Learn More
Accumulating evidence indicates that an animal's response to a drug can be profoundly affected by early environmental influences. The brain opioid and dopamine systems may play a critical role in these effects, since various types of stress and drugs of abuse promote alterations in these brain systems. To study this further, we investigated long-term(More)
Environmental manipulations early in life may induce persistent alterations in adult behaviour and physiology. The underlying neural mechanisms of these responses are not yet clear. We have previously reported long-term changes in brain opioid peptide levels in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats after short periods (15 min, known as neonatal handling) of(More)
Recently the existence of a neurotensin striatonigral pathway strongly up-regulated by methamphetamine has been demonstrated. The aim of the present study was to investigate, using immunohistochemistry and radioimmunoassay, the modulation of this pathway by dopamine antagonists. Rats were injected either with methamphetamine alone or together with the(More)
Recently, we have shown that rats repeatedly treated with ethanol and/or cocaine have decreased kappa-opioid receptor mRNA levels in the mesolimbic system. The aim of the present study was to investigate the short- and long-term effects of repeated ethanol administration on opioid peptide concentrations in brain tissue of male Sprague-Dawley rats. Dynorphin(More)
Opioid peptides were analysed in tissue extracts of various brain structures and the pituitary gland from rats sacrificed by microwave irradiation, and compared with peptide levels in tissue extracts from decapitated rats. Dynorphin A, dynorphin B and Leu-enkephalinArg6, derived from prodynorphin, and Met-enkephalinArg6Phe7 from proenkephalin, were(More)
The vulnerability to develop alcoholism is dependent on both genetic and environmental factors. The neurobiological mechanisms underlying these factors are not fully understood but individual divergence in the endogenous opioid peptide system may contribute. We have previously reported that early-life experiences can affect endogenous opioids and also adult(More)
Mu opioid receptors are critical for heroin dependence, and A118G SNP of the mu opioid receptor gene (OPRM1) has been linked with heroin abuse. In our population of European Caucasians (n = 118), approximately 90% of 118G allelic carriers were heroin users. Postmortem brain analyses showed the OPRM1 genotype associated with transcription, translation, and(More)
BACKGROUND Previous studies using the maternal separation (MS) model have shown that environmental factors early in life affect adult ethanol consumption. Prolonged MS is related to enhanced propensity for high adult ethanol intake when compared to short MS. Less is known about the environmental impact on adolescent ethanol intake. In this study, the aim(More)
The motivation to drink alcohol and the eventual risk of becoming addicted are in part genetically determined. Because opioid peptides are considered central to motivated behaviors, we have analyzed opioid peptides in relevant areas of the brain of two outbred lines of rats: the alcohol-preferring [Alko Alcohol (AA)] line who voluntarily drink alcohol and(More)
Early-life events can cause long-term neurobiological and behavioural changes with a resultant effect upon reward and addiction processes that enhance risk to develop alcohol use disorders. Maternal separation (MS) is used to study the mediating mechanisms of early-life influences in rodents. In MS studies, the pups are exposed to maternal absence during(More)