Publications by authors named "Natalie A Hadad"

5 Publications

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Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in post-traumatic stress disorder and cocaine use disorder.

Stress 2020 11 24;23(6):638-650. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Psychology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often comorbid with cocaine use disorder (CUD), but little is known about hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function in PTSD + CUD. Here we review the clinical and pre-clinical literature of PTSD and CUD with the goal of generating hypotheses about HPA axis activity in comorbid PTSD + CUD. Low glucocorticoid (CORT) levels immediately after trauma exposure are associated with PTSD. CORT administered within 12 h of trauma exposure reduces later PTSD symptoms. Weeks-years after trauma, meta-analyses find lower CORT levels in patients with PTSD relative to never-traumatized controls; the same is found in a pre-clinical model of PTSD. In rodents, reduced basal CORT levels are consistently found after chronic cocaine self-administration. Conversely, increased CORT levels are found in CUD patients during the first 2 weeks of cocaine abstinence. There is evidence for CORT hyper-suppression after dexamethasone, high glucocorticoid receptor (GR) number pre-trauma, and increased GR translocation to the nucleus in PTSD. Hyper-suppression of HPA axis activity after dexamethasone suggests that PTSD individuals may have increased anterior pituitary GR. Given evidence for decreased anterior pituitary GR in rats that self-administer cocaine, PTSD + CUD individuals may have normal GR density and low basal CORT levels during late abstinence. Future studies should aim to reconcile the differences in pre-clinical and clinical basal CORT levels during cocaine and assess HPA axis function in both rodent models of CUD that consider stress-susceptibility and in PTSD + CUD individuals. Although additional studies are necessary, individuals with PTSD + CUD may benefit from behavioral and psychopharmacological treatments to normalize HPA axis activity. LAY SUMMARY Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often comorbid with cocaine use disorder (CUD), but little is known about the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function in PTSD + CUD. The current review provides a synthesis of available clinical and pre-clinical data on PTSD and CUD with the goal of generating hypotheses about HPA axis activity in comorbid PTSD + CUD. While this review finds ample evidence supporting aberrant HPA axis activity in both PTSD and CUD, it suggests that more research is needed to understand the unique changes HPA axis activity in PTSD + CUD, as well as the bidirectional relationship between stress-susceptibility and motivation to seek cocaine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10253890.2020.1803824DOI Listing
November 2020

A novel rat model of comorbid PTSD and addiction reveals intersections between stress susceptibility and enhanced cocaine seeking with a role for mGlu5 receptors.

Transl Psychiatry 2018 10 5;8(1):209. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

Psychology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA.

PTSD is highly comorbid with cocaine use disorder (CUD), and cocaine users with PTSD + CUD are more resistant to treatment. Here we sought to develop a rat model of PTSD + CUD in order to identify the neurobiological changes underlying such comorbidity and screen potential medications for reducing cocaine seeking in the PTSD population. We utilized a predator scent stress model of PTSD, wherein rats received a single exposure to the fox pheromone 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT). One week after TMT exposure, stress-susceptible (susceptible), intermediate, and resilient phenotypes were detected and were consistent with behavioral, corticosterone, and gene expression profiles 3 weeks post TMT. We assessed phenotypic differences in cocaine self-administration, extinction, and cue-primed reinstatement. Susceptible rats exhibited deficits in extinction learning and increased cue-primed reinstatement that was not prevented by Ceftriaxone, an antibiotic that consistently attenuates the reinstatement of cocaine seeking. TMT-exposed resilient rats displayed increased mGlu5 gene expression in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex and did not display the enhanced cocaine seeking observed in susceptible rats. Combined treatment with the mGlu5 positive allosteric modulator 3-Cyano-N-(1,3-diphenyl-1 H-pyrazol-5-yl)benzamide (CDPPB), fear extinction, and ceftriaxone prevented the reinstatement of cocaine seeking in susceptible rats with fear extinction an important mediating condition. These results highlight the need for animal models of PTSD to consider stress-responsivity, as only a subset of trauma-exposed individuals develop PTSD and these individuals likely exhibit distinct neurobiological changes compared with trauma-exposed populations who are resilient to stress. This work further identifies glutamate homeostasis and mGlu5 as a target for treating relapse in comorbid PTSD-cocaine addiction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-018-0265-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6173705PMC
October 2018

Effect of Pet Dogs on Children's Perceived Stress and Cortisol Stress Response.

Soc Dev 2017 May 28;26(2):382-401. Epub 2016 Jul 28.

University of Florida.

