Joel E. Schlosburg

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2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide are endocannabinoids that activate the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Endocannabinoid signaling is terminated by enzymatic hydrolysis, a process that for anandamide is mediated by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and for 2-AG is thought to involve monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). FAAH inhibitors produce a(More)
Prolonged exposure to drugs of abuse, such as cannabinoids and opioids, leads to pharmacological tolerance and receptor desensitization in the nervous system. We found that a similar form of functional antagonism was produced by sustained inactivation of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the principal degradative enzyme for the endocannabinoid(More)
Alcoholism is characterized by a compulsion to seek and ingest alcohol, loss of control over intake, and the emergence of a negative emotional state during abstinence. We hypothesized that sustained activation of neuroendocrine stress systems (e.g., corticosteroid release via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) by alcohol intoxication and withdrawal(More)
Drug addiction has been conceptualized as a chronically relapsing disorder of compulsive drug seeking and taking that progresses through three stages: binge/intoxication, withdrawal/negative affect, and preoccupation/anticipation. Drug addiction impacts multiple motivational mechanisms and can be conceptualized as a disorder that progresses from positive(More)
Repeated administration of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa, induces profound tolerance that correlates with desensitization and downregulation of CB(1) cannabinoid receptors in the CNS. However, the consequences of repeated administration of the endocannabinoid N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine(More)
The endogenous cannabinoid N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (anandamide; AEA) produces most of its pharmacological effects by binding and activating CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors within the CNS and periphery. However, the actions of AEA are short lived because of its rapid catabolism by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Indeed, FAAH knockout mice as well as(More)
Heroin addiction is a wide-reaching problem with a spectrum of damaging social consequences. A vaccine capable of blocking heroin's effects could provide a long-lasting and sustainable adjunct to heroin addiction therapy. Heroin, however, presents a particularly challenging immunotherapeutic target, as it is metabolized to multiple psychoactive molecules.(More)
The abuse of opioid drugs, both illicit and prescription, is a persistent problem in the United States, accounting for >1.2 million users who require treatment each year. Current treatments rely on suppressing immediate withdrawal symptoms and replacing illicit drug use with long-acting opiate drugs. However, the mechanisms that lead to preventing opiate(More)
Dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are well known for mediating the positive reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse. Here we identify in rodents and humans a population of VTA dopaminergic neurons expressing corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). We provide further evidence in rodents that chronic nicotine exposure upregulates Crh mRNA(More)
The prevalence of opioid abuse and dependence has been on the rise in just the past few years. Animal studies indicate that extended access to heroin produces escalation of intake over time, whereas stable intake is observed under limited-access conditions. Escalation of drug intake has been suggested to model the transition from controlled drug use to(More)