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Brain Reward Function after Chronic and Binge Methamphetamine Regimens in Mice Expressing the HIV-1 TAT Protein

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 2 ]

Author(s):

James P. Kesby*, Ariel Chang, Julia A. Najera, Maria Cecilia G. Marcondes and Svetlana Semenova   Pages 126 - 133 ( 8 )

Abstract:


Background: Methamphetamine abuse and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are common comorbidities. HIV-associated proteins, such as the regulatory protein TAT, may contribute to brain reward dysfunction, inducing an altered sensitivity to methamphetamine reward and/or withdrawal in this population.

Objective: These studies examined the combined effects of TAT protein expression and, chronic and binge methamphetamine regimens on brain reward function.

Methods: Transgenic mice with inducible brain expression of the TAT protein were exposed to either saline, a chronic, or a binge methamphetamine regimen. TAT expression was induced via doxycycline treatment during the last week of methamphetamine exposure. Brain reward function was assessed daily throughout the regimens, using the intracranial self-stimulation procedure, and after a subsequent acute methamphetamine challenge.

Results: Both methamphetamine regimens induced withdrawal-related decreases in reward function. TAT expression substantially, but not significantly increased the withdrawal associated with exposure to the binge regimen compared to the chronic regimen, but did not alter the response to acute methamphetamine challenge. TAT expression also led to persistent changes in adenosine 2B receptor expression in the caudate putamen, regardless of methamphetamine exposure. These results suggest that TAT expression may differentially affect brain reward function, dependent on the pattern of methamphetamine exposure.

Conclusion: The subtle effects observed in these studies highlight that longer-term TAT expression, or its induction at earlier stages of methamphetamine exposure, may be more consequential at inducing behavioral and neurochemical effects.

Keywords:

Adenosine receptor, animal model, dopamine, TAT protein, behavior, self-stimulation.

Affiliation:

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, Department of Neurosciences, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, Department of Neurosciences, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA

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