Stefan D. Schlussman

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Salvinorin A is a naturally occurring hallucinogen derived from the plant Salvia divinorum. Salvinorin A is also a potent and selective kappa opioid receptor agonist in vitro. It has been shown that kappa agonists decrease dopamine levels in the caudate putamen and nucleus accumbens and cause conditioned place aversion in rodents. To study the effects of(More)
Rationale: The characterization of self-administration (SA) under extended access conditions is necessary for the development of addiction models. Objective: The purposes of this experiment were to investigate: (1) dose effects on the initiation of cocaine SA under extended access conditions; (2) predictable individual differences in SA under these(More)
Addictive diseases, including addiction to heroin, prescription opioids, or cocaine, pose massive personal and public health costs. Addictions are chronic relapsing diseases of the brain caused by drug-induced direct effects and persisting neuroadaptations at the epigenetic, mRNA, neuropeptide, neurotransmitter, or protein levels. These neuroadaptations,(More)
Tolerance to the stimulatory effects of cocaine on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis develops after chronic 'binge' cocaine exposure in the rat. This blunting of HPA axis activity in response to cocaine is associated with a cocaine-induced reduction of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA level in the hypothalamus. There is limited(More)
The reinforcing effect of cocaine is associated with increases in dopamine in the striatum. The phosphoprotein DARPP-32 (dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein) has been shown to mediate the intracellular events after activation of dopamine receptors. DARPP-32 is phosphorylated at multiple sites by different protein kinases, but little is known about(More)
The rewarding effect of cocaine as reflected by the development of conditioned place preference was examined in C57BL/6J and 129/J mice. Cocaine was administered in a single daily dose (2.5, 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg ip) or in a "binge" pattern (15 mg/kg ip x3, hourly). Mice remained in the conditioning compartment for 30 min immediately after each injection.(More)
In vivo microdialysis was used to measure the effect of chronic "binge" pattern cocaine administration on basal and cocaine-induced dopamine levels in the caudate putamen and nucleus accumbens of C57BL/6J and 129/J mice. Mice were implanted with a guide cannula in the caudate putamen or nucleus accumbens and after 4 days recovery, one group received "binge"(More)
Nonmedical use of the prescription opioid analgesic oxycodone is a major problem in the United States, particularly among adolescents and young adults. This study characterized self-administration of oxycodone by adolescent and adult mice, and how this affects striatal dopamine levels. Male C57BL/6J mice (4 or 10 weeks old) were allowed to acquire oxycodone(More)
Illicit use of prescription opioid analgesics (e.g., oxycodone) in adolescence is a pressing public health issue. Our goal was to determine whether oxycodone self administration differentially affects striatal neurotransmitter receptor gene expression in the dorsal striatum of adolescent compared to adult C57BL/6J mice. Groups of adolescent mice (4 weeks(More)
Mu opioid receptors (MOP-r) play an important role in the rewarding and locomotor stimulatory effects of heroin. The aim of the current study was to determine whether infusion of small interfering RNAs (siRNA) targeting MOP-r into the midbrain could knock down MOP-r mRNA and affect heroin-induced locomotor activity or heroin-induced conditioned place(More)