The present study tested whether pet dogs have stress-buffering effects for children during a validated laboratory-based protocol, the Trier Social Stress Test for Children (TSST-C). Participants were 101 children aged 7-12 years with their primary caregivers and pet dogs. Children were randomly assigned in the TSST-C to a pet present condition or one of two comparison conditions: parent present or no support figure present. Baseline, response, and recovery indices of perceived stress and cortisol levels were computed based on children's self-reported feelings of stress and salivary cortisol. Results indicated that in the alone (no social support) condition, children showed the expected rise for both perceived stress and cortisol response to stress. Pet dog presence significantly buffered the perceived stress response in comparison to children in the alone and parent present conditions. No main condition effect was observed for cortisol; however, for children experiencing the stressor with their pet present, lower cortisol response to stress was associated with more child-initiated petting and less dog proximity-seeking behavior. The results support the notion that pet dogs can provide socio-emotional benefits for children via stress buffering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sode.12203DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5400290PMC
May 2017

Conditioned stress prevents cue-primed cocaine reinstatement only in stress-responsive rats.

Stress 2016 07 3;19(4):406-18. Epub 2016 Jun 3.

a Department of Psychology , University of Florida , Gainesville , FL , USA ;

Neurobiological mechanisms underlying comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and cocaine use disorder (CUD) are unknown. We aimed to develop an animal model of PTSD + CUD to examine the neurobiology underlying cocaine-seeking in the presence of PTSD comorbidity. Rats were exposed to cat urine once for 10-minutes and tested for anxiety-like behaviors one week later. Subsequently, rats underwent long-access (LgA) cocaine self-administration and extinction training. Rats were re-exposed to the trauma context and then immediately tested for cue-primed reinstatement of cocaine-seeking. Plasma and brains were collected afterwards for corticosterone assays and real-time qPCR analysis. Urine-exposed (UE; n = 23) and controls not exposed to urine (Ctrl; n = 11) did not differ in elevated plus maze behavior, but UE rats displayed significantly reduced habituation of the acoustic startle response (ASR) relative to Ctrl rats. A median split of ASR habituation scores was used to classify stress-responsive rats. UE rats (n = 10) self-administered more cocaine on Day 1 of LgA than control rats (Ctrl + Coc; n = 8). Re-exposure to the trauma context prevented cocaine reinstatement only in stress-responsive rats. Ctrl + Coc rats had lower plasma corticosterone concentrations than Ctrls, and decreased gene expression of corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) and Glcci1 in the hippocampus. Rats that self-administered cocaine displayed greater CRH expression in the amygdala that was independent of urine exposure. While we did not find that cat urine exposure induced a PTSD-like phenotype in our rats, the present study underscores the need to separate stressed rats into cohorts based on anxiety-like behavior in order to study individual vulnerability to PTSD + CUD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10253890.2016.1189898DOI Listing
July 2016

Addicted to palatable foods: comparing the neurobiology of Bulimia Nervosa to that of drug addiction.

Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2014 May 6;231(9):1897-912. Epub 2014 Feb 6.

Department of Psychology, University of Florida, P.O. Box 112250, Gainesville, FL, 32611-2250, USA.

Rationale: Bulimia nervosa (BN) is highly comorbid with substance abuse and shares common phenotypic and genetic predispositions with drug addiction. Although treatments for the two disorders are similar, controversy remains about whether BN should be classified as addiction.

Objectives: Here, we review the animal and human literature with the goal of assessing whether BN and drug addiction share a common neurobiology.

Results: Similar neurobiological features are present following administration of drugs and bingeing on palatable food, especially sugar. Specifically, both disorders involve increases in extracellular dopamine (DA), D1 binding, D3 messenger RNA (mRNA), and ΔFosB in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Animal models of BN reveal increases in ventral tegmental area (VTA) DA and enzymes involved in DA synthesis that resemble changes observed after exposure to addictive drugs. Additionally, alterations in the expression of glutamate receptors and prefrontal cortex activity present in human BN or following sugar bingeing in animals are comparable to the effects of addictive drugs. The two disorders differ in regards to alterations in NAc D2 binding, VTA DAT mRNA expression, and the efficacy of drugs targeting glutamate to treat these disorders.

Conclusions: Although additional empirical studies are necessary, the synthesis of the two bodies of research presented here suggests that BN shares many neurobiological features with drug addiction. While few Food and Drug Administration-approved options currently exist for the treatment of drug addiction, pharmacotherapies developed in the future, which target the glutamate, DA, and opioid systems, may be beneficial for the treatment of both BN and drug addiction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-014-3461-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4484591PMC
May 2014