Publications by authors named "Shervin Gholizadeh"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Burden and cost of comorbidities in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder.

J Neurol Sci 2021 Jun 3;427:117530. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA, USA; Division of Molecular Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA, USA; Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA, USA.

Background: Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is associated with various comorbidities, including non-autoimmune and autoimmune conditions. The burden and cost of illness for NMOSD are unclear, particularly in the context of comorbidities.

Methods: Claims data from IBM MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental Databases between 2014 and 2018 were analyzed. Patients with NMOSD were specified as having inpatient or outpatient claims for NMOSD diagnosis or specific NMOSD symptoms claims and no subsequent claims for multiple sclerosis (MS) or use of MS disease-modifying therapy (DMT). Continuous enrollment ≥ 6 months before and ≥ 1 year after the first claim (index date) was required for study inclusion. Total costs stratified by comorbidities within 12 months post-index date were calculated per patient and compared 1:5 with matched non-NMOSD controls.

Results: A total of 162 patients with NMOSD and 810 non-NMOSD controls were evaluated. A significantly higher proportion of NMOSD patients had comorbidities than non-NMOSD controls (66.7% vs 41.5%; P < 0.001). Concomitant autoimmune disease occurred in 19.1% vs 4.9% (P < 0.001) of patients with NMOSD vs non-NMOSD controls. NMOSD patients incurred significantly higher total median (interquartile range) healthcare costs per patient ($68,386.48 [$23,373.54-$160,862.70]) than matched non-NMOSD controls with autoimmune disease ($17,215.13 [$6715.48-$31,441.93]; P < 0.001) or patients with NMOSD without autoimmune comorbidity ($23,905.42 [$8632.82-$67,251.54]; P = 0.022). Similarly, patients with NMOSD and non-autoimmune comorbidities incurred higher median healthcare costs than matched controls.

Conclusions: Patients with NMOSD experience significant disease burden and cost that are amplified by comorbidities. Effective therapies are needed, particularly for patients with concomitant autoimmune disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2021.117530DOI Listing
June 2021

Interregulation between fragile X mental retardation protein and methyl CpG binding protein 2 in the mouse posterior cerebral cortex.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 02;29(23):3744-3756

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3M2, Canada.

Several X-linked neurodevelopmental disorders including Rett syndrome, induced by mutations in the MECP2 gene, and fragile X syndrome (FXS), caused by mutations in the FMR1 gene, share autism-related features. The mRNA coding for methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) has previously been identified as a substrate for the mRNA-binding protein, fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which is silenced in FXS. Here, we report a homeostatic relationship between these two key regulators of gene expression in mouse models of FXS (Fmr1 Knockout (KO)) and Rett syndrome (MeCP2 KO). We found that the level of MeCP2 protein in the cerebral cortex was elevated in Fmr1 KO mice, whereas MeCP2 KO mice displayed reduced levels of FMRP, implicating interplay between the activities of MeCP2 and FMRP. Indeed, knockdown of MeCP2 with short hairpin RNAs led to a reduction of FMRP in mouse Neuro2A and in human HEK-293 cells, suggesting a reciprocal coupling in the expression level of these two regulatory proteins. Intra-cerebroventricular injection of an adeno-associated viral vector coding for FMRP led to a concomitant reduction in MeCP2 expression in vivo and partially corrected locomotor hyperactivity. Additionally, the level of MeCP2 in the posterior cortex correlated with the severity of the hyperactive phenotype in Fmr1 KO mice. These results demonstrate that MeCP2 and FMRP operate within a previously undefined homeostatic relationship. Our findings also suggest that MeCP2 overexpression in Fmr1 KO mouse posterior cerebral cortex may contribute to the fragile X locomotor hyperactivity phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddaa226DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7861017PMC
February 2021

FMRP Expression Levels in Mouse Central Nervous System Neurons Determine Behavioral Phenotype.

Hum Gene Ther 2016 12 7;27(12):982-996. Epub 2016 Sep 7.

