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  • de Miguel, Elena; Vekovischeva, Olga; Kuokkanen, Katja; Vesajoki, Marja; Paasikoski, Nelli; Kaskinoro, Janne; Myllymäki, Mikko; Lainiola, Mira; Janhunen, Sanna K.; Hyytiä, Petri; Linden, Anni-Maija; Korpi, Esa R. (2019)
    Drugs of abuse induce widespread synaptic adaptations in the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) neurons. Such drug-induced neuroadaptations may constitute an initial cellular mechanism eventually leading to compulsive drug-seeking behavior. To evaluate the impact of GABA(B) receptors on addiction-related persistent neuroplasticity, we tested the ability of orthosteric agonist baclofen and two positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of GABA(B) receptors to suppress neuroadaptations in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and reward-related behaviors induced by ethanol and cocaine. A novel compound (S)-1-(5-fluoro-2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-2-yl)-4-methyl-6,7,8,9-tetrahydro-[1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-a]quinazolin-5(4H)-one (ORM-27669) was found to be a GABA(B) PAM of low efficacy as agonist, whereas the reference compound (R,S)-5,7-di-tert-butyl-3-hydroxy-3-trifluoromethyl-3H-benzofuran-2-one (rac-BHFF) had a different allosteric profile being a more potent PAM in the calcium-based assay and an agonist, coupled with potent PAM activity, in the [S-35] GTP gamma S binding assay in rat and human recombinant receptors. Using autoradiography, the high-efficacy rac-BHFF and the low-efficacy ORM-27669 potentiated the effects of baclofen on [S-35] GTP gamma S binding with identical brain regional distribution. Treatment of mice with baclofen, rac-BHFF, or ORM-27669 failed to induce glutamate receptor neuroplasticity in the VTA DA neurons. Pretreatment with rac-BHFF at non-sedative doses effectively reversed both ethanol- and cocaine-induced plasticity and attenuated cocaine i.v. self-administration and ethanol drinking. Pretreatment with ORM-27669 only reversed ethanol-induced neuroplasticity and attenuated ethanol drinking but had no effects on cocaine-induced neuroplasticity or self-administration. These findings encourage further investigation of GABA(B) receptor PAMs with different efficacies in addiction models to develop novel treatment strategies for drug addiction.
  • Panula, Pertti (2020)
    Alcohol use disorder is associated with several mental, physical, and social problems. Its treatment is difficult and often requires a combination of pharmacological and behavioural therapy. The brain histaminergic system, one of the wake-active systems that controls whole-brain activity, operates through three neuronal GPCRs. The histamine H-3 receptor (Hrh3), which is expressed in many brain areas involved in alcohol drinking and alcohol reward, can be targeted with a number of drugs developed initially for cognitive disorders and/or disorders related to sleep, wakefulness, and alertness. In all rodent alcohol drinking models tested so far, H-3 receptor antagonists have reduced alcohol drinking and alcohol-induced place preference and cue-induced alcohol reinstatement. Several H-3 receptor antagonists tested and found to be safe for humans could be subjected to clinical tests to treat alcohol use disorder. Preference should be given to short-acting drugs to avoid the sleep problems associated with the wake-maintaining effects of the drugs. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed section on New Uses for 21st Century. To view the other articles in this section visit
  • Garcia-Gonzalez, Judit; Brock, Alistair J.; Parker, Matthew O.; Riley, Riva J.; Joliffe, David; Sudwarts, Ari; Teh, Muy-Teck; Busch-Nentwich, Elisabeth M.; Stemple, Derek L.; Martineau, Adrian R.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Palviainen, Teemu; Kuan, Valerie; Walton, Robert T.; Brennan, Caroline H. (2020)
    To facilitate smoking genetics research we determined whether a screen of mutagenized zebrafish for nicotine preference could predict loci affecting smoking behaviour. From 30 screened F-3 sibling groups, where each was derived from an individual ethyl-nitrosurea mutagenized F-0 fish, two showed increased or decreased nicotine preference. Out of 25 inactivating mutations carried by the F-3 fish, one in the slit3 gene segregated with increased nicotine preference in heterozygous individuals. Focussed SNP analysis of the human SLIT3 locus in cohorts from UK (n=863) and Finland (n=1715) identified two variants associated with cigarette consumption and likelihood of cessation. Characterisation of slit3 mutant larvae and adult fish revealed decreased sensitivity to the dopaminergic and serotonergic antagonist amisulpride, known to affect startle reflex that is correlated with addiction in humans, and increased htr1aa mRNA expression in mutant larvae. No effect on neuronal pathfinding was detected. These findings reveal a role for SLIT3 in development of pathways affecting responses to nicotine in zebrafish and smoking in humans.
  • Aitta-aho, Teemu; Möykkynen, Tommi Petteri; Panhelainen, Anne E.; Vekovischeva, Olga Yu; Bäckström, Pia; Korpi, Esa R. (2012)