ContactBiomedical Research Center
251 Bayview Boulevard
Suite 200, Room 08A711
Baltimore, MD 21224
Ph.D. - 1992, Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland
M.A. - 1988, Psychology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
B.S. - 1986, Biology & Psychology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
We use rat models to study the cellular and neuroanatomical mechanisms that underlie relapse to drug and aggression seeking (Yavin Shaham group). We also study neurophysiological mechanisms of addictive drugs and motivated behavior (Eugene Kiyatkin group).
Current projects of Shaham group:
- Incubation of drug craving after forced or voluntary abstinence
- Context-induced relapse to drug seeking after punishment or extinction
- Aggression addiction and relapse
Current projects of Eugene Kiyatkin group (In-vivo electrophysiology unit):
- Physiological analysis of motivated behavior using single-unit recording, iontophoresis, EEG/EMG, brain thermorecording, and glutamate electrochemistry
- Neurophysiological and neurochemical mechanisms of action of drugs of abuse (cocaine, nicotine)
- Alterations in blood-brain barrier in normal brain functions and during drug intoxication
Heilig, Markus; Epstein, David H; Nader, Michael A; Shaham, Yavin
In: Nat Rev Neurosci, 17 (9), pp. 592–599, 2016, ISSN: 1471-0048 (Electronic); 1471-003X (Linking).
Research on the neural substrates of drug reward, withdrawal and relapse has yet to be translated into significant advances in the treatment of addiction. One potential reason is that this research has not captured a common feature of human addiction: progressive social exclusion and marginalization. We propose that research aimed at understanding the neural mechanisms that link these processes to drug seeking and drug taking would help to make addiction neuroscience research more clinically relevant.
Caprioli, Daniele; Venniro, Marco; Zhang, Michelle; Bossert, Jennifer M; Warren, Brandon L; Hope, Bruce T; Shaham, Yavin
In: J Neurosci, 37 (4), pp. 1014–1027, 2017, ISSN: 1529-2401 (Electronic); 0270-6474 (Linking).
We recently developed a rat model of incubation of methamphetamine craving after choice-based voluntary abstinence. Here, we studied the role of dorsolateral striatum (DLS) and dorsomedial striatum (DMS) in this incubation. We trained rats to self-administer palatable food pellets (6 d, 6 h/d) and methamphetamine (12 d, 6 h/d). We then assessed relapse to methamphetamine seeking under extinction conditions after 1 and 21 abstinence days. Between tests, the rats underwent voluntary abstinence (using a discrete choice procedure between methamphetamine and food; 20 trials/d) for 19 d. We used in situ hybridization to measure the colabeling of the activity marker Fos with Drd1 and Drd2 in DMS and DLS after the tests. Based on the in situ hybridization colabeling results, we tested the causal role of DMS D1 and D2 family receptors, and DMS neuronal ensembles in "incubated" methamphetamine seeking, using selective dopamine receptor antagonists (SCH39166 or raclopride) and the Daun02 chemogenetic inactivation procedure, respectively. Methamphetamine seeking was higher after 21 d of voluntary abstinence than after 1 d (incubation of methamphetamine craving). The incubated response was associated with increased Fos expression in DMS but not in DLS; Fos was colabeled with both Drd1 and Drd2 DMS injections of SCH39166 or raclopride selectively decreased methamphetamine seeking after 21 abstinence days. In Fos-lacZ transgenic rats, selective inactivation of relapse test-activated Fos neurons in DMS on abstinence day 18 decreased incubated methamphetamine seeking on day 21. Results demonstrate a role of DMS dopamine D1 and D2 receptors in the incubation of methamphetamine craving after voluntary abstinence and that DMS neuronal ensembles mediate this incubation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: In human addicts, abstinence is often self-imposed and relapse can be triggered by exposure to drug-associated cues that induce drug craving. We recently developed a rat model of incubation of methamphetamine craving after choice-based voluntary abstinence. Here, we used classical pharmacology, in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and the Daun02 inactivation procedure to demonstrate a critical role of dorsomedial striatum neuronal ensembles in this new form of incubation of drug craving.
Golden, Sam A; Heins, Conor; Venniro, Marco; Caprioli, Daniele; Zhang, Michelle; Epstein, David H; Shaham, Yavin
Compulsive Addiction-like Aggressive Behavior in Mice. Journal Article
In: Biol Psychiatry, 82 (4), pp. 239–248, 2017, ISSN: 1873-2402 (Electronic); 0006-3223 (Linking).
