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Author: Serena Stopponi (17)


Dec
2017

Nociceptin is a key regulator linking environmental stress and alcohol drinking. In a genome-wide methylation analysis, we recently identified an association of a methylated region in the OPRL1 gene with alcohol-use disorders.
Here, we investigate the biological basis of this observation by analysing psychosocial stressors, methylation of the OPRL1 gene, brain response during reward anticipation and alcohol drinking in 660 fourteen-year-old adolescents of the IMAGEN study.

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Oct
2017

Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is an enzyme that prominently degrades the major endocannabinoid N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide). Inhibition of this enzyme leads to increased anandamide levels in brain regions that modulate stress and anxiety. Recently, we found that genetically selected Marchigian Sardinian alcohol-preferring (msP) rats display hyperactive FAAH in amygdalar regions that was associated with increased stress sensitivity and a hyper-anxious phenotype.

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Aug
2016

Neuropeptide S (NPS) displays unique pharmacological properties and induces both anxiolytic and pro-stress/arousal activities. Previous studies performed using Wistar rats demonstrated that NPS facilitated alcohol and cocaine seeking but did not affect alcohol or cocaine consumption.
Here, we investigated the effects of NPS in Marchigian Sardinian alcohol-preferring (msP) rats, a rat strain characterized by excessive alcohol consumption comorbid with heightened anxiety and depressive-like phenotypes.

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May
2016

The nociceptin/orphanin-FQ (or opioid receptor-like [ORL1]) receptor (NOP) is localized in the mesolimbic reward pathway and has been suggested to play a role in feeding, mood, stress, and addiction. Since its deorphanization in 1995, there has been a clear dichotomy in the literature regarding whether an agonist or antagonist would provide therapeutic benefit. Specifically, the literature reports indicate that NOP receptor antagonists produce efficacy in animal models of hyperphagia and antidepressant-like activity, whereas NOP agonists produce anxiolytic-like effects and dampen reward/addiction behaviors including ethanol consumption.

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Nov
2015

Substance P and its preferred neurokinin receptor NK1 have been implicated in stress and anxiety and have been proposed as possible therapeutic targets for the treatment of anxiety/depression. Attention is also being focused on the role this neuropeptide system may play in drug addiction, because stress-related mechanisms promote drug abuse.
The effects of the rat-specific NK1 receptor antagonist, L822429, on alcohol intake and seeking behaviour was investigated in genetically selected Marchigian Sardinian alcohol preferring rats.

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Mar
2016

Environmental conditioning is a major trigger for relapse in abstinent addicts. We showed that activation of the neuropeptide S (NPS) system exacerbates reinstatement vulnerability to cocaine and alcohol via stimulation of the hypocretin-1/orexin-A (Hcrt-1/Ox-A) system.
Combining pharmacologic manipulations with immunohistochemistry techniques, we sought to determine how NPS and Hcrt-1/Ox-A systems interact to modulate reinstatement of alcohol seeking in rats.

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Dec
2014

Opioid drugs are potent analgesics. However, their chronic use leads to the rapid development of tolerance to their analgesic effects and subsequent increase of significant side effects, including drug dependence and addiction. Here, we investigated the role of PPARγ in the development of analgesic tolerance to morphine in mice.

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Oct
2014

Since its discovery, the nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ)-NOP receptor system has been extensively investigated as a promising target to treat alcoholism. Encouraging results obtained with the endogenous ligand N/OFQ stimulated research towards the development of novel brain-penetrating NOP receptor agonists with a pharmacological and toxicological profile compatible with clinical development. Here we describe the biochemical and alcohol-related behavioral effects of the novel NOP receptor agonist MT-7716.

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Jul
2014

Cannabis derivatives are among the most widely used illicit substances among young people. The addictive potential of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major active ingredient of cannabis is well documented in scientific literature. However, the consequence of THC exposure during adolescence on occurrence of addiction for other drugs of abuse later in life is still controversial.

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Aug
2013

Pioglitazone is a selective peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) agonist used for the treatment of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Previous studies conducted in our laboratory showed that activation of PPARγ by pioglitazone reduces alcohol drinking, stress-induced relapse, and alcohol withdrawal syndrome in rats. Pioglitazone was not able to prevent relapse elicited by alcohol cues.

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Jul
2013

Pregabalin (Lyrica™) is a structural analog of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and is approved by the FDA for partial epilepsy, neuropathic pain and generalized anxiety disorders. Pregabalin also reduces excitatory neurotransmitter release and post-synaptic excitability. Recently, we demonstrated that pregabalin reduced alcohol intake and prevented relapse to the alcohol seeking elicited by stress or environmental stimuli associated with alcohol availability.

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Dec
1969

Evidence shows that the endocannabinoid system modulates the addictive properties of nicotine. In the present study, we hypothesized that spontaneous withdrawal resulting from removal of chronically implanted transdermal nicotine patches is regulated by the endocannabinoid system. A 7-day nicotine dependence procedure (5.

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Mar
2012

Pregabalin (Lyrica™) is a structural analogue of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) approved by FDA for partial epilepsy, neuropathic pain and recently generalized anxiety disorder. While the exact cellular mechanism of action of pregabalin is still unclear, evidence from several studies suggests that it reduces excitatory neurotransmitter release and postsynaptic excitability.
Based on these mechanisms we sought interesting to evaluate the effect of pregabalin on alcohol-abuse-related behaviours.

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Apr
2011

Pioglitazone and rosiglitazone belong to the class of thiazolidinediones (TZDs). They were first developed as antioxidants and then approved for the clinical treatment of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. TZDs bind with high affinity and activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ) receptors, which in the brain are expressed both in neurons and in glia.

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Apr
2011

Alcohol withdrawal refers to a cluster of symptoms that may occur from suddenly ceasing the use of alcohol after chronic or prolonged ingestion. These symptoms make alcohol abstinence difficult and increase the risk of relapse in recovering alcoholics. In previous studies, we demonstrated that treatment with Nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) significantly reduces alcohol consumption and attenuates alcohol-seeking behavior induced by environmental conditioning factors or by stress in rats.

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Nov
2009

This article summarizes the proceedings of a symposium held at the conference on "Alcoholism and Stress: A Framework for Future Treatment Strategies" in Volterra, Italy, May 6-9, 2008. Chaired by Markus Heilig and Roberto Ciccocioppo, this symposium offered a forum for the presentation of recent data linking neuropetidergic neurotransmission to the regulation of different alcohol-related behaviors in animals and in humans. Dr.

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Aug
2009

The association of ethanol's reinforcing effects with specific environmental stimuli is thought to be a critical factor for relapse risk in alcoholism. This study examined in rats the effects of a newly deorphanized neuropeptide receptor and its cognate ligand, Neuropeptide S (NPS), on ethanol consumption and reinstatement of ethanol-seeking by environmental cues previously associated with ethanol availability. In the self-administration experiments, the stable response rates observed for ethanol reinforcement were not modified by intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of NPS (1.

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