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RATIONALE - Sex differences in the dopaminergic response to psychostimulants could have implications for drug abuse risk and other psychopathology involving the dopamine system, but human data are limited and mixed.
OBJECTIVES - Here, we sought to investigate sex differences in dopamine release after oral D-amphetamine administration.
METHODS - We used [F]fallypride positron emission tomography (PET) to measure the change in dopamine D2/3 receptor availability (%ΔBP, an index of dopamine release) between placebo and D-amphetamine sessions in two independent datasets containing a total of 39 females (on either hormonal birth control n = 18, postmenopausal n = 10, or studied in the first 10 days of their menstrual cycle n = 11) and 37 males.
RESULTS - Using both a priori anatomical regions of interest based on previous findings and voxelwise analyses, we failed to consistently detect broad sex differences in D-amphetamine-induced dopamine release. Nevertheless, there was limited evidence for greater right ventral striatal dopamine release in young adult males relative to similarly aged females, but this was not consistently observed across samples. Plasma estradiol did not correlate with dopamine release and this measure did not differ in females on and off hormonal birth control.
CONCLUSIONS - While our finding in young adults from one dataset of greater %ΔBP in males is partially consistent with a previously published study on sex differences in D-amphetamine-induced dopamine release, our data do not support the presence of consistent widespread sex differences in this measure of dopamine release.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic, disabling condition with inadequate treatment options that leave most patients with substantial residual symptoms. Structural, neurochemical, and behavioral findings point to a significant role for basal ganglia circuits and for the glutamate system in OCD. Genetic linkage and association studies in OCD point to , which encodes the neuronal glutamate/aspartate/cysteine transporter excitatory amino acid transporter 3 (EAAT3)/excitatory amino acid transporter 1 (EAAC1). However, no previous studies have investigated EAAT3 in basal ganglia circuits or in relation to OCD-related behavior. Here, we report a model of loss based on an excisable STOP cassette that yields successful ablation of EAAT3 expression and function. Using amphetamine as a probe, we found that EAAT3 loss prevents expected increases in () locomotor activity, () stereotypy, and () immediate early gene induction in the dorsal striatum following amphetamine administration. Further, -STOP mice showed diminished grooming in an SKF-38393 challenge experiment, a pharmacologic model of OCD-like grooming behavior. This reduced grooming is accompanied by reduced dopamine D receptor binding in the dorsal striatum of -STOP mice. -STOP mice also exhibit reduced extracellular dopamine concentrations in the dorsal striatum both at baseline and following amphetamine challenge. Viral-mediated restoration of /EAAT3 expression in the midbrain but not in the striatum results in partial rescue of amphetamine-induced locomotion and stereotypy in -STOP mice, consistent with an impact of EAAT3 loss on presynaptic dopaminergic function. Collectively, these findings indicate that the most consistently associated OCD candidate gene impacts basal ganglia-dependent repetitive behaviors.
Arrestins play a prominent role in shutting down signaling via G protein-coupled receptors. In recent years, a signaling role for arrestins independent of their function in receptor desensitization has been discovered. Two ubiquitously expressed arrestin isoforms, arrestin-2 and arrestin-3, perform similarly in the desensitization process and share many signaling functions, enabling them to substitute for one another. However, signaling roles specific to each isoform have also been described. Mice lacking arrestin-3 (ARR3KO) were reported to show blunted acute responsiveness to the locomotor stimulatory effect of amphetamine (AMPH). It has been suggested that mice with deletion of arrestin-2 display a similar phenotype. Here we demonstrate that the AMPH-induced locomotion of male ARR3KO mice is reduced over the 7-day treatment period and during AMPH challenge after a 7-day withdrawal. The data are consistent with impaired locomotor sensitization to AMPH and suggest a role for arrestin-3-mediated signaling in the sensitization process. In contrast, male ARR2KO mice showed enhanced early responsiveness to AMPH and the lack of further sensitization, suggesting a role for impaired receptor desensitization. The comparison of mice possessing one allele of arrestin-3 and no arrestin-2 with ARR2KO littermates revealed reduced activity of the former line, consistent with a contribution of arrestin-3-mediated signaling to AMPH responses. Surprisingly, ARR3KO mice with one arrestin-2 allele showed significantly reduced locomotor responses to AMPH combined with lower novelty-induced locomotion, as compared to the ARR3KO line. These data suggest that one allele of arrestin-2 is unable to support normal locomotor behavior due to signaling and/or developmental defects.