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BACKGROUND Pioglitazone and rosiglitazone belong to the class of thiazolidinediones (TZDs). They were first developed as antioxidants and then approved for the clinical treatment of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. TZDs bind with high affinity and activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ) receptors, which in the brain are(More)
Methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) has been found effective in treating heroin addiction. Serious consideration should be given to the modality of methadone distribution, as it influences not only treatment outcome but the attitudes of policy makers and the community, too. On one hand, the choice of take-home methadone removes the need for daily attendance(More)
We have studied the effects of mu- and kappa-opioid receptor blockade on endogenous acetylcholine and noradrenaline overflow from the myenteric plexus of the guinea-pig isolated colon. Cyprodime (putative mu-selective antagonist) and nor-binaltorphimine (kappa-selective antagonist) had a concentration-dependent facilitatory effect on both acetylcholine and(More)
For centuries Cannabis sativa and cannabis extracts have been used in natural medicine. Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main active ingredient of Cannabis. THC seems to be responsible for most of the pharmacological and therapeutic actions of cannabis. In a few countries THC extracts (i.e. Sativex) or THC derivatives such as nabilone, and(More)
The hypotheses of (1) gene x environment interaction in the susceptibility to experiment with drugs and (2) hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis involvement in mediating the effects of early adverse experiences and gene variants affecting serotonin function on substance abuse vulnerability were tested by investigating in 187 healthy adolescents the(More)
In the guinea-pig colon, acetylcholine (ACh) release from intrinsic cholinergic motor neurons is inhibited by adrenoceptors, opioid and muscarinic receptors. Chronic sympathetic denervation resulted in supersensitivity to the inhibitory effect of DAMGO (mu-opioid agonist) on ACh release and on the peristaltic reflex. After chronic treatment with naltrexone(More)
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction has been reported to be involved in vulnerability to alcohol and drug dependence in humans, possibly underlying both addictive behaviour and depression susceptibility. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible interactions between childhood adverse experiences, depressive symptoms and(More)
Opiate addiction influences many physiological functions including immune responses. The objective of this study was to investigate the immune system function in heroin addicted patients submitted to methadone or buprenorphine maintenance treatment compared to untreated heroin addicts and healthy controls. Four groups were studied: group A included nine(More)
Cocaine dependence is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and high vulnerability to relapse. Overall, cocaine remains one of the most used illicit drugs in the world. Given the difficulty of achieving sustained recovery, pharmacotherapy of cocaine addiction remains one of the most important clinical challenges. Recent advances in neurobiology, brain(More)
A sensitive and selective HPLC-MS/MS method has been developed for the first time for the analysis of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (the most important active cannabinoid) and its hydroxylated and carboxylated metabolites in human Dried Blood Spots (DBSs). The simultaneous determination of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol and its two main metabolites allows assessing(More)