1 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is absent or highly reduced in Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic disorder causing cognitive impairment and autistic behaviors. Previous proof-of-principle studies have demonstrated that restoring FMRP in the brain using viral vectors can improve pathological abnormalities in mouse models of fragile X. However, unlike small molecule drugs where the dose can readily be adjusted during treatment, viral vector-based biological therapeutic drugs present challenges in terms of achieving optimal dosing and expression levels. The objective of this study was to investigate the consequences of expressing varying levels of FMRP selectively in neurons of Fmr1 knockout and wild-type (WT) mice. A wide range of neuronal FMRP transgene levels was achieved in individual mice after intra-cerebroventricular administration of adeno-associated viral vectors coding for FMRP. In all treated knockout mice, prominent FMRP transgene expression was observed in forebrain structures, whereas lower levels were present in more caudal regions of the brain. Reduced levels of the synaptic protein PSD-95, elevated levels of the transcriptional modulator MeCP2, and abnormal motor activity, anxiety, and acoustic startle responses in Fmr1 knockout mice were fully or partially rescued after expression of FMRP at about 35-115% of WT expression, depending on the brain region examined. In the WT mouse, moderate FMRP over-expression of up to about twofold had little or no effect on PSD-95 and MeCP2 levels or on behavioral endophenotypes. In contrast, excessive over-expression in the Fmr1 knockout mouse forebrain (approximately 2.5-6-fold over WT) induced pathological motor hyperactivity and suppressed the startle response relative to WT mice. These results delineate a range of FMRP expression levels in the central nervous system that confer phenotypic improvement in fragile X mice. Collectively, these findings are pertinent to the development of long-term curative gene therapy strategies for treating Fragile X Syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/hum.2016.090DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5178026PMC
December 2016

Melatonin reverses H-89 induced spatial memory deficit: Involvement of oxidative stress and mitochondrial function.

Behav Brain Res 2017 01 21;316:115-124. Epub 2016 Aug 21.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 14155-6451, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction play indispensable role in memory and learning impairment. Growing evidences have shed light on anti-oxidative role for melatonin in memory deficit. We have previously reported that inhibition of protein kinase A by H-89 can induce memory impairment. Here, we investigated the effect of melatonin on H-89 induced spatial memory deficit and pursued their interactive consequences on oxidative stress and mitochondrial function in Morris Water Maze model. Rats received melatonin (50 and 100μg/kg/side) and H-89(10μM) intra-hippocampally 30min before each day of training. Animals were trained for 4 consecutive days, each containing one block from four trials. Oxidative stress indices, including thiobarbituric acid (TBARS), reactive oxygen species (ROS), thiol groups, and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) were assessed using spectrophotometer. Mitochondrial function was evaluated through measuring ROS production, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), swelling, outer membrane damage, and cytochrome c release. As expected from our previous report, H-89 remarkably impaired memory by increasing the escape latency and traveled distance. Intriguingly, H-89 significantly augmented TBARS and ROS levels, caused mitochondrial ROS production, swelling, outer membrane damage, and cytochrome c release. Moreover, H-89 lowered thiol, FRAP, and MMP values. Intriguingly, melatonin pre-treatment not only effectively hampered H-89-mediated spatial memory deficit at both doses, but also reversed the H-89 effects on mitochondrial and biochemical indices upon higher dose. Collectively, these findings highlight a protective role for melatonin against H-89-induced memory impairment and indicate that melatonin may play a therapeutic role in the treatment of oxidative- related neurodegenerative disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2016.08.040DOI Listing
January 2017

Expression of fragile X mental retardation protein in neurons and glia of the developing and adult mouse brain.

Brain Res 2015 Jan 20;1596:22-30. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, and; Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited form of mental retardation and autism. It is caused by a reduction or elimination of the expression of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). Because fragile X syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder, it is important to fully document the cell type expression in the developing CNS to provide a better understanding of the molecular function of FMRP, and the pathogenesis of the syndrome. We investigated FMRP expression in the brain using double-labeling immunocytochemistry and cell type markers for neurons (NeuN), astrocytes (S100β), microglia (Iba-1), and oligodendrocyte precursor cells (NG2). The hippocampus, striatum, cingulate cortex, retrosplenial cortex, corpus callosum and cerebellum were assessed in wild-type C57/BL6 mice at postnatal days 0, 10, 20, and adult. Our results demonstrate that FMRP is ubiquitously expressed in neurons at all times and brain regions studied, except for corpus callosum where FMRP was predominantly present in astrocytes at all ages. FMRP expression in Iba-1 and NG2-positive cells was detected at postnatal day 0 and 10 and gradually decreased to very low or undetectable levels in postnatal day 20 and adult mice. Our results reveal that in addition to continuous and extensive expression in neurons in the immature and mature brain, FMRP is also present in astrocytes, oligodendrocyte precursor cells, and microglia during the early and mid-postnatal developmental stages of brain maturation. Prominent expression of FMRP in glia during these crucial stages of brain development suggests an important contribution to normal brain function, and in its absence, to the fragile X phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2014.11.023DOI Listing
January 2015

