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Featured paper of the Month!

Deletion of Type 2 Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Decreases Sensitivity to Cocaine Reward in Rats.

Cell Rep. 2017 Jul 11;20(2):319-332.

Yang HJ, Zhang HY, Bi GH, He Y, Gao JT, Xi ZX.

The etiology and pathophysiology of drug addiction are still not well understood. In this research paper, we show that genetic deletion of mGluR2, a presynaptic glutamate autoreceptor, decreases sensitivity to cocaine reward that causes a compensatory increase in cocaine intake and a decrease in relapse to cocaine-seeking behavior in rats.

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Study Authors Leigh Panlilio
and Zuzana Justinova
Reviews to Read

November 21, 2017 - Preclinical Studies of Cannabinoid Reward, Treatments for Cannabis Use Disorder, and Addiction-Related Effects of Cannabinoid Exposure

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017 Aug 28. doi: 10.1038/npp.2017.193. [Epub ahead of print]

Panlilio, Leigh V; Justinova, Zuzana

Cannabis use has become increasingly accepted socially and legally, for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Without reliable information about the effects of cannabis, people cannot make informed decisions regarding its use. Like alcohol and tobacco, cannabis can have serious adverse effects on health, and some people have difficulty discontinuing their use of the drug...

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Dr. Jeremy P. Waletzky

Dr. Jeremy P. Waletzky

NIDA IRP NEWS!

Dr. Jeremy P. Waletzky Event

The Jacob P. Waletzky Award of the Society for Neuroscience is given to a young scientist (within 15 years of his/her Ph.D. or M.D. degree) whose independent research has led to significant conceptual and empirical contributions to the understanding of drug addiction. Both basic and clinical researchers are eligible for the award. Future plans to continue to make significant contributions to addiction research and treatment is one of the selection criteria. This year's awards winners were Garret Stuber (University of North Carolina) and Karen Ersche from (University of Cambridge).

This year, Dr. Jeremy P. Waletzky was also honored at a special event at the NIDA IRP where he received a lifetime achievement award. Most of the previous winners of the Waletzky Award traveled from around the country to attend and discuss their research.

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Reviews to Read

November 2017 - Misuse of Novel Synthetic Opioids: A Deadly New Trend.

J Addict Med. 2017 Jul/Aug;11(4):256-265.

Prekupec MP, Mansky PA, Baumann MH.

Novel synthetic opioids (NSOs) include various analogs of fentanyl and newly emerging non-fentanyl compounds. Together with illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF), these drugs have caused a recent spike in overdose deaths, whereas deaths from prescription opioids have stabilized. NSOs are used as stand-alone products, as adulterants in heroin, or as constituents of counterfeit prescription medications. During 2015 alone, there were 9580 deaths from synthetic opioids other than methadone. Most of these fatalities were associated with IMF rather than diverted pharmaceutical fentanyl...

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Featured paper of the Month!

A relationship between the aldosterone-mineralocorticoid receptor pathway and alcohol drinking: preliminary translational findings across rats, monkeys and humans.

Mol Psychiatry. 2017 May 2.

Aoun EG, Jimenez VA, Vendruscolo LF, Walter NAR, Barbier E, Ferrulli A, Haass-Koffler CL, Darakjian P, Lee MR, Addolorato G, Heilig M, Hitzemann R, Koob GF, Grant KA, Leggio L.

This paper describes three separate studies, conducted with non-human primates, rats, and humans, that investigated the potential contribution of the hormone aldosterone and its mineralocorticoid receptor to alcohol use disorder. Taken together, these findings suggest a relationship between excessive alcohol use, alcohol use disorder, and specific changes in the aldosterone/ mineralocorticoid receptor pathway marked by increased circulating aldosterone and decreased mineralocorticoid receptor gene expression in the amygdala.

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An illustration by the study author.

hot off the press!

