Functional imaging of neural systems associated with alcohol reward and amphetamine toxicity

Mateusz Dudek

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles

Abstract

Alcohol addiction is one of the most prevalent brain disorders in the world. A major hurdle for reducing alcohol-related harms and developing effective treatments is the poor understanding of neural processes responsible for the development of dependence and addiction. Alcohol has been shown to affect various neurotransmitter systems; however, the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, which projects from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc), has been thought to play a key role in producing the reinforcing effects of alcohol. The VTA region has also been suggested to be the anatomical site for the interaction of the dopaminergic system with the opioidergic and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) systems. Here, manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) and behavioral tests were used to study drug-induced alterations in brain activity of the alcohol-preferring AA (Alko Alcohol) and heterogeneous Wistar rats. MEMRI is based on the ability of paramagnetic Mn2+ ions to accumulate in excitable neurons, thus enhancing the T1-weighted signal in activated brain regions. Mn2+ ions can also be transported anterogradely and retrogradely in neurons, released to the synaptic cleft, and taken up by other neurons. These properties allow MEMRI to measure long-term changes in brain activity, as well as map neural pathways involved in acute and long-term drug actions, including drug reward and toxicity. The AA rats exposed to alcohol compared to water controls displayed a widespread and persistent activation in brain regions that have been previously linked with alcohol reinforcement. Similarly, activity in neural pathways originating in the NAc and projecting caudally to the midbrain was enhanced in alcohol drinking rats. Moreover, this alcohol-induced activation was blocked by systemic naltrexone (NLX) administration. Comparison of naïve AA and Wistar rats revealed a lowered basal activity in the caudal linear nucleus (CLi) of AA rats, which was restored by voluntary alcohol drinking. The intra-CLi γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABAA) agonist muscimol produced a dose-dependent increase in alcohol drinking, blocked by co-administration of the GABAA antagonist bicuculline, suggesting that the CLi GABAergic system is involved in the regulation of alcohol reward. MEMRI was also employed for assessing stimulant-induced toxicity. Methamphetamine and mephedron displayed disparate effects on brain activity, as methamphetamine produced widespread decreases in activity, whereas mephedron increased activity in limited brain areas. Taken together, the use of MEMRI for mapping alcohol- and stimulant-induced alterations in functional brain activity revealed networks and specific pathways that have potential for guiding further translational efforts to develop medications for drug abuse disorders, as well as for evaluating drug-induced toxicity.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-951-51-2128-8
Electronic ISBNs978-951-51-2129-5
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Fields of Science

  • 3111 Biomedicine

Cite this

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title = "Functional imaging of neural systems associated with alcohol reward and amphetamine toxicity",
abstract = "Alcohol addiction is one of the most prevalent brain disorders in the world. A major hurdle for reducing alcohol-related harms and developing effective treatments is the poor understanding of neural processes responsible for the development of dependence and addiction. Alcohol has been shown to affect various neurotransmitter systems; however, the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, which projects from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc), has been thought to play a key role in producing the reinforcing effects of alcohol. The VTA region has also been suggested to be the anatomical site for the interaction of the dopaminergic system with the opioidergic and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) systems. Here, manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) and behavioral tests were used to study drug-induced alterations in brain activity of the alcohol-preferring AA (Alko Alcohol) and heterogeneous Wistar rats. MEMRI is based on the ability of paramagnetic Mn2+ ions to accumulate in excitable neurons, thus enhancing the T1-weighted signal in activated brain regions. Mn2+ ions can also be transported anterogradely and retrogradely in neurons, released to the synaptic cleft, and taken up by other neurons. These properties allow MEMRI to measure long-term changes in brain activity, as well as map neural pathways involved in acute and long-term drug actions, including drug reward and toxicity. The AA rats exposed to alcohol compared to water controls displayed a widespread and persistent activation in brain regions that have been previously linked with alcohol reinforcement. Similarly, activity in neural pathways originating in the NAc and projecting caudally to the midbrain was enhanced in alcohol drinking rats. Moreover, this alcohol-induced activation was blocked by systemic naltrexone (NLX) administration. Comparison of na{\"i}ve AA and Wistar rats revealed a lowered basal activity in the caudal linear nucleus (CLi) of AA rats, which was restored by voluntary alcohol drinking. The intra-CLi γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABAA) agonist muscimol produced a dose-dependent increase in alcohol drinking, blocked by co-administration of the GABAA antagonist bicuculline, suggesting that the CLi GABAergic system is involved in the regulation of alcohol reward. MEMRI was also employed for assessing stimulant-induced toxicity. Methamphetamine and mephedron displayed disparate effects on brain activity, as methamphetamine produced widespread decreases in activity, whereas mephedron increased activity in limited brain areas. Taken together, the use of MEMRI for mapping alcohol- and stimulant-induced alterations in functional brain activity revealed networks and specific pathways that have potential for guiding further translational efforts to develop medications for drug abuse disorders, as well as for evaluating drug-induced toxicity.",
keywords = "Alcohol Drinking, Brain, +metabolism, +physiopathology, Brain Mapping, Central Nervous System Depressants, Central Nervous System Stimulants, Ethanol, gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, +methods, Manganese Compounds, Methamphetamine, +analogs & derivatives, +toxicity, Motor Activity, +drug effects, Neuronal Plasticity, Naltrexone, Nucleus Accumbens, Rats, Saccharin, 3111 Biomedicine",
author = "Mateusz Dudek",
note = "M1 - 72 s. + liitteet Helsingin yliopisto Volume: Proceeding volume:",
year = "2016",
language = "English",
isbn = "978-951-51-2128-8",
publisher = "[M. Dudek]",
address = "Finland",

}

Functional imaging of neural systems associated with alcohol reward and amphetamine toxicity. / Dudek, Mateusz.

