Reward devaluation and heroin escalation is associated with differential expression of CRF signaling genes

Ashley J. McFalls, Caesar G. Imperio, Georgina Bixler, Willard M. Freeman, Patricia Sue Grigson, Kent E. Vrana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

One of the most damaging aspects of drug addiction is the degree to which natural rewards (family, friends, employment) are devalued in favor of seeking, obtaining and taking drugs. We have utilized an animal model of reward devaluation and heroin self-administration to explore the role of the coricotropin releasing factor (CRF) pathway. Given access to a saccharin cue followed by the opportunity to self-administer heroin, animals will parse into distinct phenotypes that suppress their saccharin intake (in favor of escalating heroin self-administration) or vice versa. We find that large saccharin suppressors (large heroin takers) demonstrate increased mRNA expression for elements of the CRF signaling pathway (CRF, CRF receptors and CRF binding protein) within the hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex and the ventral tegmental area. Moreover, there were no gene expression changes of these components in the nucleus accumbens. Use of bisulfite conversion sequencing suggests that changes in CRF binding protein and CRF receptor gene expression may be mediated by differential promoter methylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Volume123
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reward devaluation and heroin escalation is associated with differential expression of CRF signaling genes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this