Reduced phenotypic severity following adeno-associated virus-mediated Fmr1 gene delivery in fragile X mice.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2014 Dec 7;39(13):3100-11. Epub 2014 Jul 7.

1] Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada [2] Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by a trinucleotide repeat expansion in the FMR1 gene that codes for fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). To determine if FMRP expression in the central nervous system could reverse phenotypic deficits in the Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse model of FXS, we used a single-stranded adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector with viral capsids from serotype 9 that contained a major isoform of FMRP. FMRP transgene expression was driven by the neuron-selective synapsin-1 promoter. The vector was delivered to the brain via a single bilateral intracerebroventricular injection into neonatal Fmr1 KO mice and transgene expression and behavioral assessments were conducted 22-26 or 50-56 days post injection. Western blotting and immunocytochemical analyses of AAV-FMRP-injected mice revealed FMRP expression in the striatum, hippocampus, retrosplenial cortex, and cingulate cortex. Cellular expression was selective for neurons and reached ∼ 50% of wild-type levels in the hippocampus and cortex at 56 days post injection. The pathologically elevated repetitive behavior and the deficit in social dominance behavior seen in phosphate-buffered saline-injected Fmr1 KO mice were reversed in AAV-FMRP-injected mice. These results provide the first proof of principle that gene therapy can correct specific behavioral abnormalities in the mouse model of FXS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/npp.2014.167DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4229583PMC
December 2014

Transduction of the central nervous system after intracerebroventricular injection of adeno-associated viral vectors in neonatal and juvenile mice.

Hum Gene Ther Methods 2013 Aug 3;24(4):205-13. Epub 2013 Aug 3.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto , Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3M2.

Several neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders affecting the central nervous system are potentially treatable via viral vector-mediated gene transfer. Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors have been used in clinical trials because of their desirable properties including a high degree of safety, efficacy, and stability. Major factors affecting tropism, expression level, and cell type specificity of AAV-mediated transgenes include encapsidation of different AAV serotypes, promoter selection, and the timing of vector administration. In this study, we evaluated the ability of single-stranded AAV2 vectors pseudotyped with viral capsids from serotype 9 (AAV2/9) to transduce the brain and target gene expression to specific cell types after intracerebroventricular injection into mice. Titer-matched AAV2/9 vectors encoding the enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) reporter, driven by the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter, or the neuron-specific synapsin-1 promoter, were injected bilaterally into the lateral ventricles of C57/BL6 mice on postnatal day 5 (neonatal) or 21 (juvenile). Brain sections were analyzed 25 days after injection, using immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy. eGFP immunohistochemistry after neonatal and juvenile administration of viral vectors revealed transduction throughout the brain including the striatum, hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and cerebellum, but with different patterns of cell-specific gene expression. eGFP expression was seen in astrocytes after treatment on postnatal day 5 with vectors carrying the CMV promoter, expanding the usefulness of AAVs for modeling and treating diseases involving glial cell pathology. In contrast, injection of AAV2/9-CMV-eGFP on postnatal day 21 resulted in preferential transduction of neurons. Administration of AAV2/9-eGFP with the synapsin-1 promoter on either postnatal day 5 or 21 resulted in widespread neuronal transduction. These results outline efficient methods and tools for gene delivery to the nervous system by direct, early postnatal administration of AAV vectors. Our findings highlight the importance of promoter selection and age of administration on the intensity, distribution, and cell type specificity of AAV transduction in the brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/hgtb.2013.076DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3753728PMC
August 2013

Early versus late-phase consolidation of opiate reward memories requires distinct molecular and temporal mechanisms in the amygdala-prefrontal cortical pathway.