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Actions of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain are mediated by dopamine receptors that belong to the superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Mammals have five dopamine receptor subtypes, D1 through D5. D1 and D5 couple to Gs/olf and activate adenylyl cyclase, whereas D2, D3, and D4 couple to Gi/o and inhibit it. Most GPCRs upon activation by an agonist are phosphorylated by GPCR kinases (GRKs). The GRK phosphorylation makes receptors high-affinity binding partners for arrestin proteins. Arrestin binding to active phosphorylated receptors stops further G protein activation and promotes receptor internalization, recycling or degradation, thereby regulating their signaling and trafficking. Four non- visual GRKs are expressed in striatal neurons. Here we describe known effects of individual GRKs on dopamine receptors in cell culture and in the two in vivo models of dopamine-mediated signaling: behavioral response to psychostimulants and L-DOPA- induced dyskinesia. Dyskinesia, associated with dopamine super-sensitivity of striatal neurons, is a debilitating side effect of L-DOPA therapy in Parkinson's disease. In vivo, GRK subtypes show greater receptor specificity than in vitro or in cultured cells. Overexpression, knockdown, and knockout of individual GRKs, particularly GRK2 and GRK6, have differential effects on signaling of dopamine receptor subtypes in the brain. Furthermore, deletion of GRK isoforms in select striatal neuronal types differentially affects psychostimulant-induced behaviors. In addition, anti-dyskinetic effect of GRK3 does not require its kinase activity: it is mediated by the binding of its RGS-like domain to Gαq/11, which suppresses Gq/11 signaling. The data demonstrate that the dopamine signaling in defined neuronal types in vivo is regulated by specific and finely orchestrated actions of GRK isoforms.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Subjective responses to psychostimulants vary, the basis of which is poorly understood, especially in relation to possible cortical contributions. Here, we tested for relationships between participants' positive subjective responses to oral d-amphetamine (dAMPH) versus placebo and variability in striatal and extrastriatal dopamine (DA) receptor availability and release, measured via positron emission tomography (PET) with the radiotracer (18)F-fallypride. Analyses focused on 35 healthy adult participants showing positive subjective effects to dAMPH measured via the Drug Effects Questionnaire (DEQ) Feel, Like, High, and Want More subscales (Responders), and were repeated after inclusion of 11 subjects who lacked subjective responses. Associations between peak DEQ subscale ratings and both baseline (18)F-fallypride binding potential (BPnd; an index of D2/D3 receptor availability) and the percentage change in BPnd post dAMPH (%ΔBPnd; a measure of DA release) were assessed. Baseline BPnd in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) predicted the peak level of High reported following dAMPH. Furthermore, %ΔBPnd in vmPFC positively correlated with DEQ Want More ratings. DEQ Want More was also positively correlated with %ΔBPnd in right ventral striatum and left insula. This work indicates that characteristics of DA functioning in vmPFC, a cortical area implicated in subjective valuation, are associated with both subjective high and incentive (wanting) responses. The observation that insula %ΔBPnd was associated with drug wanting converges with evidence suggesting its role in drug craving. These findings highlight the importance of variability in DA signaling in specific paralimbic cortical regions in dAMPH's subjective response, which may confer risk for abusing psychostimulants.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Rate of delivery of psychostimulants has been associated with their positive euphoric effects and potential addiction liability. However, information on individual differences in onset of d-amphetamine's effects remains scarce. We examined individual differences in the time to peak subjective and physiological effects and the pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of oral d-amphetamine. We considered two independent studies that used different dosing regimens where subjects completed the drug effects questionnaire at multiple time points post d-amphetamine. Based on the observation of distinct individual differences in time course of drug effects questionnaire "feel", "high", and "like" ratings (DEQH+L+F) in Study 1, subjects in both studies were categorized as early peak responders (peak within 60 minutes), late peak responders (peak > 60 minutes) or nonresponders; 20-25% of participants were categorized as early peak responders, 50-55% as late peak responders and 20-30% as nonresponders. Physiological (both studies) and plasma d-amphetamine (Study 1) were compared among these groups. Early peak responders exhibited an earlier rise in plasma d-amphetamine levels and more sustained elevation in heart rate compared to late peak responders. The present data illustrate the presence of significant individual differences in the temporal pattern of responses to oral d-amphetamine, which may contribute to heightened abuse potential.
© The Author(s) 2016.
