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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-07-19
    Description: Evidence suggests that the α 4 β 2, but not the α 7, subtype of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) plays a key role in mediating the behavioral effects of nicotine and related drugs. However, the importance of other nAChR subtypes remains unclear. The present studies were conducted to examine the involvement of nAChR subtypes by determining the effects of selected nicotinic agonists and antagonists in squirrel monkeys either 1) responding for food reinforcement or 2) discriminating the nicotinic agonist (+)-epibatidine (0.001 mg/kg) from vehicle. In food-reinforcement studies, nicotine, (+)-epibatidine, varenicline and cytisine all produced dose-dependent decreases in rates of food-maintained responding. The rate-decreasing effects of nicotine were antagonized by mecamylamine (nonselective), not appreciably altered by dihydro- β -erythroidine ( α 4 β 2 selective), and exacerbated by the nicotinic partial agonists, varenicline and cytisine. Results from discrimination studies show that non-nicotinic drugs did not substitute for (+)-epibatidine, and that except for lobeline, the nicotinic agonists produced either full [(+)-epibatidine, (–)-epibatidine, and nicotine] or partial (varenicline, cytisine, anabaseine, and isoarecolone) substitution for (+)-epibatidine. In interaction studies with antagonists differing in selectivity, (+)-epibatidine discrimination was substantively antagonized by mecamylamine, slightly attenuated by hexamethonium (peripherally restricted) or dihydro- β -erythroidine, and not altered by methyllycaconitine ( α 7 selective). Varenicline and cytisine enhanced (+)-epibatidine’s discriminative-stimulus effects. Correlational analysis revealed a close correspondence between relative behavioral potencies of nicotinic agonists in both studies and their published relative binding affinities at α 4 β 2 and α 3 β 4, but not α 7 nAChR, subtypes. Collectively, these results are consistent with the idea that the α 4 β 2 and α 3 β 4, but not α 7 nAChR subtypes play a role in the behavioral effects of nicotinic agonists.
    Print ISSN: 0022-3565
    Electronic ISSN: 1521-0103
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-02-09
    Description: AM6538 is a cannabinoid antagonist that binds CB1 receptors expressed in HEK-293 cells in a wash-resistant manner. The effects of AM6538 in live animals has not previously been established. We characterized the antagonist effects of AM6538 in male mice, using a warm-water tail-withdrawal assay, and in male squirrel monkeys trained to discriminate the CB1 agonist AM4054 from vehicle. The cannabinoid agonists WIN 55,212, 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and AM4054 all produced 100% maximum possible antinociceptive effects in mice following vehicle pretreatment. One-hour pretreatment with increasing doses of AM6538 (0.1–10 mg/kg) produced first rightward, then downward shifts of the agonist dose-effect functions. Rimonabant, 1–10 mg/kg, produced parallel rightward shifts of the AM4054 dose-effect functions, and baseline effects of AM4054 were nearly recovered within 24 hours following 10 mg/kg of rimonabant. In contrast, in mice treated with 10 mg/kg of AM6538, antagonism of THC or AM4054 lasted up to 7 days. AM6538 also antagonized the discriminative stimulus effects of AM4054 in squirrel monkeys in a dose-related manner, and the effects of 3.2 mg/kg of AM6538 endured for more than 7 days. The effective reduction in CB1 receptor reserve was used to calculate the relative efficacy (tau values) of WIN 55,212, THC, and AM4054 in mice and of AM4054 monkeys, with results indicating that THC has a lower efficacy than WIN 55,212 or AM4054 in mice. These results demonstrate that AM6538 is a long-acting CB antagonist in vivo, and further suggest that differences in CB efficacy can be revealed in behavioral assays following AM6538 treatment.
    Print ISSN: 0022-3565
    Electronic ISSN: 1521-0103
    Topics: Medicine
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