Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center

Emeryville, CA, United States

Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center

Emeryville, CA, United States

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Enquist J.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Ferwerda M.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Milan-Lobo L.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Whistler J.L.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Whistler J.L.,University of California at San Francisco
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics | Year: 2012

Chronic treatment of pain with opiate drugs can lead to analgesic tolerance and drug dependence. Although all opiate drugs can promote tolerance and dependence in practice, the severity of those unwanted side effects differs depending on the drug used. Although each opiate drug has its own unique set of pharmacological profiles, methadone is the only clinically used opioid drug that produces substantial receptor endocytosis at analgesic doses. Here, we examined whether moderate doses of methadone carry any benefits over chronic use of equianalgesic morphine, the prototypical opioid. Our data show that chronic administration of methadone produces significantly less analgesic tolerance than morphine. Furthermore, we found significantly reduced precipitated withdrawal symptoms after chronic methadone treatment than after chronic morphine treatment. Finally, using a novel animal model with a degrading μ-opioid receptor we showed that, although endocytosis seems to protect against tolerance development, endocytosis followed by receptor degradation produces a rapid onset of analgesic tolerance to methadone. Together, these data indicated that opioid drugs that promote receptor endocytosis and recycling, such as methadone, may be a better choice for chronic pain treatment than morphine and its derivatives that do not. Copyright © 2012 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Milan-Lobo L.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Whistler J.L.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Whistler J.L.,University of California at San Francisco
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics | Year: 2011

Heteromerization of opioid receptors has been shown to alter opioid receptor pharmacology. However, how receptor heteromerization affects the processes of endocytosis and postendocytic sorting has not been closely examined. This question is of particular relevance for heteromers of the μ-opioid receptor (MOR) and δ-opioid receptor (DOR), because the MOR is recycled primarily after endocytosis and the DOR is degraded in the lysosome. Here, we examined the endocytic and postendocytic fate of MORs, DORs, and DOR/MOR heteromers in human embryonic kidney 293 cells stably expressing each receptor alone or coexpressing both receptors. We found that the clinically relevant MOR agonist methadone promotes endocytosis of MOR but also the DOR/MOR heteromer. Furthermore, we show that DOR/MOR heteromers that are endocytosed in response to methadone are targeted for degradation, whereas MORs in the same cell are significantly more stable. It is noteworthy that we found that the DOR-selective antagonist naltriben mesylate could block both methadone- and [D-Ala2,NMe-Phe4,Gly-ol5]-enkephalin-induced endocytosis of the DOR/ MOR heteromers but did not block signaling from this heteromer. Together, our results suggest that the MOR adopts novel trafficking properties in the context of the DOR/MOR heteromer. In addition, they suggest that the heteromer shows "biased antagonism," whereby DOR antagonist can inhibit trafficking but not signaling of the DOR/MOR heteromer. Copyright © 2011 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Kayser A.S.,University of California at San Francisco | Kayser A.S.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Kayser A.S.,VA Northern California Health Care System | Mitchell J.M.,University of California at San Francisco | And 4 more authors.
Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2015

Whether to continue to exploit a source of reward, or to search for a new one of potentially greater value, is a fundamental and underconstrained decision. Recent computational studies of this exploration-exploitation tradeoff have found that variability in exploration across individuals is influenced by a functional polymorphism (Val158Met) in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, whose protein product degrades synaptically released dopamine. However, these and other genotype-phenotype associations have rarely been causally tested. To directly test this association and to evaluate additional behavioral characteristics, including perceived locus of control (LOC), here we used the COMT inhibitor tolcapone in a randomized, double-blind, counterbalanced, within-subject study of 66 subjects genotyped for the Val158Met allele to assess the hypothesis that reducing COMT enzymatic activity interacts with genotype to increase uncertainty-driven exploration. In keeping with our initial hypothesis, tolcapone led to an increase in exploratory, but not exploitative, behavior in Met/Met rather than Val/Val subjects. Independent of genotype, those subjects with a more external LOC also showed increases in uncertainty-driven exploration on tolcapone relative to placebo. However, we did not replicate our previous finding that Met/Met subjects show greater exploration at baseline. Together these findings support a model in which exploration is hypothesized to have a dopaminergic basis. Moreover, in keeping with findings in other behavioral and cognitive domains, the response to an increase in presumptively frontal dopamine is dependent upon baseline dopamine tone. © 2015 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Joslyn G.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Ravindranathan A.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Brush G.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Schuckit M.,University of California at San Diego | And 2 more authors.
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research | Year: 2010