The presynaptic, cocaine- and amphetamine-sensitive dopamine (DA) transporter (DAT, SLC6A3) controls the intensity and duration of synaptic dopamine signals by rapid clearance of DA back into presynaptic nerve terminals. Abnormalities in DAT-mediated DA clearance have been linked to a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including addiction, autism, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Membrane trafficking of DAT appears to be an important, albeit incompletely understood, post-translational regulatory mechanism; its dysregulation has been recently proposed as a potential risk determinant of these disorders. In this study, we demonstrate a link between an ADHD-associated DAT mutation (Arg615Cys, R615C) and variation on DAT transporter cell surface dynamics, a combination only previously studied with ensemble biochemical and optical approaches that featured limited spatiotemporal resolution. Here, we utilize high-affinity, DAT-specific antagonist-conjugated quantum dot (QD) probes to establish the dynamic mobility of wild-type and mutant DATs at the plasma membrane of living cells. Single DAT-QD complex trajectory analysis revealed that the DAT 615C variant exhibited increased membrane mobility relative to DAT 615R, with diffusion rates comparable to those observed after lipid raft disruption. This phenomenon was accompanied by a loss of transporter mobilization triggered by amphetamine, a common component of ADHD medications. Together, our data provides the first dynamic imaging of single DAT proteins, providing new insights into the relationship between surface dynamics and trafficking of both wild-type and disease-associated transporters. Our approach should be generalizable to future studies that explore the possibilities of perturbed surface DAT dynamics that may arise as a consequence of genetic alterations, regulatory changes, and drug use that contribute to the etiology or treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.
The misuse of stimulant medication among college students is a prevalent and growing problem. The purpose of this review and meta-analysis is to summarize the current research on rates and demographic and psychosocial correlates of stimulant medication misuse among college students, to provide methodological guidance and other ideas for future research, and to provide some preliminary suggestions for preventing and reducing misuse on college campuses. Random-effects meta-analysis found that the rate of stimulant medication misuse among college students was estimated at 17 % (95 % CI [0.13, 0.23], p < .001) and identified several psychological variables that differentiated misusers and nonusers, including symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, problems associated with alcohol use, and marijuana use. A qualitative review of the literature also revealed that Greek organization membership, academic performance, and other substance use were associated with misuse. Students are misusing primarily for academic reasons, and the most common source for obtaining stimulant medication is peers with prescriptions. Interpretation of findings is complicated by the lack of a standard misuse definition as well as validated tools for measuring stimulant misuse. The relation between stimulant medication misuse and extra curricular participation, academic outcomes, depression, and eating disorders requires further investigation, as do the reasons why students divert or misuse and whether policies on college campuses contribute to the high rates of misuse among students. Future research should also work to develop and implement effective prevention strategies for reducing the diversion and misuse of stimulant medication on college campuses.
Despite the critical role of the presynaptic dopamine (DA) transporter (DAT, SLC6A3) in DA clearance and psychostimulant responses, evidence that DAT dysfunction supports risk for mental illness is indirect. Recently, we identified a rare, nonsynonymous Slc6a3 variant that produces the DAT substitution Ala559Val in two male siblings who share a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with other studies identifying the variant in subjects with bipolar disorder (BPD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Previously, using transfected cell studies, we observed that although DAT Val559 displays normal total and surface DAT protein levels, and normal DA recognition and uptake, the variant transporter exhibits anomalous DA efflux (ADE) and lacks capacity for amphetamine (AMPH)-stimulated DA release. To pursue the significance of these findings in vivo, we engineered DAT Val559 knock-in mice, and here we demonstrate in this model the presence of elevated extracellular DA levels, altered somatodendritic and presynaptic D2 DA receptor (D2R) function, a blunted ability of DA terminals to support depolarization and AMPH-evoked DA release, and disruptions in basal and psychostimulant-evoked locomotor behavior. Together, our studies demonstrate an in vivo functional impact of the DAT Val559 variant, providing support for the ability of DAT dysfunction to impact risk for mental illness.
Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of the M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) represent a novel approach for the treatment of psychotic symptoms associated with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. We recently reported that the selective M4 PAM VU0152100 produced an antipsychotic drug-like profile in rodents after amphetamine challenge. Previous studies suggest that enhanced cholinergic activity may also improve cognitive function and reverse deficits observed with reduced signaling through the N-methyl-d-aspartate subtype of the glutamate receptor (NMDAR) in the central nervous system. Prior to this study, the M1 mAChR subtype was viewed as the primary candidate for these actions relative to the other mAChR subtypes. Here we describe the discovery of a novel M4 PAM, VU0467154, with enhanced in vitro potency and improved pharmacokinetic properties relative to other M4 PAMs, enabling a more extensive characterization of M4 actions in rodent models. We used VU0467154 to test the hypothesis that selective potentiation of M4 receptor signaling could ameliorate the behavioral, cognitive, and neurochemical impairments induced by the noncompetitive NMDAR antagonist MK-801. VU0467154 produced a robust dose-dependent reversal of MK-801-induced hyperlocomotion and deficits in preclinical models of associative learning and memory functions, including the touchscreen pairwise visual discrimination task in wild-type mice, but failed to reverse these stimulant-induced deficits in M4 KO mice. VU0467154 also enhanced the acquisition of both contextual and cue-mediated fear conditioning when administered alone in wild-type mice. These novel findings suggest that M4 PAMs may provide a strategy for addressing the more complex affective and cognitive disruptions associated with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders.