stable plasma level within the normal physiological range over a period of 20 days. Restraint stress increased the locomotor response to both amphetamine (1.5 mg/kg i.p.) and morphine (2 mg/kg s.c.) in animals with an intact HPA axis, but not in animals in which stress-induced corticosterone secretion was suppressed. These results suggest that corticosterone secretion may be one of the mechanisms by which repeated stress amplifies behavioral responses to amphetamine and morphine. Since an enhanced locomotor reactivity to addictive drugs has been found to be frequently associated with an enhanced vulnerability to drug self-administration, these findings point to a role for glucocorticoids in the susceptibility to drug abuse.

03/07/1992 | Brain Res
Repeated corticosterone administration sensitizes the locomotor response to amphetamine.
Deroche V, Piazza PV, Maccari S, Le Moal M, Simon H

Repeated exposures to stressful situations has been shown to increase individual reactivity to psychostimulants, although the biological factors involved in such stress-induced changes are still poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the role of corticosterone in the effects of stress on the response to psychostimulants. We found that repeated corticosterone administration (both 1.5 mg/kg, intraperitoneally and 50 micrograms/ml in drinking water, once per day for 15 days) increased the locomotor response to amphetamine (1.15 mg/kg, i.p.). At the doses used in these experiments, corticosterone administration induced similar increases in plasma levels of the hormone to those induced by stress. These results suggest that corticosterone secretion may be one of the mechanisms by which repeated stress increases the behavioral responses to amphetamine. Since an enhanced reactivity to psychostimulants has been found to be an index of a propensity for drug self-administration and a model of certain psychopathological conditions, these findings point to a role for glucocorticoids in such abnormal states.