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Biochemistry - Mental Health - Neuroscience - Pharmacology

Importance of GluA1 Subunit-Containing AMPA Glutamate Receptors for Morphine State-Dependency
Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Author: Teemu Aitta-aho et al.

by Teemu Aitta-aho, Tommi P. Möykkynen, Anne E. Panhelainen, Olga Yu. Vekovischeva, Pia Bäckström, Esa R. Korpi

In state-dependency, information retrieval is most efficient when the animal is in the same state as it was during the information acquisition. State-dependency has been implicated in a variety of learning and memory processes, but its mechanisms remain to be resolved. Here, mice deficient in AMPA-type glutamate receptor GluA1 subunits were first conditioned to morphine (10 or 20 mg/kg s.c. during eight sessions over four days) using an unbiased procedure, followed by testing for conditioned place preference at morphine states that were the same as or different from the one the mice were conditioned to. In GluA1 wildtype littermate mice the same-state morphine dose produced the greatest expression of place preference, while in the knockout mice no place preference was then detected. Both wildtype and knockout mice expressed moderate morphine-induced place preference when not at the morphine state (saline treatment at the test); in this case, place preference was weaker than that in the same-state test in wildtype mice. No correlation between place preference scores and locomotor activity during testing was found. Additionally, as compared to the controls, the knockout mice showed unchanged sensitization to morphine, morphine drug discrimination and brain regional µ-opioid receptor signal transduction at the G-protein level. However, the knockout mice failed to show increased AMPA/NMDA receptor current ratios in the ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons of midbrain slices after a single injection of morphine (10 mg/kg, s.c., sliced prepared 24 h afterwards), in contrast to the wildtype mice. The results indicate impaired drug-induced state-dependency in GluA1 knockout mice, correlating with impaired opioid-induced glutamate receptor neuroplasticity.