Francesca Felicia Caputi

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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)
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)
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)
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)
After decades of uncertainties and drawbacks, the study on the role and significance of acetaldehyde in the effects of ethanol seemed to have found its main paths. Accordingly, the effects of acetaldehyde, after its systemic or central administration and as obtained following ethanol metabolism, looked as they were extensively characterized. However, almost(More)
Paraquat (PQ) and maneb (MB) are able to induce neurotoxic effects by promoting α-synuclein (α-syn) aggregates and altering tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), thus increasing the risk of Parkinson's disease (PD). These pesticides promote neurotoxic effects also by affecting proteasome function that normally regulate protein turnover. We investigated the effects of(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)
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)
Recent studies showed that combination of mu opioid receptor (MOP) agonism and monoamine reuptake inhibition may improve the therapeutic effect of opioids by reducing requirement for MOP activation. Tapentadol, showing such a combined mechanism of action, exhibits delayed analgesic tolerance development compared to pure MOP agonists. Here we investigated(More)