Featured Research Papers - The Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Skip Navigation

Featured Research Papers

A figure from this month's paper.
A figure from this month's paper.

Featured Paper Archives
Featured paper of the Month!

June's Featured Paper!

R-Modafinil Attenuates Nicotine-Taking and Nicotine-Seeking Behavior in Alcohol-Preferring Rats

Neuropsychopharmacology 2015 Jun;40(7):1762-71

Xiao-Fei Wang, Guo-Hua Bi, Yi He, Hong-Ju Yang, Jun-Tao Gao, Oluyomi M Okunola-Bakare, Rachel D Slack, Eliot L Gardner, Zheng-Xiong Xi, and Amy Hauck Newman

(±)-Modafinil (MOD) is used clinically for the treatment of sleep disorders and has been investigated as a potential medication for the treatment of psychostimulant addiction. However, the therapeutic efficacy of (±)-MOD for addiction is inconclusive. Herein we used animal models of self-administration and in vivo microdialysis to study the pharmacological actions of R-modafinil (R-MOD) and S-modafinil (S-MOD) on nicotine-taking and nicotine-seeking behavior, and mechanisms underlying such actions. We found that R-MOD is more potent and effective than S-MOD in attenuating nicotine self-administration in Long-Evans rats. As Long-Evans rats did not show a robust reinstatement response to nicotine, we used alcohol-preferring rats (P-rats) that display much higher reinstatement responses to nicotine than Long-Evans rats. We found that R-MOD significantly inhibited intravenous nicotine self-administration, nicotine-induced reinstatement, and nicotine-associated cue-induced drug-seeking behavior in P-rats. R-MOD alone neither sustained self-administration in P-rats previously self-administering nicotine nor reinstated extinguished nicotine-seeking behavior. The in vivo brain microdialysis assays demonstrated that R-MOD alone produced a slow-onset moderate increase in extracellular DA. Pretreatment with R-MOD dose-dependently blocked nicotine-induced dopamine (DA) release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in both naive and nicotine self-administrating rats, suggesting a DA-dependent mechanism underlying mitigation of nicotine's effects. In conclusion, the present findings support further investigation of R-MOD for treatment of nicotine dependence in humans.

You can read more about this paper at the website for PubMed.

May's Featured Paper!

Central role for the insular cortex in mediating conditioned responses to anticipatory cues

PNAS January 27, 2015 vol. 112 no. 4 1190-1195

Ikue Kusumoto-Yoshida, Haixin Liu, Billy T. Chen, Alfredo Fontanini, and Antonello Bonci

You can read more about this paper at the website for PNAS.

April's Featured Paper!

An in vitro model of human neocortical development using pluripotent stem cells: cocaine-induced cytoarchitectural alterations

DMM 2014 vol. 7 no. 12 1397-1405

Abigail A. Kindberg, Raphael M. Bendriem, Charles E. Spivak, Jia Chen, Annelie Handreck, Carl R. Lupica, Jinny Liu, William J. Freed, and Chun-Ting Lee

You can read more about this paper at the website for Disease Models & Mechanisms.

Related Information...

IRP Training Opportunities...


2009 Postbacs
Postdoc, Predoc, Postbac and Summer Student training opportunities available!


2009 Summer Students
Research & Training Program for Under-represented Populations

Jordi Bonaventura.
Jordi Bonaventura.

Hot off the Press Archives
Featured paper of the Month!

Allosteric interactions between agonists and antagonists within the adenosine A2A receptor-dopamine D2 receptor heterotetramer

PNAS June 22, 2015, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1507704112

Jordi Bonaventura, Gemma Navarro, Verònica Casadó-Anguera, Karima Azdad, William Rea, Estefanía Moreno, Marc Brugarolas, Josefa Mallol, Enric I. Canela, Carme Lluís, Antoni Cortés, Nora D. Volkow, Serge N. Schiffmann, Sergi Ferré, and Vicent Casadó

Adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR)-dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) heteromers are key modulators of striatal neuronal function. It has been suggested that the psychostimulant effects of caffeine depend on its ability to block an allosteric modulation within the A2AR-D2R heteromer, by which adenosine decreases the affinity and intrinsic efficacy of dopamine at the D2R. We describe novel unsuspected allosteric mechanisms within the heteromer by which not only A2AR agonists, but also A2AR antagonists, decrease the affinity and intrinsic efficacy of D2R agonists and the affinity of D2R antagonists. Strikingly, these allosteric modulations disappear on agonist and antagonist coadministration. This can be explained by a model that considers A2AR-D2R heteromers as heterotetramers, constituted by A2AR and D2R homodimers, as demonstrated by experiments with bioluminescence resonance energy transfer and bimolecular fluorescence and bioluminescence complementation. As predicted by the model, high concentrations of A2AR antagonists behaved as A2AR agonists and decreased D2R function in the brain.

More about this paper

Sigma-1 receptor regulates Tau phosphorylation and axon extension by shaping p35 turnover via myristic acid

PNAS May 11, 2015, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1422001112

Shang-Yi A. Tsai, Michael J. Pokrass, Neal R. Klauer, Hiroshi Nohara, and Tsung-Ping Su

More about this paper

Mesopontine median raphe regulates hippocampal ripple oscillation and memory consolidation

Nat Neurosci. 2015 Apr 13. doi: 10.1038/nn.3998. [Epub ahead of print]

Dong V Wang, Hau-Jie Yau, Carl J Broker, Jen-Hui Tsou, Antonello Bonci, and Satoshi Ikemoto

More about this paper

Health and Human Services Logo National Institute on Drug Abuse Logo


The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the principal biomedical and behavioral research agency of the United States Government. NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

PDF documents require the free Adobe Reader. Microsoft Word documents require the free Microsoft Word viewer. Microsoft PowerPoint documents require the free Microsoft PowerPoint viewer. Flash content requires the free Adobe Flash Player.