PLoS One 2013 16;8(5):e63612. Epub 2013 May 16.

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.

The consolidation of newly acquired memories involves the temporal transition from a recent, less stable trace to a more permanent consolidated form. Opiates possess potent rewarding effects and produce powerful associative memories. The activation of these memories is associated with opiate abuse relapse phenomena and the persistence of compulsive opiate dependence. However, the neuronal, molecular and temporal mechanisms by which associative opiate reward memories are consolidated are not currently understood. We report that the consolidation of associative opiate reward memories involves a temporal and molecular switch between the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) (early consolidation phase) to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) (late consolidation phase). We demonstrate at the molecular, behavioral and neuronal levels that the consolidation of a recently acquired opiate reward memory involves an extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK)-dependent phosphorylation process within the BLA. In contrast, later-stage consolidation of a newly acquired memory is dependent upon a calcium-calmodulin-dependent (CaMKII), ERK-independent, mechanism in the mPFC, over a 12 hr temporal gradient. In addition, using in vivo multi-unit neuronal recordings in the mPFC, we report that protein synthesis within the BLA modulates the consolidation of opiate-reward memory in neuronal mPFC sub-populations, via the same temporal dynamic.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0063612PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3656057PMC
December 2013

Effects of pentoxifylline and H-89 on epileptogenic activity of bucladesine in pentylenetetrazol-treated mice.

Eur J Pharmacol 2011 Nov 21;670(2-3):464-70. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

The present study shows interactive effects of pentoxifylline (PTX) as a phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor, H-89 as a protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor and bucladesine (db-cAMP) as a cAMP agonist on pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-induced seizure in mice. Different doses of pentoxifylline (25, 50, 100 mg/kg), bucladesine (50, 100, 300 nM/mouse), and H-89 (0.05, 0.1, 0.2 mg/100g) were administered intraperitoneally (i.p.), 30 min before intravenous (i.v.) infusion of PTZ (0.5% w/v). In combination groups, the first and second components were injected 45 and 30 min before PTZ infusion. In all groups, the control animals received an appropriate volume of vehicle. Single administration of PTX had no significant effect on both seizure latency and threshold. Bucladesine significantly decreased seizure latency and threshold only at a high concentration (300 nM/mouse). Intraperitoneal administration of H-89 (0.2 mg/100g) significantly increased seizure latency and threshold in PTZ-treated animals. All applied doses of bucladesine in combination with PTX (50 mg/kg) caused a significant reduction in seizure latency. Pretreatment of animals with PTX (50 and 100 mg/kg) attenuated the anticonvulsant effect of H-89 (0.2 mg/100g) in PTZ-exposed animals. H-89 (0.05, 0.2 mg/100g) prevented the epileptogenic activity of bucladesine (300 nM) with significant increase of seizure latency and seizure threshold. In conclusion, we showed that seizure activities were affected by pentoxifylline, H-89 and bucladesine via interactions with intracellular cAMP and cGMP signaling pathways, cyclic nucleotide-dependent protein kinases, and related neurotransmitters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2011.09.026DOI Listing
November 2011

Identification of a dopamine receptor-mediated opiate reward memory switch in the basolateral amygdala-nucleus accumbens circuit.

J Neurosci 2011 Aug;31(31):11172-83

Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5C1, Canada.

The basolateral amygdala (BLA), ventral tegmental area (VTA), and nucleus accumbens (NAc) play central roles in the processing of opiate-related associative reward learning and memory. The BLA receives innervation from dopaminergic fibers originating in the VTA, and both dopamine (DA) D1 and D2 receptors are expressed in this region. Using a combination of in vivo single-unit extracellular recording in the NAc combined with behavioral pharmacology studies, we have identified a double dissociation in the functional roles of DA D1 versus D2 receptor transmission in the BLA, which depends on opiate exposure state; thus, in previously opiate-naive rats, blockade of intra-BLA D1, but not D2, receptor transmission blocked the acquisition of associative opiate reward memory, measured in an unbiased conditioned place preference procedure. In direct contrast, in rats made opiate dependent and conditioned in a state of withdrawal, intra-BLA D2, but not D1, receptor blockade blocked opiate reward encoding. This functional switch was dependent on cAMP signaling as comodulation of intra-BLA cAMP levels reversed or replicated the functional effects of intra-BLA D1 or D2 transmission during opiate reward processing. Single-unit in vivo extracellular recordings performed in neurons of the NAc confirmed an opiate-state-dependent role for BLA D1/D2 transmission in NAc neuronal response patterns to morphine. Our results characterize and identify a novel opiate addiction switching mechanism directly in the BLA that can control the processing of opiate reward information as a direct function of opiate exposure state via D1 or D2 receptor signaling substrates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1781-11.2011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6623365PMC
August 2011