Background: Alcohol use disorders (AUD) exhibit the properties shared by common conditions and diseases classified as genetically complex. The etiology of AUDs is heterogeneous involving mostly unknown interactions of environmental and heritable factors. A person's level of response (LR) to alcohol is inversely correlated with a family history and the development of AUDs. As an AUD endophenotype, alcohol LR is hypothesized to be less genetically complex and closer to the primary etiology of AUDs. Methods: A genome wide association study (GWAS) was performed on subjects characterized for alcohol LR phenotypes. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) of the GWAS data was performed to determine whether, as a group, genes that participate in a common biological function (a gene set) demonstrate greater genetic association than would be randomly expected. Results: The GSEA analysis implicated variation in neuronal signaling genes, especially glutamate signaling, as being involved in alcohol LR variability in the human population. Conclusions: These data, coupled with cell and animal model data implicating neuronal signaling in alcohol response, support the conclusion that neuronal signaling is mechanistically involved in alcohol's cellular and behavioral effects. Further, these data suggest that genetic variation in these signaling pathways contribute to human variation in alcohol response. Finally, this concordance of the cell, animal, and human findings supports neuronal signaling, particularly glutamate signaling, as a prime target for translational studies to understand and eventually modulate alcohol's effects. Copyright © 2010 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

Enquist J.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Ferwerda M.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Madhavan A.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Hok D.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2012

Alleviating anxiety and depression is pivotal for reducing the risk of relapse in alcoholics. Currently available anxiolytic treatments are limited by side effects, including reduced efficacy in alcoholics, addiction, and sedation. We examined whether the neuropeptide S receptor (NPSR) was effective at controlling ethanol consumption and the anxiety and depression produced by forced abstinence from ethanol. We found that the anxiolytic and anti-depressant effects of NPS are enhanced in acute ethanol abstinent mice. In addition, we found that NPS reduced ethanol consumption and is not in and of itself rewarding. We also provide evidence that ethanol consumption increases the ability of NPS to modulate neuronal activity in the basolateral amygdala. Finally, we found that local injection of NPS in the basolateral amygdala promotes anxiolysis after chronic ethanol consumption, thereby providing insight into the molecular mechanism underlying the changes in behavioral response to NPS. In light of the improved anxiolytic efficacy and benign side effects of NPS in ethanol-withdrawn animals, the NPSR may prove a suitable target for reducing relapse in alcoholism. © 2012 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Nielsen C.K.,University of California at San Francisco | Simms J.A.,University of California at San Francisco | Bito-Onon J.J.,University of California at San Francisco | Li R.,University of California at San Francisco | And 3 more authors.
Addiction Biology | Year: 2012

A major problem in treating alcohol use disorders (AUDs) is the high rate of relapse due to stress and re-exposure to cues or an environment previously associated with alcohol use. Stressors can induce relapse to alcohol-seeking in humans or reinstatement in rodents. Delta opioid peptide receptors (DOP-Rs) play a role in cue-induced reinstatement of ethanol-seeking; however, their role in stress-induced reinstatement of ethanol-seeking is not known. The objective of this study was to determine the role of DOP-Rs in yohimbine-stress-induced reinstatement of ethanol-seeking. Male, Long-Evans rats were trained to self-administer 10% ethanol in daily 30-minute operant self-administration sessions using a FR3 schedule of reinforcement, followed by extinction training. Once extinction criteria were met, we examined the effects of the DOP-R antagonist, SoRI-9409 (0-5 mg/kg, i.p.) on yohimbine (2 mg/kg, i.p.) stress-induced reinstatement. Additionally, DOP-R-stimulated [ 35S]GTPγS binding was measured in brain membranes and plasma levels of corticosterone (CORT) were determined. Pre-treatment with SoRI-9409 decreased yohimbine stress-induced reinstatement of ethanol-seeking but did not affect yohimbine-induced increases in plasma CORT levels. Additionally, yohimbine increased DOP-R-stimulated 35[S]GTPγS binding in brain membranes of ethanol-trained rats, an effect that was inhibited by SoRI-9409. This suggests that the DOP-R plays an important role in yohimbine-stress-induced reinstatement of ethanol-seeking behavior, and DOP-R antagonists may be promising candidates for further development as a treatment for AUDs. © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction.

Madhavan A.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | He L.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Stuber G.D.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Bonci A.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2010

Chronic morphine drives adaptations in synaptic transmission thought to underlie opiate dependence. Here we examine the role of μ-opioid receptor(MOR)trafficking in one of these adaptations, specifically, changes inGABAtransmission in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). To address this question, we used a knock-in mouse, RMOR (for recycling MOR), in which genetic change in the MOR promotes morphine-induced receptor desensitization and endocytosis in GABA interneurons of the VTA. In wild-type mice (postnatal days 23-28) chronic morphine (10 mg/kg, s.c., twice daily for 5 d), induced a cAMP-dependent increase in the probability of GABA release onto VTA dopamine neurons. The increased GABA release frequency correlated with physical dependence on morphine measured by counting somatic signs of morphine withdrawal, such as, tremors, jumps, rears, wet-dog shakes, and grooming behavior precipitated by subcutaneous administration of naloxone (NLX) (2 mg/kg). This adaptation in GABA release was prevented in RMOR mice given the same morphine treatment, implicating MOR trafficking in this morphine-induced change in plasticity. Importantly, treatment with the cAMP activity inhibitor rp-cAMPS [(R)-adenosine, cyclic 3′,5′-(hydrogenphosphorothioate) triethylammonium] (50 ng/0.5 μl), directly to the VTA, attenuated somatic withdrawal signs to systemic morphine produced by intra-VTA NLX (500 ng/0.5 μl), directly tying enhanced cAMP-driven GABA release to naloxone- precipitated morphine withdrawal in the VTA. Copyright © 2010 the authors.

