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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Direct evidence of astrocytic modulation in the development of rewarding effects induced by drugs of abuse.

Long-term exposure to pyschostimulants and opioids induced neuronal plasticity. Accumulating evidence suggests that astrocytes actively participate in synaptic plasticity. We show here that a glial modulator propentofylline (PPF) dramatically diminished the activation of astrocytes induced by drugs of abuse, such as methamphetamine (METH) and morphine (MRP). In vivo treatment with PPF also suppressed both METH- and MRP-induced rewarding effects. On the other hand, intra-nucleus accumbens (N.Acc.) administration of astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) aggravated the development of rewarding effects induced by METH and MRP via the Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (Jak/STAT) pathway, which modulates astrogliosis and/or astrogliogenesis. Furthermore, ACM, but not METH itself, clearly induced the differentiation of multipotent neuronal stem cells into glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive astrocytes, and this effect was reversed by cotreatment with the Jak/STAT inhibitor AG490. Intra-cingulate cortex (CG) administration of ACM also enhanced the rewarding effect induced by METH and MRP. In contrast to ACM, intra-N.Acc. administration of microglia-conditioned medium failed to affect the rewarding effects of METH and MRP in mice. These findings suggest that astrocyte-, but not microglia-, related soluble factors could amplify the development of rewarding effect of METH and MRP in the N.Acc. and CG. The present study provides direct evidence that astrocytes may, at least in part, contribute to the synaptic plasticity induced by drugs of abuse during the development of rewarding effects induced by psychostimulants and opioids.Neuropsychopharmacology (2006) 31, 2476-2488. doi:10.1038/sj.npp.1301007; published online 11 January 2006.[1]


  1. Direct evidence of astrocytic modulation in the development of rewarding effects induced by drugs of abuse. Narita, M., Miyatake, M., Narita, M., Shibasaki, M., Shindo, K., Nakamura, A., Kuzumaki, N., Nagumo, Y., Suzuki, T. Neuropsychopharmacology (2006) [Pubmed]
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