Physical activity, and specifically exercise, has been suggested as a potential treatment for drug addiction. In this review, we discuss clinical and preclinical evidence for the efficacy of exercise at different phases of the addiction process. Potential neurobiological mechanisms are also discussed focusing on interactions with dopaminergic and glutamatergic signaling and chromatin remodeling in the reward pathway. While exercise generally produces an efficacious response, certain exercise conditions may be either ineffective or lead to detrimental effects depending on the level/type/timing of exercise exposure, the stage of addiction, the drug involved, and the subject population. During drug use initiation and withdrawal, its efficacy may be related to its ability to facilitate dopaminergic transmission, and once addiction develops, its efficacy may be related to its ability to normalize glutamatergic and dopaminergic signaling and reverse drug-induced changes in chromatin via epigenetic interactions with BDNF in the reward pathway. We conclude with future directions, including the development of exercise-based interventions alone or as an adjunct to other strategies for treating drug addiction.
Early exposure to general anesthesia (GA) causes developmental neuroapoptosis in the mammalian brain and long-term cognitive impairment. Recent evidence suggests that GA also causes functional and morphological impairment of the immature neuronal mitochondria. Injured mitochondria could be a significant source of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which, if not scavenged in timely fashion, may cause excessive lipid peroxidation and damage of cellular membranes. We examined whether early exposure to GA results in ROS upregulation and whether mitochondrial protection and ROS scavenging prevent GA-induced pathomorphological and behavioral impairments. We exposed 7-day-old rats to GA with or without either EUK-134, a synthetic ROS scavenger, or R(+) pramipexole (PPX), a synthetic aminobenzothiazol derivative that restores mitochondrial integrity. We found that GA causes extensive ROS upregulation and lipid peroxidation, as well as mitochondrial injury and neuronal loss in the subiculum. As compared to rats given only GA, those also given PPX or EUK-134 had significantly downregulated lipid peroxidation, preserved mitochondrial integrity, and significantly less neuronal loss. The subiculum is highly intertwined with the hippocampal CA1 region, anterior thalamic nuclei, and both entorhinal and cingulate cortices; hence, it is important in cognitive development. We found that PPX or EUK-134 co-treatment completely prevented GA-induced cognitive impairment. Because mitochondria are vulnerable to GA-induced developmental neurotoxicity, they could be an important therapeutic target for adjuvant therapy aimed at improving the safety of commonly used GAs.
Background Clinically used general anesthetics, alone or in combination, are damaging to the developing mammalian brain. In addition to causing widespread apoptotic neurodegeneration in vulnerable brain regions, exposure to general anesthesia at the peak of synaptogenesis causes learning and memory deficiencies later in life. Our in-vivo rodent studies have suggested that activation of the intrinsic (mitochondria-dependent) apoptotic pathway is the earliest warning sign of neuronal damage, suggesting that a disturbance in mitochondrial integrity and function could be the earliest triggering events. Methods Since proper and timely mitochondrial morphogenesis is critical for brain development, we examined the long-term effects of a commonly used anesthesia combination (isoflurane, nitrous oxide, and midazolam) on the regional distribution, ultrastructural properties, and electron transport chain function of mitochondria, as well as synaptic neurotransmission, in the subiculum of rat pups. Results This anesthesia, administered at the peak of synaptogenesis, causes protracted injury to mitochondria, including significant enlargement of mitochondria (over 30%, p < 0.05), impairment of their structural integrity, about 28% increase in their complex IV activity (p < 0.05) and two-fold decrease in their regional distribution in presynaptic neuronal profiles (p < 0.05) where their presence is crucially important for the normal development and functioning of synapses. Consequently, we showed that impaired mitochondrial morphogenesis is accompanied by heightened autophagic activity, decrease in mitochondrial density (about 27%, p < 0.05) and long-lasting disturbances in inhibitory synaptic neurotransmission. The interrelation of these phenomena remains to be established. Conclusion Developing mitochondria are exquisitely vulnerable to general anesthesia and may be important early target of anesthesia-induced developmental neurodegeneration.