NMDA receptor hypofunction in the prelimbic cortex increases sensitivity to the rewarding properties of opiates via dopaminergic and amygdalar substrates.

Cereb Cortex 2011 Jan 14;21(1):68-80. Epub 2010 Apr 14.

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Schulich School of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.

The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a significant role in associative learning and memory formation during the opiate addiction process. Various lines of evidence demonstrate that glutamatergic (GLUT) transmission through the N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor can modulate neuronal network activity within the mPFC and influence dopaminergic signaling within the mesocorticolimbic pathway. However, little is known about how modulation of NMDA receptor signaling within the mPFC may regulate associative opiate reward learning and memory formation. Using a conditioned place preference (CPP) procedure, we examined the effects of selective NMDA receptor blockade directly within the prelimbic cortex (PLC) during the acquisition of associative opiate reward learning. NMDA receptor blockade specifically within the PLC caused a strong potentiation in the rewarding effects of either systemic or intra-ventral tegmental area (intra-VTA) morphine administration. This reward potentiation was dose dependently blocked by coadministration of dopamine D1 or D2 receptor antagonists and by blockade of presynaptic GLUT release. In addition, pharmacological inactivation of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) also prevented intra-PLC NMDA receptor blockade-induced potentiation of opiate reward signals, demonstrating a functional interaction between inputs from the VTA and BLA within the PLC, during the encoding and modulation of associative opiate reward information.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhq060DOI Listing
January 2011

Tamoxifen disrupts consolidation and retrieval of morphine-associated contextual memory in male mice: interaction with estradiol.

Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2009 Jun 31;204(2):191-201. Epub 2009 Jan 31.

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, PO Box 13145-784, Tehran, Iran.

Rationale: Tamoxifen (TMX), a selective estrogen receptor modulator, can affect cognitive functions of the brain. The conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm involves memory for the association between contextual cues and the rewarding properties produced by a drug.

Objectives: The effects of TMX alone and in combination with estradiol (E2) on reward-related memory of morphine were investigated in adult male mice.

Materials And Methods: Using an unbiased CPP paradigm, the ability of morphine sulfate (0.5-10 mg/kg, s.c.) to produce CPP was studied. Afterwards, the effects of TMX (1-10 mg/kg, s.c.) on the acquisition, consolidation, and expression of morphine-induced CPP were assessed. We have also evaluated the possible effects of s.c. E2 (10-200 mug/kg) and its co-administration with TMX (10 mg/kg, s.c.) on the consolidation and retrieval of morphine-associated contextual memory.

Results: (1) Morphine (0.5-10 mg/kg) significantly induced CPP in a dose-dependent manner. (2) TMX (10 mg/kg) significantly reduced the time spent by mice in the morphine compartment when given immediately after each conditioning session (consolidation) or 30 min before testing for place preference in the absence of morphine (expression), whereas it had no effect when administered 30 min before each training session (acquisition). (3) Post-training or pre-testing administration of E2 increased morphine-induced CPP in a dose-dependent manner. (4) In addition, concomitant administration of E2 with TMX appears to prevent the impairing effect produced by TMX.

Conclusions: TMX appears to disrupt consolidation and retrieval of morphine-associated contextual memory and this impairing effect might be prevented by E2 treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-008-1448-5DOI Listing
June 2009

The cannabinoid anticonvulsant effect on pentylenetetrazole-induced seizure is potentiated by ultra-low dose naltrexone in mice.

Epilepsy Res 2008 Sep 27;81(1):44-51. Epub 2008 May 27.

