The clinical use of methylphenidate (MPH, Ritalin) for treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is widespread, and there is a growing problem of MPH abuse, especially in college-age adults. College students use MPH non-medically, mainly to enhance performance, stay up late to study or to get high. In addition, adults of all ages are using high doses of MPH off-label for energy and cognitive enhancement. The abused dosages of MPH are 2-10 times those recommended for clinical use, however, little is known about the neurobiological effects of chronic exposure to these MPH doses. Our laboratory has recently discovered an unexpected consequence of chronic high-dose MPH treatment in mice. We have found that the behavioral and neurochemical responses to fluoxetine are qualitatively transformed. Fluoxetine is a serotonin (5-HT) transporter inhibitor which normally reduces extracellular nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine (DA) levels in control animals and fails to act as a reinforcer. Remarkably, however, we found that following chronic MPH treatment, fluoxetine takes on the characteristics of a psychostimulant drug, exhibiting rewarding effects as well as DA-elevating effects. Given that serotonergic drugs often suppress the reinforcing effects of DA agonists, these and other data suggest the possibility of a fundamental alteration in 5-HT-DA interactions whereby activation of the 5-HT system leads to elevated DA levels in limbic brain areas and activation of reward-related processes. We hypothesize that chronically elevated DA levels causes 5-HT1B receptors in the VTA to become supersensitive and their activation stimulates DA release into the NAc and other DA terminal regions. We hypothesize that this change could specifically increase the reinforcing effects of drugs with strong 5-HT activity such as MDMA, potentially leading to enhanced risk of polydrug abuse in people taking MPH. To explore the impact of chronic MPH treatment in mice on specific interactions between the 5-HT and DA systems, and to explore the neurochemical and behavioral consequences of MPH self-administration in rats, we propose to examine 1) 5-HT alterations in response to i.p. MPH treatment in mice, 2) Sites of 5-HT action, using dual probe microdialysis in mice 3) MPH self-administration in rats 4) 5-HT alterations in response to MPH self-administration.

Public Health Relevance

The prevalence of methylphenidate abuse has been estimated to be 5-26% of college students, and a significant proportion of these users develop problem use and dependence behaviors with other drugs. We have discovered an MPH-induced change in mice wherein 5-HT drugs (or doses) that were neutral or aversive became rewarding and elevated mesolimbic DA levels, and this has led us to postulate that abused drugs with strong 5-HT activity (such as MDMA, fenfluramine, methamphetamine, etc) may elicit greater euphoria/reward and thus have greater abuse/addiction potential in people who have taken MPH at high doses. Additionally, the MPH- induced changes in 5-HT receptors and function may lead to altered psychomotor effects and side effects of primarily 5-HT drugs such as antidepressants, which are commonly prescribed to adults who are exposed to MPH.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DA030161-04
Application #
8487380
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IFCN-L (04))
Program Officer
Pilotte, Nancy S
Project Start
2010-09-15
Project End
2015-06-30
Budget Start
2013-07-01
Budget End
2014-06-30
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$268,484
Indirect Cost
$82,244
Name
Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Department
Physiology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
937727907
City
Winston-Salem
State
NC
Country
United States
Zip Code
27157
Salvatore, Michael F; Calipari, Erin S; Jones, Sara R (2016) Regulation of Tyrosine Hydroxylase Expression and Phosphorylation in Dopamine Transporter-Deficient Mice. ACS Chem Neurosci 7:941-51
Brodnik, Zachary D; Ferris, Mark John; Jones, Sara R et al. (2016) Reinforcing Doses of Intravenous Cocaine Produce Only Modest Dopamine Uptake Inhibition. ACS Chem Neurosci :
Karkhanis, Anushree N; Beveridge, Thomas J R; Blough, Bruce E et al. (2016) The individual and combined effects of phenmetrazine and mgluR2/3 agonist LY379268 on the motivation to self-administer cocaine. Drug Alcohol Depend 166:51-60
McGinnis, Molly M; Siciliano, Cody A; Jones, Sara R (2016) Dopamine D3 autoreceptor inhibition enhances cocaine potency at the dopamine transporter. J Neurochem 138:821-9
Siciliano, Cody A; Fordahl, Steve C; Jones, Sara R (2016) Cocaine Self-Administration Produces Long-Lasting Alterations in Dopamine Transporter Responses to Cocaine. J Neurosci 36:7807-16
Brust, Tarsis F; Morgenweck, Jenny; Kim, Susy A et al. (2016) Biased agonists of the kappa opioid receptor suppress pain and itch without causing sedation or dysphoria. Sci Signal 9:ra117
Shaw, Jessica K; Ferris, Mark J; Locke, Jason L et al. (2016) Hypocretin/orexin knock-out mice display disrupted behavioral and dopamine responses to cocaine. Addict Biol :
Fordahl, Steve C; Jones, Sara R (2016) High Fat Diet-Induced Deficits in Dopamine Terminal Function are Reversed by Restoring Insulin Signaling. ACS Chem Neurosci :
Fordahl, Steve C; Locke, Jason L; Jones, Sara R (2016) High fat diet augments amphetamine sensitization in mice: Role of feeding pattern, obesity, and dopamine terminal changes. Neuropharmacology 109:170-82
Luderman, Kathryn D; Chen, Rong; Ferris, Mark J et al. (2015) Protein kinase C beta regulates the Dâ‚‚-like dopamine autoreceptor. Neuropharmacology 89:335-41

Showing the most recent 10 out of 46 publications