Francesca Felicia Caputi

Learn More
Cocaine induces neurochemical changes of endogenous prodynorphin-kappa opioid receptor (pDYN-KOP) and pronociceptin/orphaninFQ-nociceptin receptor (pN/OFQ-NOP) systems. Both systems play an important role in rewarding mechanisms and addictive stimulus processing by modulating drug-induced dopaminergic activation in the mesocortico-limbic brain areas. They(More)
Several studies demonstrated the role of the endogenous opioid system in the development of susceptibility to alcohol dependence. Recently, we reported that binge intragastric administration of ethanol induces selective alterations of pronociceptin and prodynorphin gene expression in the rat amygdala complex depending on the days of exposures and on the(More)
Molecular mechanisms of adaptive transformations caused by alcohol exposure on opioid dynorphin and nociceptin systems have been investigated in the rat brain. Alcohol was intragastrically administered to rats to resemble human drinking with several hours of exposure: water or alcohol (20% in water) at a dose of 1.5 g/kg three times daily for 1 or 5 days.(More)
BACKGROUND Abuse of heroin and prescription opiate medications has grown to disturbing levels. Opioids mediate their effects through mu opioid receptors (MOR), but minimal information exists regarding MOR-related striatal signaling relevant to the human condition. The striatum is a structure central to reward and habitual behavior and neurobiological(More)
BACKGROUND Ethanol and cocaine are widely abused drugs triggering long-lasting changes in neuronal circuits and synaptic transmission through the regulation of enzyme activity and gene expression. Compelling evidence indicates that the ubiquitin-proteasome system plays a role in the molecular changes induced by addictive substances, impacting on several(More)
Morphine is widely used for the treatment of severe acute and chronic pain, but long-term therapy rapidly leads to tolerance. Morphine effects are mediated by μ opioid receptor (MOP) activation as well as for fentanyl that, in contrast to morphine, induces less tolerance to analgesia. The mechanisms underlying opioid tolerance involve complex processes,(More)
The recreational drug of abuse 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has been shown to produce neurotoxic damage and long-lasting changes in several brain areas. In addition to the involvement of serotoninergic and dopaminergic systems, little information exists about the contribution of nociceptin/orphaninFQ (N/OFQ)-NOP and dynorphin (DYN)-KOP systems(More)
BACKGROUND Alterations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been associated with the development of addiction to different drugs of abuse, including ethanol (EtOH). EtOH exposure activates the BDNF-signaling cascade in dorsal striatum, which in turn affects further EtOH intake. Different alcohol exposures have been widely demonstrated to(More)
The therapeutic use of opioids is limited by the development of tolerance to the analgesic effect and the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are still not completely understood. For this reason the search for new analgesic derivatives, endowed with lower tolerance, is always an active field. The newly synthesized(More)
Several studies showed that chronic pain causes reorganization and functional alterations of supraspinal brain regions. The nociceptin-NOP receptor system is one of the major systems involved in pain control and much evidence also suggested its implication in stress, anxiety and depression. Therefore, we investigated the nociceptin-NOP system alterations in(More)