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

Cannabinoid compounds are anticonvulsant since they have inhibitory effects at micromolar doses, which are mediated by activated receptors coupling to G(i/o) proteins. Surprisingly, both the analgesic and anticonvulsant effects of opioids are enhanced by ultra-low doses (nanomolar to picomolar) of the opioid antagonist naltrexone and as opioid and cannabinoid systems interact, it has been shown that ultra-low dose naltrexone also enhances cannabinoid-induced antinociception. Thus, concerning the seizure modulating properties of both classes of receptors this study investigated whether the ultra-low dose opioid antagonist naltrexone influences cannabinoid anticonvulsant effects. The clonic seizure threshold was tested in separate groups of male NMRI mice following injection of vehicle, the cannabinoid selective agonist arachidonyl-2-chloroethylamide (ACEA) and ultra-low doses of the opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone and a combination of ACEA and naltrexone doses in a model of clonic seizure induced by pentylenetetrazole (PTZ). Systemic injection of ultra-low doses of naltrexone (1pg/kg to 1ng/kg, i.p.) significantly potentiated the anticonvulsant effect of ACEA (1mg/kg, i.p.). Moreover, the very low dose of naltrexone (500pg/kg) unmasked a strong anticonvulsant effect for very low doses of ACEA (10 and 100microg/kg). A similar potentiation by naltrexone (500pg/kg) of anticonvulsant effects of non-effective dose of ACEA (1mg/kg) was also observed in the generalized tonic-clonic model of seizure. The present data indicate that the interaction between opioid and cannabinoid systems extends to ultra-low dose levels and ultra-low doses of opioid receptor antagonist in conjunction with very low doses of cannabinoids may provide a potent strategy to modulate seizure susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2008.04.010DOI Listing
September 2008

A time course analysis of systemic administration of aqueous licorice extract on spatial memory retention in rats.

Planta Med 2008 Apr 10;74(5):485-90. Epub 2008 Apr 10.

Department of Toxicology-Pharmacology and Center of Excellence of Toxicology, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Medicinal Plants Research Centers, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medicinal Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

In the present study, the time course of the effects of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Leguminosae) aqueous extract (GE), administered systemically to rats, on the spatial memory retention in the Morris water maze was investigated. The dose of glycyrrhizin (GL), i. e., 0.5, 2.5 and 5 mg/mL in daily water intake of GE was administered to three groups of rats. The first, second and third groups received GE for 1, 2 and 4 weeks, respectively (each group included 3 subgroups). Three additional control groups of animals received only tap water during the same periods of time. After terminating the treatments, all animals were trained for four days; each day included one block and each block contained four trials. Test trials were conducted 48 h after the completion of the training period. Nicotine (1 microg/side) was infused into the CA1 region of the hippocampus as a positive drug control. GE treatment decreased both escape latency and traveled distance, but not swimming speed, compared with control, suggesting significant spatial memory retention enhancement by GE. Statistical analysis did not show any significant difference between GE-treated animals and the nicotine group in escape latency and traveled distance. At the end of the testing trials plasma samples were collected and the concentrations of glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) as a major metabolite of GL were measured in the different groups of treated rats. The maximum concentration was observed after four weeks of GE administration at 5 mg/mL of GL. These results showed that the enhancement effect of GE on spatial memory retention does not correlate with GA blood levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-2008-1074494DOI Listing
April 2008

Ultra-low dose cannabinoid antagonist AM251 enhances cannabinoid anticonvulsant effects in the pentylenetetrazole-induced seizure in mice.

Neuropharmacology 2007 Nov 15;53(6):763-70. Epub 2007 Aug 15.

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences, University of Tehran, P.O. Box 13145-784, Tehran, Iran.