Background General anesthetics induce apoptotic neurodegeneration in the developing mammalian brain. General anesthesia (GA) also causes significant disturbances in mitochondrial morphogenesis during intense synaptogenesis. Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that undergo remodeling via fusion and fission. The fine balance between these two opposing processes determines mitochondrial morphometric properties, allowing for their regeneration and enabling normal functioning. As mitochondria are exquisitely sensitive to anesthesia-induced damage, we examined how GA affects mitochondrial fusion/fission. Methods Seven-day-old rat pups received anesthesia containing a sedative dose of midazolam followed by a combined nitrous oxide and isoflurane anesthesia for 6 h. Results GA causes 30% upregulation of reactive oxygen species (n = 3–5 pups/group), accompanied by a 2-fold downregulation of an important scavenging enzyme, superoxide dismutase (n = 6 pups/group). Reactive oxygen species upregulation is associated with impaired mitochondrial fission/fusion balance, leading to excessive mitochondrial fission. The imbalance between fission and fusion is due to acute sequestration of the main fission protein, dynamin-related protein 1, from the cytoplasm to mitochondria, and its oligomerization on the outer mitochondrial membrane. These are necessary steps in the formation of the ring-like structures that are required for mitochondrial fission. The fission is further promoted by GA-induced 40% downregulation of cytosolic mitofusin-2, a protein necessary for maintaining the opposing process, mitochondrial fusion (n = 6 pups/group). Conclusions Early exposure to GA causes acute reactive oxygen species upregulation and disturbs the fine balance between mitochondrial fission and fusion, leading to excessive fission and disturbed mitochondrial morphogenesis. These effects may play a causal role in GA-induced developmental neuroapoptosis.
Motivation Protein function prediction is a difficult bioinformatics problem. Many recent methods use deep neural networks to learn complex sequence representations and predict function from these. Deep supervised models require a lot of labeled training data which are not available for this task. However, a very large amount of protein sequences without functional labels is available. Results We applied an existing deep sequence model that had been pre-trained in an unsupervised setting on the supervised task of protein molecular function prediction. We found that this complex feature representation is effective for this task, outperforming hand-crafted features such as one-hot encoding of amino acids, k-mer counts, secondary structure and backbone angles. Also, it partly negates the need for complex prediction models, as a two-layer perceptron was enough to achieve competitive performance in the third Critical Assessment of Functional Annotation benchmark. We also show that combining this sequence representation with protein 3D structure information does not lead to performance improvement, hinting that three-dimensional structure is also potentially learned during the unsupervised pre-training. Availability Implementations of all used models can be found at https://github.com/stamakro/GCN-for-Structure-and-Function. Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Rationale Exercise appears to be a promising non-pharmacological treatment for nicotine addiction that may be useful for the vulnerable adolescent population. Objectives To determine if wheel running, an animal model of aerobic exercise, during an abstinence period would decrease subsequent nicotine-seeking in rats that had extended access to nicotine self-administration during adolescence. Methods Male adolescent rats (n = 55) were trained to self-administer saline or nicotine infusions (5 or 10 μg/kg) under a fixed ratio 1 schedule with a maximum of 20 infusions/day beginning on postnatal day 30. After 5 days, access was extended to 23-hr/day with unlimited infusions for a total of 10 days. After the last self-administration session, rats were moved to polycarbonate cages for a 10-day abstinence period where they either had access to a locked or unlocked running wheel for 2-hr/day. Nicotine-seeking was examined following the 10th day of abstinence under a within-session extinction/cue-induced reinstatement paradigm. Results Intake was higher at the 10 μg/kg dose as compared to the 5 μg/kg dose; however, intake did not differ within doses prior to wheel assignment. Compared to saline controls, rats that self-administered nicotine at either dose showed a significant increase in drug-seeking during extinction, and consistent with our hypothesis, exercise during abstinence attenuated this effect. Nicotine led to modest, but significant levels of cue-induced reinstatement; however, in this adolescent-onset model, levels were variable and not affected by exercise. Conclusions Exercise may effectively reduce relapse vulnerability for adolescent-onset nicotine addiction.
Rationale Wheel running attenuates nicotine-seeking in male adolescent rats; however it is not known if this effect extends to females. Objective To determine if wheel running during abstinence would differentially attenuate subsequent nicotine-seeking in male and female rats that had extended access to nicotine self-administration during adolescence. Methods Male (N = 49) and female (N = 43) adolescent rats self-administered saline or nicotine (5μg/kg) under an extended access (23-hour) paradigm. Following the last self-administration session, rats were moved to polycarbonate cages for an abstinence period where they either had access to a locked or unlocked running wheel for 2-hours/day. Subsequently, nicotine-seeking was examined under a within-session extinction/cue-induced reinstatement paradigm. Due to low levels of nicotine-seeking in females in both wheel groups, additional groups were included that were housed without access to a running wheel during abstinence. Results Females self-administered more nicotine as compared to males; however, within males and females, intake did not differ between groups prior to wheel assignment. Compared to saline controls, males and females that self-administered nicotine showed a significant increase in drug-seeking during extinction. Wheel running during abstinence attenuated nicotine-seeking during extinction in males. In females, access to either locked or unlocked wheels attenuated nicotine-seeking during extinction. While responding was reinstated by cues in both males and females, levels were modest and not significantly affected by exercise in this adolescent-onset model. Conclusions While wheel running reduced subsequent nicotine-seeking in males, access to a wheel, either locked or unlocked, was sufficient to suppress nicotine-seeking in females.
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