Chronic self-administration of nicotine induces maladaptive changes in the cortico-accumbal glutamate (Glu) network. Consequently, re-exposure to nicotine-associated cues raises extracellular Glu in the nucleus accumbens reinstating drug-seeking. Restoring basal concentrations of extracellular Glu, thereby increasing tonic activation of the presynaptic group II metabotropic Glu receptors (mGluR2/3) with N-acetylcysteine (N-AC), might offer a valid therapeutic approach for maintaining smoking abstinence. Although N-AC modulates nicotine-seeking behavior by drug-associated stimuli in abstinent rats, it is still unclear whether it occurs through activation of mGluR2/3. Male Wistar rats were trained to associate discriminative stimuli (S s) with the availability of intravenous nicotine (0.03 mg/kg/65 µl/2-second/infusion) or oral saccharin (100 µl of 50 mg/l) self-administration versus non-reward. Reinforced response was followed by a cue signaling 20-second time-out (CSs). Once the training criterion was met, rats underwent lever press extinction, without reinforcers, S s and CSs. Re-exposure to nicotine or saccharin S /CS , but not non-reward S /CS , revived responding on the previously reinforced lever. Acute N-AC, 100 but not 60 or 30 mg/kg i.p., reduced cue-induced nicotine-seeking. N-AC 100 mg/kg did not modify cue-induced saccharin-seeking behavior or influenced locomotor activity. Blocking mGluR2/3 with the selective antagonist LY341495, 1 mg/kg i.p., completely prevented the antirelapse activity of N-AC. The finding that N-AC prevents cue-induced nicotine-seeking by stimulating mGluR2/3 might indicate a therapeutic opportunity for acute cue-controlled nicotine-seeking. Future studies could evaluate the persistent effects of chronic N-AC in promoting enduring suppression of nicotine-cue conditioned responding.
RationaleMost habitual smokers find it difficult to quit smoking because they are dependent upon the nicotine present in tobacco smoke. Tobacco dependence is commonly treated pharmacologically using nicotine replacement therapy or drugs, such as varenicline, that target the nicotinic receptor.Relapse rates, however, remain high and there remains a need to develop novel non-nicotinic pharmacotherapies for the dependence that are more effective than existing treatments. ObjectiveThe purpose of this paper is to review the evidence from preclinical and clinical studies that drugs that antagonise the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) in the brain are likely to be efficacious as treatments for tobacco dependence. ResultsImaging studies reveal that chronic exposure to tobacco smoke reduces the density of mGluR5s in human brain. Preclinical results demonstrate that negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) at mGluR5 attenuate both nicotine self-administration and the reinstatement of responding evoked by exposure to conditioned cues paired with nicotine delivery. They also attenuate the effects of nicotine on brain dopamine pathways implicated in addiction. ConclusionsAlthough mGluR5 NAMs attenuate most of the key facets of nicotine dependence they potentiate the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. This may limit their value as smoking cessation aids. The NAMs that have been employed most widely in preclinical studies of nicotine dependence have too many "off target" effects to be used clinically. However newer mGluR5 NAMs have been developed for clinical use in other indications. Future studies will determine if these agents can also be used effectively and safely to treat tobacco dependence.
para-Methyl-4-methylaminorex (4,49-DMAR) is a phenethylamine derivative with psychostimulant activity whose abuse has been associated with several deaths and a wide range of adverse effects. We recently validated a high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method to measure the compound's concentrations in plasma, and we applied it to describe the pharmacokinetic properties of 4,49-DMAR after a single dose in rats. In this study, we investigated the brain disposition and metabolism of cis-4,49-DMAR after intraperitoneal injection as well as its central behavioral effects. Locomotor activity increased after a single injection of 10 mg/kg, peaking at 2 hours and disappearing at 5 hours; in these conditions, brain absorption was very rapid, (t max 5 30-60 minutes) and large (brain-to-plasma ratio 5 24); the half-life was approximately 50 minutes. After 14 daily doses, the compound's effect on locomotor activity was greater (approximately 20% compared with the effect after the first dose), but not for pharmacokinetic reasons. Using high-resolution mass spectrometry, we also identified four metabolites of cis-4,49-DMAR in the plasma and brain of treated rats. Semiquantitative analysis indicated low brain permeability and very low brain concentrations, suggesting that these metabolites do not contribute to central behavioral effects; however, the metabolite originating from oxidation of the paramethyl group (M2) persisted in the plasma longer and at higher concentrations than the parent molecule and could be used to evaluate drug intake in human consumers. Finally, we describe the rewarding effect of cis-4,49-DMAR in the conditioning place preference test, suggesting a high risk of addiction in humans.