Several lines of evidence suggest that cannabinoid compounds are anticonvulsant since they have inhibitory effects at micromolar doses, which are mediated by activated receptors coupling to Gi/o proteins. Surprisingly, both the analgesic and anticonvulsant effects of opioids are enhanced by ultra-low doses (nanomolar to picomolar) of the opioid antagonist naltrexone and as opioid and cannabinoid systems interact, it has been shown that ultra-low dose naltrexone also enhances cannabinoid-induced antinociception. However, regarding the seizure modulating properties of both classes of receptors this study investigated whether ultra-low dose cannabinoid antagonist AM251 influences cannabinoid anticonvulsant effects. The clonic seizure threshold (CST) was tested in separate groups of male NMRI mice following injection of vehicle, the cannabinoid selective agonist arachidonyl-2-chloroethylamide (ACEA) and ultra-low doses of the cannabinoid CB1 antagonist AM251 and a combination of ACEA and AM251 doses in a model of clonic seizure induced by pentylenetetrazole (PTZ). Systemic administration of ultra-low doses of AM251 (10 fg/kg-100 ng/kg) significantly potentiated the anticonvulsant effect of ACEA at 0.5 and 1 mg/kg. Moreover, inhibition of cannabinoid induced excitatory signaling by AM251 (100 pg/kg) unmasked a strong anticonvulsant effect for very low doses of ACEA (100 ng/kg-100 microg/kg), suggesting that a presumed inhibitory component of cannabinoid receptor signaling can exert strong seizure-protective effects even at very low levels of cannabinoid receptor activation. A similar potentiation by AM251 (100 pg/kg and 1 ng/kg) of anticonvulsant effects of non-effective dose of ACEA (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) was also observed in the generalized tonic-clonic model of seizure. The present data suggest that ultra-low doses of cannabinoid receptor antagonists may provide a potent strategy to modulate seizure susceptibility, especially in conjunction with very low doses of cannabinoids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2007.08.005DOI Listing
November 2007

Protective effects of chronic lithium treatment against spatial memory retention deficits induced by the protein kinase AII inhibitor H-89 in rats.

Pharmacology 2007 8;80(2-3):158-65. Epub 2007 Jan 8.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

We have previously shown that infusion of the PKAII inhibitor H-89 in the CA1 area of the hippocampus impaired spatial memory retention. There is some evidence suggesting the neuroprotective effects of chronic lithium administration including its ability to attenuate a deleterious effect of chronic stress on spatial memory in rats. In the present study, we investigated whether chronic administration of lithium can improve memory as well as influence the inhibitory effect of H-89 on spatial memory retention. Male albino rats were treated systemically with lithium (600 mg/l) for 4 weeks and then trained for 4 days in the Morris water maze. Testing the animals 48 h later showed a significant reduction in escape latency (p < 0.05) and travel distance (p < 0.05) compared to the controls. In separate experiments, the rats were similarly treated with lithium for 4 weeks, followed by similar training for 4 days and then immediately infused bilaterally with vehicle or 5 micromol/l H-89 into the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Animals were then tested 48 h after H-89 infusion in order to assess their spatial memory retention. The lithium treatment caused a significant reduction in escape latency (p < 0.001) and travel distance (p < 0.001) compared to H-89-treated animals. The data suggest that lithium treatment for 4 weeks improved spatial memory retention and that lithium pretreatment prevented or reversed the H-89-induced spatial memory deficits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000103265DOI Listing
October 2007

Post-training intrahippocampal infusion of nicotine-bucladesine combination causes a synergistic enhancement effect on spatial memory retention in rats.

Eur J Pharmacol 2007 May 8;562(3):212-20. Epub 2007 Feb 8.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Medicinal Plants Research Centers, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

We previously had shown that bilateral intrahippocampal infusion of 1 microg nicotine (but not 0.5 microg dose) led to an improvement in spatial memory retention in the Morris water maze task in male rats. We also reported that a similar type of bilateral infusion of H89, a protein kinase AII (PKA II) inhibitor, caused a deficit in spatial memory retention. In the present study, we wished to test the hypothesis that intrahippocampal infusion of dibutyryl cyclic AMP (DB-cAMP also called bucladesine), a membrane permeable selective activator of PKA, into the CA1 region can cause an improvement in spatial memory in this maze task. Indeed, bilateral infusion of 10 and 100 microM bucladesine (but not 1 and 5 microM doses) led to a significant reduction in escape latency and travel distance (showing an improvement in spatial memory) compared to the control. Also, bilateral infusion of 0.5 microg nicotine or 1 microM bucladesine alone did not lead to an improvement in spatial memory. However, such bilateral infusion of bucladesine at 1 and 5 microM concentrations infused within minutes after 0.5 microg nicotine infusion improved spatial memory retention. Taken together, our data suggest that intrahippocampal bucladesine infusions improve spatial memory retention in male rats and that bucladesine can interact synergistically with nicotine to improve spatial memory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2007.01.065DOI Listing
May 2007