Choquet H.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Choquet H.,University of California at San Francisco | Kasberger J.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Hamidovic A.,Northwestern University | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Common PCSK1 variants (notably rs6232 and rs6235) have been shown to be associated with obesity in European, Asian and Mexican populations. To determine whether common PCSK1 variants contribute to obesity in American population, we conducted association analyses in 8,359 subjects using two multi-ethnic American studies: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). By evaluating the contribution of rs6232 and rs6235 in each ethnic group, we found that in European-American subjects from CARDIA, only rs6232 was associated with BMI (P = 0.006) and obesity (P = 0.018) but also increased the obesity incidence during the 20 years of follow-up (HR = 1.53 [1.07-2.19], P = 0.019). Alternatively, in African-American subjects from CARDIA, rs6235 was associated with BMI (P = 0.028) and obesity (P = 0.018). Further, by combining the two case-control ethnic groups from the CARDIA study in a meta-analysis, association between rs6235 and obesity risk remained significant (OR = 1.23 [1.05-1.45], P = 9.5×10-3). However, neither rs6232 nor rs6235 was associated with BMI or obesity in the MESA study. Interestingly, rs6232 was associated with BMI (P = 4.2×10-3) and obesity (P = 3.4×10-3) in the younger European-American group combining samples from the both studies [less than median age (53 years)], but not among the older age group (P = 0.756 and P = 0.935 for BMI and obesity, respectively). By combining all the case-control ethnic groups from CARDIA and MESA in a meta-analysis, we found no significant association for the both variants and obesity risk. Finally, by exploring the full PCSK1 locus, we observed that no variant remained significant after correction for multiple testing. These results indicate that common PCSK1 variants (notably rs6232 and rs6235) contribute modestly to obesity in multi-ethnic American population. Further, these results suggest that the association of rs6232 with obesity may be age-dependent in European-Americans. However, multiple replication studies in multi-ethnic American population are needed to confirm our findings.

Feduccia A.A.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Chatterjee S.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Bartlett S.E.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Bartlett S.E.,Queensland University of Technology
Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience | Year: 2012

Addictive drugs can activate systems involved in normal reward-related learning, creating long-lasting memories of the drug's reinforcing effects and the environmental cues surrounding the experience. These memories significantly contribute to the maintenance of compulsive drug use as well as cue-induced relapse which can occur even after long periods of abstinence. Synaptic plasticity is thought to be a prominent molecular mechanism underlying drug-induced learning and memories. Ethanol and nicotine are both widely abused drugs that share a common molecular target in the brain, the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The nAChRs are ligand-gated ion channels that are vastly distributed throughout the brain and play a key role in synaptic neurotransmission. In this review, we will delineate the role of nAChRs in the development of ethanol and nicotine addiction. We will characterize both ethanol and nicotine's effects on nAChR-mediated synaptic transmission and plasticity in several key brain areas that are important for addiction. Finally, we will discuss some of the behavioral outcomes of drug-induced synaptic plasticity in animal models. An understanding of the molecular and cellular changes that occur following administration of ethanol and nicotine will lead to better therapeutic strategies. © 2012 Feduccia, Chatterjee and Bartlett.

Woodward Hopf F.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Seif T.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Mohamedi M.L.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Chen B.T.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center | Bonci A.,Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center
European Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2010

The striatum is considered to be critical for the control of goal-directed action, with the lateral dorsal striatum (latDS) being implicated in modulation of habits and the nucleus accumbens thought to represent a limbic-motor interface. Although medium spiny neurons from different striatal subregions exhibit many similar properties, differential firing and synaptic plasticity could contribute to the varied behavioral roles across subregions. Here, we examined the contribution of small-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels (SKs) to action potential generation and synaptic plasticity in adult rat latDS and nucleus accumbens shell (NAS) projection neurons in vitro. The SK-selective antagonist apamin exerted a prominent effect on latDS firing, significantly decreasing the interspike interval. Furthermore, prolonged latDS depolarization increased the interspike interval and reduced firing, and this enhancement was reversed by apamin. In contrast, NAS neurons exhibited greater basal firing rates and less regulation of firing by SK inhibition and prolonged depolarization. LatDS neurons also had greater SK currents than NAS neurons under voltage-clamp. Importantly, SK inhibition with apamin facilitated long-term depression (LTD) induction in the latDS but not the NAS, without alterations in glutamate release. In addition, SK activation in the latDS prevented LTD induction. Greater SK function in the latDS than in the NAS was not secondary to differences in sodium or inwardly rectifying potassium channel function, and apamin enhancement of firing did not reflect indirect action through cholinergic interneurons. Thus, these data demonstrate that SKs are potent modulators of action potential generation and LTD in the dorsal striatum, and could represent a fundamental cellular mechanism through which habits are regulated. © Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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