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Interactions of a Dopamine D1 Receptor Agonist with Glutamate NMDA Receptor Antagonists on the Volitional Consumption of Ethanol by the mHEP Rat

Author(s): Brian A. McMillen | Courtney L. Lommatzsch | Michael J. Sayonh | Helen L. Williams

Journal: Pharmaceuticals
ISSN 1424-8247

Volume: 6;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 469;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: glutamate receptors | consumatory behaviors | DARPP-32

Stimulation of the dopamine D1 receptor is reported to cause the phosphorylation of DARPP-32 at the thre34 position and activates the protein. If intracellular Ca2+ is increased, such as after activation of the glutamate NMDA receptor, calcineurin activity increases and the phosphates will be removed. This balance of phosphorylation control suggests that a D1 receptor agonist and a NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist should have additive or synergistic actions to increase activated DARPP-32 and consequent behavioral effects. This hypothesis was tested in a volitional consumption of ethanol model: the selectively bred Myers’ high ethanol preferring (mHEP) rat. A 3-day baseline period was followed by 3-days of twice daily injections of drug(s) or vehicle(s) and then a 3-day post-treatment period. Vehicle, the D1 agonist SKF 38393, the non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist memantine, or their combination were injected 2 h before and after lights out. The combination of 5.0 mg/kg SKF 38393 with either 3.0 or 10 mg/kg memantine did not produce an additive or synergistic effect. For example, 5.0 mg/kg SKF reduced consumption of ethanol by 27.3% and 10 mg/kg memantine by 39.8%. When combined, consumption declined by 48.2% and the proportion of ethanol solution to total fluids consumed declined by 17%. However, the consumption of food also declined by 36.6%. The latter result indicates that this dose combination had a non-specific effect. The combination of SKF 38393 with (+)-MK-801, another NMDA receptor antagonist, also failed to show an additive effect. The lack of additivity and specificity suggests that the hypothesis may not be correct for this in vivo model.  The interaction of these different receptor systems with intraneuronal signaling and behaviors needs to be studied further.
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