BACKGROUND: Early-life stressful events affect the neurobiological maturation of cerebral circuitries including the endogenous opioid system and the effects elicited by adolescent cocaine exposure on this system have been poorly investigated. Here, we evaluated whether cocaine exposure during adolescence causes short- or long-term alterations in mRNAs codifying for selected elements belonging to the opioid system. Moreover, since brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may undergo simultaneous alterations with the opioid peptide dynorphin, we also evaluated its signaling pathway as well. METHODS: Adolescent male rats were exposed to cocaine (20 mg/kg/day) from post-natal day (PND) 28 to PND42, approximately corresponding to human adolescence. After short- (PND45) or long-term (PND90) abstinence, prodynorphin-κ-opioid receptor (pDYN-KOP) and pronociceptin-nociceptin receptor (pN/OFQ-NOP) gene expression were evaluated in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and hippocampus (Hip) together with the analysis of BDNF signaling pathways. RESULTS: In the NAc of PND45 rats, pDYN mRNA levels were up-regulated, an effect paralled by increased BDNF signaling. Differently from NAc, pDYN mRNA levels were down-regulated in the Hip of PND45 rats without significant changes of BDNF pathway. At variance from PND45 rats, we did not find any significant alteration of the investigated parameters either in NAc and Hip of PND90 rats. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that the short-term withdrawal from adolescent cocaine exposure is characterized by a parallel pDYN mRNA and BDNF signaling increase in the NAc. Given the depressive-like state experienced during short abstinence in humans, we hypothesize that such changes may contribute to promote the risk of cocaine abuse escalation and relapse.
|Titolo:||Short-term withdrawal from repeated exposure to cocaine during adolescence modulates dynorphin mRNA levels and BDNF signaling in the rat nucleus accumbens|
|Parole Chiave:||Adolescence; BDNF; Cocaine; Dynorphin; Nociceptin; Opioid receptor|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/14 - Farmacologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1-apr-2019|
|Data ahead of print / Data di stampa:||13-feb-2019|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.01.006|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|