BACKGROUND: 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. METHODS: In experiments 1 and 2, we trained older CD-1 mice to lever press for opportunities to attack younger C57BL6/J mice. We then tested them for relapse to aggression seeking after forced abstinence or punishment-induced suppression of aggression self-administration. In experiment 3, we trained a large cohort of CD-1 mice and tested them for choice-based voluntary suppression of aggression seeking, relapse to aggression seeking, progressive ratio responding, and punishment-induced suppression of aggression self-administration. We then used cluster analysis to identify patterns of individual differences in compulsive "addiction-like" aggressive behavior. RESULTS: In experiments 1 and 2, we observed strong motivation to acquire operant self-administration of opportunities to aggress and relapse vulnerability during abstinence. In experiment 3, cluster analysis of the aggression-related measures identified a subset of "addicted" mice ( approximately 19%) that exhibited intense operant-reinforced attack behavior, decreased likelihood to select an alternative reinforcer over aggression, heightened relapse vulnerability and progressive ratio responding, and resilience to punishment-induced suppression of aggressive behavior. CONCLUSIONS: Using procedures established to model drug addiction, we showed that a subpopulation of CD-1 mice demonstrate "addiction-like" aggressive behavior, suggesting an evolutionary origin for compulsive aggression.
Venniro, Marco; Caprioli, Daniele; Zhang, Michelle; Whitaker, Leslie R; Zhang, Shiliang; Warren, Brandon L; Cifani, Carlo; Marchant, Nathan J; Yizhar, Ofer; Bossert, Jennifer M; Chiamulera, Cristiano; Morales, Marisela; Shaham, Yavin
In: Neuron, 96 (2), pp. 414–427, 2017, ISSN: 1097-4199 (Electronic); 0896-6273 (Linking).
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. Here we used a novel rat model, in which the availability of a mutually exclusive palatable food maintains prolonged voluntary abstinence from intravenous methamphetamine self-administration, to demonstrate that the activation of monosynaptic glutamatergic projections from anterior insular cortex to central amygdala is critical to relapse after the cessation of contingency management. We identified the anterior insular cortex-to-central amygdala projection as a new addiction- and motivation-related projection and a potential target for relapse prevention.
Pelloux, Yann; Minier-Toribio, Angelica; Hoots, Jennifer K; Bossert, Jennifer M; Shaham, Yavin
In: J Neurosci, 38 (1), pp. 51–59, 2018, ISSN: 1529-2401 (Electronic); 0270-6474 (Linking).
Studies using the renewal procedure showed that basolateral amygdala (BLA) inactivation inhibits context-induced relapse to cocaine-seeking after extinction. Here, we determined whether BLA inactivation would also inhibit context-induced relapse after drug-reinforced responding is suppressed by punishment, an animal model of human relapse after self-imposed abstinence due to adverse consequences of drug use. We also determined the effect of central amygdala (CeA) inactivation on context-induced relapse.We trained rats to self-administer cocaine for 12 d (6 h/d) in Context A and then exposed them to either extinction or punishment training for 8 d in Context B. During punishment, 50% of cocaine-reinforced lever-presses produced an aversive footshock of increasing intensity (0.1-0.5 or 0.7 mA). We then tested the rats for relapse to cocaine seeking in the absence of cocaine or shock in Contexts A and B after BLA or CeA injections of vehicle or GABA agonists (muscimol-baclofen). We then retrained the rats for cocaine self-administration in Context A, repunished or re-extinguished lever pressing in Context B, and retested for relapse after BLA or CeA inactivation.BLA or CeA inactivation decreased context-induced relapse in Context A after extinction in Context B. BLA, but not CeA, inactivation increased context-induced relapse in Context A after punishment in Context B. BLA or CeA inactivation provoked relapse in Context B after punishment but not extinction. Results demonstrate that amygdala's role in relapse depends on the method used to achieve abstinence and highlights the importance of studying relapse under abstinence conditions that more closely mimic the human condition.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Relapse to drug use during abstinence is often provoked by re-exposure to the drug self-administration environment or context. Studies using the established extinction-reinstatement rodent model of drug relapse have shown that inactivation of the basolateral amygdala inhibits context-induced drug relapse after extinction of the drug-reinforced responding. Here, we determined whether basolateral amygdala inactivation would also inhibit relapse after drug-reinforced responding is suppressed by punishment, a model of human relapse after self-imposed abstinence. Unexpectedly, we found that basolateral amygdala inactivation had opposite effects on relapse provoked by re-exposure to the drug self-administration environment after extinction versus punishment. Our results demonstrate that depending on the historical conditions that lead to abstinence, amygdala activity can either promote or inhibit relapse.
Li, Xuan; Witonsky, Kailyn R; Lofaro, Olivia M; Surjono, Felicia; Zhang, Jianjun; Bossert, Jennifer M; Shaham, Yavin
In: J Neurosci, 38 (9), pp. 2270–2282, 2018, ISSN: 1529-2401 (Electronic); 0270-6474 (Linking).
Relapse to methamphetamine (Meth) seeking progressively increases after withdrawal from drug self-administration (incubation of Meth craving). We previously demonstrated a role of dorsomedial striatum (DMS) dopamine D1 receptors (D1Rs) in this incubation. Here, we studied the role of afferent glutamatergic projections into the DMS and local D1R-glutamate interaction in this incubation in male rats. We first measured projection-specific activation on day 30 relapse test by using cholera toxin b (retrograde tracer) + Fos (activity marker) double-labeling in projection areas. Next, we determined the effect of pharmacological reversible inactivation of lateral or medial anterior intralaminar nuclei of thalamus (AIT-L or AIT-M) on incubated Meth seeking on withdrawal day 30. We then used an anatomical asymmetrical disconnection procedure to determine whether an interaction between AIT-L-->DMS glutamatergic projections and postsynaptic DMS D1Rs contributes to incubated Meth seeking. We also determined the effect of unilateral inactivation of AIT-L and D1R blockade of DMS on incubated Meth seeking, and the effect of contralateral disconnection of AIT-L-->DMS projections on nonincubated Meth seeking on withdrawal day 1. Incubated Meth seeking was associated with selective activation of AIT-->DMS projections; other glutamatergic projections to DMS were not activated. AIT-L (but not AIT-M) inactivation or anatomical disconnection of AIT-L-->DMS projections decreased incubated Meth seeking. Unilateral inactivation of AIT-L or D1R blockade of the DMS had no effect on incubated Meth craving, and contralateral disconnection of AIT-L-->DMS projections had no effect on nonincubated Meth seeking. Our results identify a novel role of AIT-L and AIT-L-->DMS glutamatergic projections in incubation of drug craving and drug seeking.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Methamphetamine seeking progressively increases after withdrawal from drug self-administration, a phenomenon termed incubation of methamphetamine craving. We previously found that D1R-mediated dopamine transmission in the dorsomedial striatum plays a critical role in this incubation phenomenon. Here, we used neuroanatomical and neuropharmacological methods in rats to demonstrate that an interaction between the glutamatergic projection from the lateral anterior intralaminar nuclei of the thalamus to the dorsomedial striatum and local dopamine D1 receptors plays a critical role in relapse to methamphetamine seeking after prolonged withdrawal. Our study identified a novel motivation-related thalamostriatal projection critical to relapse to drug seeking.
Solis, Ernesto Jr; Cameron-Burr, Keaton T; Shaham, Yavin; Kiyatkin, Eugene A
In: Neuropsychopharmacology, 43 (4), pp. 810–819, 2018, ISSN: 1740-634X (Electronic); 0893-133X (Linking).
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid used extensively in humans for general anesthesia and analgesia. Fentanyl has emerged as a recreational drug, often in combination with heroin, and can result in lethality during overdose. Fentanyl is well characterized as an anesthetic, but the basic physiological effects of fentanyl in the brain when taken as a drug of abuse are largely unknown. We used high-speed amperometry in freely moving rats to examine the effects of intravenous fentanyl at doses within the range of possible human intake (3-40 mug/kg) on oxygen and glucose levels in nucleus accumbens (NAc). Fentanyl induced a rapid, dose-dependent decrease in NAc oxygen followed by a more delayed and prolonged increase in NAc glucose. Fentanyl induced similar oxygen decreases in the basolateral amygdala, indicating that brain hypoxia could be a generalized phenomenon. We used oxygen recordings in the subcutaneous space to confirm that fentanyl-induced brain hypoxia results from decreases in blood oxygen levels caused by drug-induced respiratory depression. Temperature recordings in the NAc, muscle, and skin showed that fentanyl induces biphasic changes in brain temperature, with an initial decrease that results primarily from peripheral vasodilation, and a subsequent increase driven by metabolic brain activation. The initial vasodilation appears caused by respiratory depression-induced hypoxia and a subsequent rise in CO2 that drives fentanyl-induced increases in NAc glucose. Together, these data suggest that fentanyl-induced respiratory depression triggers brain hypoxia and subsequent hyperglycemia, both of which precede slower changes in brain temperature and metabolic brain activity.