The Anterior Insular Cortex Dr. Jeremy P. Waletzky Central Amygdala Glutamatergic Pathway Is Critical to Relapse after Contingency Management.

Neuron. 2017 Oct 11;96(2):414-427.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.09.024.

Venniro M, Caprioli D, Zhang M, Whitaker LR, Zhang S, Warren BL, Cifani C, Marchant NJ, Yizhar O, Bossert JM, Chiamulera C, Morales M, Shaham Y.

Despite decades of research on neurobiological mechanisms of psychostimulant addiction, the only effective treatment for many addicts is contingency management, a behavioral treatment that uses alternative non-drug reward to maintain abstinence. However, when contingency management is discontinued, most addicts relapse to drug use. The brain mechanisms underlying relapse after cessation of contingency management are largely unknown, and, until recently, an animal model of this human condition did not exist...

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Study authors Sam Golden
and Conor Heins
Featured paper of the Month!

Compulsive Addiction-like Aggressive Behavior in Mice.

Biol Psychiatry. 2017 Aug 15;82(4):239-248. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.03.004. Epub 2017 Mar 17.

Golden SA, Heins C, Venniro M, Caprioli D, Zhang M, Epstein DH, Shaham Y.

Some people are highly motivated to seek aggressive encounters, and among those who have been incarcerated for such behavior, recidivism rates are high. These observations echo two core features of drug addiction: high motivation to seek addictive substances, despite adverse consequences, and high relapse rates. Here we used established rodent models of drug addiction to determine whether they would be sensitive to "addiction-like" features of aggression in CD-1 mice...

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Reviews to Read

Roles of sigma-1 receptors on mitochondrial functions relevant to neurodegenerative diseases.

J Biomed Sci. 2017 Sep 16;24(1):74. doi: 10.1186/s12929-017-0380-6. Review.

Weng TY, Tsai SA, Su TP.

The sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) is a chaperone that resides mainly at the mitochondrion-associated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane (called the MAMs) and acts as a dynamic pluripotent modulator in living systems. At the MAM, the Sig-1R is known to play a role in regulating the Ca2+ signaling between ER and mitochondria and in maintaining the structural integrity of the MAM....

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A figure from this study.
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Featured paper of the Month!

Salience and default mode network dysregulation in chronic cocaine users predict treatment outcome.

Brain. 2017 Feb 20. doi: 10.1093/brain/awx036. [Epub ahead of print]

Geng X, Hu Y, Gu H, Salmeron BJ, Adinoff B, Stein EA, Yang Y.

The goal of the study was to identify imaging biomarkers that predict the treatment outcome of cocaine addiction. Impairments of cortical thickness and functional connectivity were identified in a cohort of non-treatment-seeking cocaine users compared with matched healthy controls. These brain structural and functional measures were used, together with clinical assessments and demographic information, to predict treatment outcome of a separate cohort of treatment-seeking cocaine users who underwent a residential psychosocial treatment . Functional connectivity between the temporal pole (TP) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), together with years of education, predicted the treatment outcome at an accuracy up to 88% at 150 days after the discharge from the treatment. The TP-mPFC circuit identified in this study may serve as a new therapeutic target for cocaine addiction using brain stimulation techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

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hot off the press!

Local Cues Establish and Maintain Region-Specific Phenotypes of Basal Ganglia Microglia.

Neuron. 2017 Jul 19;95(2):341-356.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.06.020. Epub 2017 Jul 6.

De Biase LM, Schuebel KE, Fusfeld ZH, Jair K, Hawes IA, Cimbro R, Zhang HY, Liu QR, Shen H, Xi ZX, Goldman D, Bonci A.

Microglia play critical roles in tissue homeostasis and can also modulate neuronal function and synaptic connectivity. In contrast to astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, which arise from multiple progenitor pools, microglia arise from yolk sac progenitors and are widely considered to be equivalent throughout the CNS. However, little is known about basic properties of deep brain microglia, such as those within the basal ganglia (BG)....

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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.

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