"Binge" cocaine differentially alters preproenkephalin
mRNA levels in guinea pig brain

LaForge KS, Yuferov V, Zhou Y, Ho A, Nyberg F, Jeanne Kreek M.
Laboratory of the Biology of Addictive Diseases,
The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA.
Brain Res Bull. 2003 Jan 30;59(5):353-7


Male Hartley guinea pigs were administered i.p. injections of cocaine or saline for 2 or 7 days in a "binge" paradigm. RNA was isolated from dissected brain regions and levels of preproenkephalin mRNA and total RNA were quantified by RNase protection assays. Following 2 days of "binge" cocaine administration, no significant alterations in preproenkephalin mRNA levels were detected in six brain regions. Following 7 days of cocaine administration, however, lower levels of preproenkephalin mRNA were observed in the nucleus accumbens and hypothalamus of cocaine-treated animals and higher levels in the frontal cortex and amygdala. These findings differed from previous studies in the rat, so an additional experiment was performed with animals treated at the 7 day time point. For increased statistical power, data from the two experiments were combined and examined by two-way ANOVAs; in this combined analysis, increases in preproenkephalin mRNA were observed in frontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus, decreases were found in the nucleus accumbens and hypothalamus, with no change in thalamus, caudate putamen, or cerebellum. These observed differences between guinea pigs and rats make this species an interesting model for neurobiological studies of cocaine-induced alterations in neuropeptide gene expression in the mammalian brain.

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