Li, Xuan; Carreria, Maria B; Witonsky, Kailyn R; Zeric, Tamara; Lofaro, Olivia M; Bossert, Jennifer M; Zhang, Jianjun; Surjono, Felicia; Richie, Christopher T; Harvey, Brandon K; Son, Hyeon; Cowan, Christopher W; Nestler, Eric J; Shaham, Yavin
In: Biol Psychiatry, 84 (3), pp. 213–222, 2018, ISSN: 1873-2402 (Electronic); 0006-3223 (Linking).
BACKGROUND: Methamphetamine (meth) seeking progressively increases after withdrawal (incubation of meth craving). We previously demonstrated an association between histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) gene expression in the rat dorsal striatum and incubation of meth craving. Here we used viral constructs to study the causal role of dorsal striatum HDAC5 in this incubation. METHODS: In experiment 1 (overexpression), we injected an adeno-associated virus bilaterally into dorsal striatum to express either green fluorescent protein (control) or a mutant form of HDAC5, which strongly localized to the nucleus. After training rats to self-administer meth (10 days, 9 hours/day), we tested the rats for relapse to meth seeking on withdrawal days 2 and 30. In experiment 2 (knockdown), we injected an adeno-associated virus bilaterally into the dorsal striatum to express a short hairpin RNA either against luciferase (control) or against HDAC5. After training rats to self-administer meth, we tested the rats for relapse on withdrawal days 2 and 30. We also measured gene expression of other HDACs and potential HDAC5 downstream targets. RESULTS: We found that HDAC5 overexpression in dorsal striatum increased meth seeking on withdrawal day 30 but not day 2. In contrast, HDAC5 knockdown in the dorsal striatum decreased meth seeking on withdrawal day 30 but not on day 2; this manipulation also altered other HDACs (Hdac1 and Hdac4) and potential HDAC5 targets (Gnb4 and Suv39h1). CONCLUSIONS: Results demonstrate a novel role of dorsal striatum HDAC5 in incubation of meth craving. These findings also set up future work to identify HDAC5 targets that mediate this incubation.
Reiner, David J; Fredriksson, Ida; Lofaro, Olivia M; Bossert, Jennifer M; Shaham, Yavin
In: Neuropsychopharmacology, 2018, ISSN: 1740-634X (Electronic); 0893-133X (Linking).
Lifetime relapse rates remain a major obstacle in addressing the current opioid crisis. Relapse to opioid use can be modeled in rodent studies where drug self-administration is followed by a period of abstinence and a subsequent test for drug seeking. Abstinence can be achieved through extinction training, forced abstinence, or voluntary abstinence. Voluntary abstinence can be accomplished by introducing adverse consequences of continued drug self-administration (e.g., punishment or electric barrier) or by introducing an alternative nondrug reward in a discrete choice procedure (drug versus palatable food or social interaction). In this review, we first discuss pharmacological and circuit mechanisms of opioid seeking, as assessed in the classical extinction-reinstatement model, where reinstatement is induced by reexposure to the self-administered drug (drug priming), discrete cues, discriminative cues, drug-associated contexts, different forms of stress, or withdrawal states. Next, we discuss pharmacological and circuit mechanisms of relapse after forced or voluntary abstinence, including the phenomenon of "incubation of heroin craving" (the time-dependent increases in heroin seeking during abstinence). We conclude by discussing the clinical implications of these preclinical relapse models.
Venniro, Marco; Zhang, Michelle; Caprioli, Daniele; Hoots, Jennifer K; Golden, Sam A; Heins, Conor; Morales, Marisela; Epstein, David H; Shaham, Yavin
In: Nat Neurosci, 21 (11), pp. 1520–1529, 2018, ISSN: 1546-1726 (Electronic); 1097-6256 (Linking).
Addiction treatment has not been appreciably improved by neuroscientific research. One problem is that mechanistic studies using rodent models do not incorporate volitional social factors, which play a critical role in human addiction. Here, using rats, we introduce an operant model of choice between drugs and social interaction. Independent of sex, drug class, drug dose, training conditions, abstinence duration, social housing, or addiction score in Diagnostic & Statistical Manual IV-based and intermittent access models, operant social reward prevented drug self-administration. This protection was lessened by delay or punishment of the social reward but neither measure was correlated with the addiction score. Social-choice-induced abstinence also prevented incubation of methamphetamine craving. This protective effect was associated with activation of central amygdala PKCdelta-expressing inhibitory neurons and inhibition of anterior insular cortex activity. These findings highlight the need for incorporating social factors into neuroscience-based addiction research and support the wider implantation of socially based addiction treatments.