Neurotoxicity to dopamine neurons after the serial exposure to alcohol and methamphetamine: Protection by COX-2 antagonism

Amanda L. Blaker, Eric A. Rodriguez, Bryan Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A significant co-morbidity exists between alcohol and methamphetamine (Meth) in humans but the consequences and mechanisms underlying their co-morbid effects remain to be identified. A consequence associated with the abuse of either alcohol or Meth involves inflammation but little is known about the role of inflammation in a possible neurotoxicity arising from their co-exposure. Sprague Dawley rats were allowed 28 days of intermittent, voluntary access to 10% ethanol (EtOH) followed by a neurotoxic binge administration of Meth. EtOH drinking followed by Meth increased microglial cell counts and produced morphological changes in microglia of the substantia nigra pars compacta 2 h after Meth administration that were distinct from those produced by either EtOH or Meth alone. These effects preceded the activation of cleaved caspase-3 in dopamine cell bodies, as well as decreases in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity in the substantia nigra and dopamine transporter (DAT) immunoreactivity in the striatum measured at 7 days after Meth. Intervention with a selective COX-2 inhibitor during EtOH drinking prevented the changes in microglia, and attenuated the increase in cleaved caspase-3, and decreases in TH and DAT after Meth administration. Furthermore, motor dysfunction measured by a rotarod test was evident but only in rats that were exposed to both EtOH and Meth. The motor dysfunction was ameliorated by prior inhibition of COX-2 during EtOH drinking. The exaggerated neurochemical and behavioral deficits indicate that the comorbidity of EtOH and Meth induces a degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway and support the role of inflammation produced by EtOH drinking that primes and mediates the neurotoxic consequences associated with the common co-morbidity of these drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Methamphetamine
Dopaminergic Neurons
Alcohols
Drinking
Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
Microglia
Inflammation
Caspase 3
Rotarod Performance Test
Morbidity
Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
Substantia Nigra
Alcoholism
Sprague Dawley Rats
Comorbidity
Dopamine
Ethanol
Cell Count

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

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title = "Neurotoxicity to dopamine neurons after the serial exposure to alcohol and methamphetamine: Protection by COX-2 antagonism",
abstract = "A significant co-morbidity exists between alcohol and methamphetamine (Meth) in humans but the consequences and mechanisms underlying their co-morbid effects remain to be identified. A consequence associated with the abuse of either alcohol or Meth involves inflammation but little is known about the role of inflammation in a possible neurotoxicity arising from their co-exposure. Sprague Dawley rats were allowed 28 days of intermittent, voluntary access to 10{\%} ethanol (EtOH) followed by a neurotoxic binge administration of Meth. EtOH drinking followed by Meth increased microglial cell counts and produced morphological changes in microglia of the substantia nigra pars compacta 2 h after Meth administration that were distinct from those produced by either EtOH or Meth alone. These effects preceded the activation of cleaved caspase-3 in dopamine cell bodies, as well as decreases in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity in the substantia nigra and dopamine transporter (DAT) immunoreactivity in the striatum measured at 7 days after Meth. Intervention with a selective COX-2 inhibitor during EtOH drinking prevented the changes in microglia, and attenuated the increase in cleaved caspase-3, and decreases in TH and DAT after Meth administration. Furthermore, motor dysfunction measured by a rotarod test was evident but only in rats that were exposed to both EtOH and Meth. The motor dysfunction was ameliorated by prior inhibition of COX-2 during EtOH drinking. The exaggerated neurochemical and behavioral deficits indicate that the comorbidity of EtOH and Meth induces a degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway and support the role of inflammation produced by EtOH drinking that primes and mediates the neurotoxic consequences associated with the common co-morbidity of these drugs.",
author = "Blaker, {Amanda L.} and Rodriguez, {Eric A.} and Bryan Yamamoto",
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AB - A significant co-morbidity exists between alcohol and methamphetamine (Meth) in humans but the consequences and mechanisms underlying their co-morbid effects remain to be identified. A consequence associated with the abuse of either alcohol or Meth involves inflammation but little is known about the role of inflammation in a possible neurotoxicity arising from their co-exposure. Sprague Dawley rats were allowed 28 days of intermittent, voluntary access to 10% ethanol (EtOH) followed by a neurotoxic binge administration of Meth. EtOH drinking followed by Meth increased microglial cell counts and produced morphological changes in microglia of the substantia nigra pars compacta 2 h after Meth administration that were distinct from those produced by either EtOH or Meth alone. These effects preceded the activation of cleaved caspase-3 in dopamine cell bodies, as well as decreases in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity in the substantia nigra and dopamine transporter (DAT) immunoreactivity in the striatum measured at 7 days after Meth. Intervention with a selective COX-2 inhibitor during EtOH drinking prevented the changes in microglia, and attenuated the increase in cleaved caspase-3, and decreases in TH and DAT after Meth administration. Furthermore, motor dysfunction measured by a rotarod test was evident but only in rats that were exposed to both EtOH and Meth. The motor dysfunction was ameliorated by prior inhibition of COX-2 during EtOH drinking. The exaggerated neurochemical and behavioral deficits indicate that the comorbidity of EtOH and Meth induces a degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway and support the role of inflammation produced by EtOH drinking that primes and mediates the neurotoxic consequences associated with the common co-morbidity of these drugs.

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