To ensure the success of the overall research program, and rapid translational progress from the bench to the bedside, we propose in the current application the establishment of a Translational Service Core (TSC). The primary objective of the TSC is to standardize the Methamphetamine Abuse Research Center's (MARC's) procedures for collecting human neuropsychiatric data, processing and storing human blood, and measuring immune factors and responses in human and rodent samples. A secondary objective is to establish a repository for human neuropsychiatric data and blood samples. These de-identified samples, linked to the neuropsychiatric data, will be available for use in future studies, and therefore have significant long-term value to the MARC. All three proposed Scientific Components (Components 7, 8, &9) analyze human or mouse tissue to evaluate the relationship between immune factors and neuropsychiatric outcomes (e.g., cognition, anxiety). Two of the three proposed Scientific Components (Components 7 &8) analyze neuropsychiatric data from human subjects. These Components and the MARC would benefit from a centralized TSC to eliminate redundant recruitment efforts, standardize operating procedures, and improve cross-component and translational analyses. The TSC will recuit 300 subjects into three groups (100/group): 1) adults actively using methamphetamine (MA), 2) adults in early remission from MA dependence, and 3) non-dependent adults. TSC staff will run subjects through a neuropsychiatric study visit including: 1) a clinical interview to collect biopsychosocial history, 2) a structured clinical interview to verify psychiatric and substance use disorders, 3) psychiatric symptom questionnaires, 4) neuropsychological tests covering a full range of cognitive domains, 5) medical laboratory tests, and 6) a blood draw for collection of plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Samples will be stored in the TSC repository and transferred to Components and Pilot Projects in service of their objectives. The TSC staff will also guide analyses of human and rodent tissue for immune factor expression using standardized methods (e.g., ELISA, Luminex, ELISPOT, and FACS), thus increasing efficiency and collaboration among Components.
There are no FDA approved medications for MA dependence, and relapse rates associated with addiction treatment programs remain high. Neuroimmune data and biological samples collected through the TSC will allow current and future MARC investigators to explore new directions for treatment development. Through standardization of data collection procedures and establishment of human data and tissue repositories, the TSC will also facilitate future large-scale investigations and rapid progress from bench to bedside.
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