Maria Antonietta De Luca

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Microdialysis studies in animals have shown that addictive drugs preferentially increase extracellular dopamine (DA) in the n. accumbens (NAc). Brain imaging studies, while extending these finding to humans, have shown a correlation between psychostimulant-induced increase of extracellular DA in the striatum and self-reported measures of liking and 'high'(More)
The synthetic cannabinoid 1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)-indole (JWH-018) has been detected in about 140 samples of a smokable herbal mixture termed "Spice". JWH-018 is a CB1 and CB2 agonist with a higher affinity than Δ9-THC. In order to investigate the neurobiological substrates of JWH-018 actions, we studied by microdialysis in freely moving rats the effect of(More)
RATIONALE Conditioned stimuli (CSs) by pavlovian association with reinforcing drugs (US) are thought to play an important role in the acquisition, maintenance and relapse of drug dependence. OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to investigate by microdialysis the impact of pavlovian drug CSs on behaviour and on basal and drug-stimulated dopamine (DA) in(More)
Cannabinoid receptor agonists are known to stimulate feeding in humans and animals and this effect is thought to be related to an increase in food palatability. On the other hand, highly palatable food stimulates dopamine (DA) transmission in the shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and this effect undergoes one trial habituation. In order to investigate(More)
Non-adaptive activation of dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens shell by drugs of abuse has been attributed a fundamental role in the mechanism of drug addiction. In order to test this hypothesis, we compared in the same subject the effect of an addictive drug (ethanol) and of taste stimuli, including ethanol's own taste, on dialysate dopamine in(More)
The response of extracellular dopamine (DA) and its relationship to motivational valence (positive or negative) and novelty of motivational stimuli was investigated by brain microdialysis in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core and prefrontal cortex (PFCX) of rats. Stimuli were elicited by intraoral infusion of 20% sucrose, sucrose plus chocolate,(More)
2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) is the most potent endogenous ligand of brain cannabinoid CB1 receptors and is synthesized on demand from 2-arachidonate-containing phosphoinositides by the action of diacylglycerol lipase in response to increased intracellular calcium. Several studies indicate that the endocannabinoid (eCB) system is involved in the mechanism(More)
In order to investigate the in vivo dopamine (DA) stimulant properties of selected 3rd generation Spice/K2 cannabinoids, BB-22, 5F-PB-22, 5F-AKB-48 and STS-135, their in vitro affinity and agonist potency at native rat and mice CB1 receptors was studied. The compounds bind with high affinity to CB1 receptors in rat cerebral cortex homogenates and stimulate(More)
JWH-250 and JWH-073 are two synthetic cannabinoid agonists with nanomolar affinity at CB1 and CB2 receptors. They are illegally marketed within "herbal blend" for theirs psychoactive effects greater than those produced by Cannabis. Recently, we analyzed an "herbal" preparation containing a mixture of both JWH-250 and JWH-073. The present study was aimed at(More)