Helsinki : [M. Dudek], 2016. 72 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles

TY - THES

T1 - Functional imaging of neural systems associated with alcohol reward and amphetamine toxicity

AU - Dudek, Mateusz

N1 - M1 - 72 s. + liitteet Helsingin yliopisto Volume: Proceeding volume:

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Alcohol addiction is one of the most prevalent brain disorders in the world. A major hurdle for reducing alcohol-related harms and developing effective treatments is the poor understanding of neural processes responsible for the development of dependence and addiction. Alcohol has been shown to affect various neurotransmitter systems; however, the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, which projects from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc), has been thought to play a key role in producing the reinforcing effects of alcohol. The VTA region has also been suggested to be the anatomical site for the interaction of the dopaminergic system with the opioidergic and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) systems. Here, manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) and behavioral tests were used to study drug-induced alterations in brain activity of the alcohol-preferring AA (Alko Alcohol) and heterogeneous Wistar rats. MEMRI is based on the ability of paramagnetic Mn2+ ions to accumulate in excitable neurons, thus enhancing the T1-weighted signal in activated brain regions. Mn2+ ions can also be transported anterogradely and retrogradely in neurons, released to the synaptic cleft, and taken up by other neurons. These properties allow MEMRI to measure long-term changes in brain activity, as well as map neural pathways involved in acute and long-term drug actions, including drug reward and toxicity. The AA rats exposed to alcohol compared to water controls displayed a widespread and persistent activation in brain regions that have been previously linked with alcohol reinforcement. Similarly, activity in neural pathways originating in the NAc and projecting caudally to the midbrain was enhanced in alcohol drinking rats. Moreover, this alcohol-induced activation was blocked by systemic naltrexone (NLX) administration. Comparison of naïve AA and Wistar rats revealed a lowered basal activity in the caudal linear nucleus (CLi) of AA rats, which was restored by voluntary alcohol drinking. The intra-CLi γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABAA) agonist muscimol produced a dose-dependent increase in alcohol drinking, blocked by co-administration of the GABAA antagonist bicuculline, suggesting that the CLi GABAergic system is involved in the regulation of alcohol reward. MEMRI was also employed for assessing stimulant-induced toxicity. Methamphetamine and mephedron displayed disparate effects on brain activity, as methamphetamine produced widespread decreases in activity, whereas mephedron increased activity in limited brain areas. Taken together, the use of MEMRI for mapping alcohol- and stimulant-induced alterations in functional brain activity revealed networks and specific pathways that have potential for guiding further translational efforts to develop medications for drug abuse disorders, as well as for evaluating drug-induced toxicity.

AB - Alcohol addiction is one of the most prevalent brain disorders in the world. A major hurdle for reducing alcohol-related harms and developing effective treatments is the poor understanding of neural processes responsible for the development of dependence and addiction. Alcohol has been shown to affect various neurotransmitter systems; however, the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, which projects from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc), has been thought to play a key role in producing the reinforcing effects of alcohol. The VTA region has also been suggested to be the anatomical site for the interaction of the dopaminergic system with the opioidergic and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) systems. Here, manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) and behavioral tests were used to study drug-induced alterations in brain activity of the alcohol-preferring AA (Alko Alcohol) and heterogeneous Wistar rats. MEMRI is based on the ability of paramagnetic Mn2+ ions to accumulate in excitable neurons, thus enhancing the T1-weighted signal in activated brain regions. Mn2+ ions can also be transported anterogradely and retrogradely in neurons, released to the synaptic cleft, and taken up by other neurons. These properties allow MEMRI to measure long-term changes in brain activity, as well as map neural pathways involved in acute and long-term drug actions, including drug reward and toxicity. The AA rats exposed to alcohol compared to water controls displayed a widespread and persistent activation in brain regions that have been previously linked with alcohol reinforcement. Similarly, activity in neural pathways originating in the NAc and projecting caudally to the midbrain was enhanced in alcohol drinking rats. Moreover, this alcohol-induced activation was blocked by systemic naltrexone (NLX) administration. Comparison of naïve AA and Wistar rats revealed a lowered basal activity in the caudal linear nucleus (CLi) of AA rats, which was restored by voluntary alcohol drinking. The intra-CLi γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABAA) agonist muscimol produced a dose-dependent increase in alcohol drinking, blocked by co-administration of the GABAA antagonist bicuculline, suggesting that the CLi GABAergic system is involved in the regulation of alcohol reward. MEMRI was also employed for assessing stimulant-induced toxicity. Methamphetamine and mephedron displayed disparate effects on brain activity, as methamphetamine produced widespread decreases in activity, whereas mephedron increased activity in limited brain areas. Taken together, the use of MEMRI for mapping alcohol- and stimulant-induced alterations in functional brain activity revealed networks and specific pathways that have potential for guiding further translational efforts to develop medications for drug abuse disorders, as well as for evaluating drug-induced toxicity.

KW - Alcohol Drinking

KW - Brain

KW - +metabolism

KW - +physiopathology

KW - Brain Mapping

KW - Central Nervous System Depressants

KW - Central Nervous System Stimulants

KW - Ethanol

KW - gamma-Aminobutyric Acid

KW - Magnetic Resonance Imaging

KW - +methods

KW - Manganese Compounds

KW - Methamphetamine

KW - +analogs & derivatives

KW - +toxicity

KW - Motor Activity

KW - +drug effects

KW - Neuronal Plasticity

KW - Naltrexone

KW - Nucleus Accumbens

KW - Rats

KW - Saccharin

KW - 3111 Biomedicine

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

SN - 978-951-51-2128-8

PB - [M. Dudek]

CY - Helsinki

ER -