4,4'-DMAR is an analogue of the known psychostimulants 4-methylaminorex and aminorex. In the light of reports of deaths associated with its abuse, and the easy access from Internet vendors, the EU Council recently decided on control measures across member states. Here we describe a validated method for measuring plasma levels of cis-4,4'-DMAR, crucial for preclinical studies and analysis in human plasma. Chromatographic separation was done by gradient elution on a Kinetex C18 column with 0.1% formic acid in water and 0.1% formic acid in acetonitrile at 0.2 mL/min. Detection was by positive electrospray ionization (ESI+) in multiple reaction monitoring mode monitoring the quantifier transitions m/z 191.4 → m/z 148.3 for cis-4,4'-DMAR and m/z 259.3 → m/z 194.2 for carbamazepine (internal standard). Protein precipitation with 1% of formic acid in acetonitrile was used in cis-4,4'-DMAR extraction from plasma; recovery was high (>93%) with a negligible matrix effect. This method provides an accurate, precise, and sensitive method for cis-4,4'-DMAR quantification in human and rat plasma, following European Medicine Agency guidelines for bioanalytical method validation. Pharmacokinetic studies were conducted in rats. After an intravenous dose of 1 mg/kg, plasma levels declined rapidly (≥80% in 4 h), followed by a slow elimination phase (t of 5.14 ± 0.65 h). Absorption was rapid after intraperitoneal injection (t = 15 min) with a rapid decline thereafter; C and AUC showed dose-proportionality over the dose range 1-10 mg/kg. This method was successfully applied to investigate pharmacokinetic properties in rats and could be used to quantify cis-4,4'-DMAR levels in human plasma. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Together with the ASN depletion in serum and CSF, a never before demonstrated transient penetration of ASNases into the CSF, more evident for non-pegylated formulations, was detected when the ASNases were administered at high dose.
Nicotine‐associated cues can trigger reinstatement in humans as well as in animal models of drug addiction. To date, no behavioral intervention or pharmacological treatment has been effective in preventing relapse in the long term. A large body of evidence indicates that N‐acetylcysteine (N‐AC) blunts the activation of glutamatergic (GLUergic) neurons in the nucleus accumbens (Nacc) associated with reinstatement. We evaluated the effect of an experimental cue exposure therapy (eCET) alone or in combination with N‐AC to verify whether restoring GLU homeostasis enhances extinction of nicotine‐associated cues. Rats were trained to associate discriminative stimuli with intravenous nicotine or saline self‐administration. Reinforced response was followed by cue signals. After rats met the self‐administration criteria, the lasting anti‐relapse activity of i.p. N‐AC or vehicle was assessed in three different experimental conditions after 14 days of treatment: treatment + eCET; treatment + lever‐presses extinction (LP‐EXT); and treatment + abstinence. N‐AC 100 mg/kg, but not 60 mg/kg, induced anti‐relapse activity that persisted 50 days after treatment only when paired with either LP‐EXT or eCET with the greater activity found in the latter condition. To identify potential mechanisms for behavioral results, separate groups of rats that received either N‐AC or vehicle + eCET were killed at different time points for Nacc Western‐blot analysis. Seven days after treatment, chronic N‐AC restored the expression of proteins crucial for GLU homeostasis, while at 50 days, it increased the expression of type II metabotropic GLU receptors. These results suggest that N‐AC treatment in combination with eCET may offer a novel strategy to prevent relapse in nicotine addiction.
Diets rich in fruits and vegetables are associated with better psychological wellbeing and cognitive functions, although it is unclear which molecules and mechanisms are involved. One potential explanation is the inhibition of monoamine oxidases (MAOs), which have been linked to several neurological disorders. The present study investigated the ability of kiwifruit to inhibit MAO-A and MAO-B, refining an in vitro assay to avoid confounding effects. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (UPLC-QTOF) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) were used to select individual kiwifruit metabolites for further analysis. Moreover, extracts of other common fruits and vegetables were screened to identify promising candidate inhibitors. Multiple extracts and compounds inhibited both enzymes, and the selective inhibition of MAO-B by the major kiwifruit specialized metabolite D-(−)-quinic acid was observed. These results suggest that fruits and vegetables contain metabolites that inhibit the activity of MAO-A and -B, offering a potential natural option for the treatment of neurological disorders, in which MAOs are involved.
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