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1.  Antagonists of the Neurokinin-1 or Dopamine D1 Receptors Confer Protection from Methamphetamine on Dopamine Terminals of the Mouse Striatum 
Methamphetamine (METH) is a highly addictive compound that induces toxicity of the dopamine (DA) terminals of the neostriatum. Exposure to METH induces long-term deficits in dopamine transporter (DAT) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) levels as well as induction of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in the caudate putamen (CPu) and the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The primary effect of exposure to METH is elevation of the level of extracellular DA; therefore, we assessed the role of the DA D1 receptor (D1R) and neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R) on the expression of toxicity. METH was injected intraperitoneally (10 mg/kg) four times at 2-h intervals (an acute toxic dose), and the mice were sacrificed three days after the treatment. Exposure to METH resulted in marked reduction of DAT sites (reduced to 30 and 21% relative to control in medial and lateral aspects of the CPu) assessed by binding of [125I]RTI-121 by autoradiography or Western blot analysis. Pretreatment with the nonpeptide NK-1R antagonist WIN-51,708 (10 mg/kg) 30 min prior to the first and fourth injections of METH prevented the loss of DAT sites of the CPu. Moreover, pretreatment with WIN-51,708 also prevented the reduction of TH levels induced by METH as well as the induction of GFAP in astrocytes. Pretreatment with the D1R antagonist SCH-23390 (0.25 mg/kg) 30 min before the first and fourth injections of METH conferred partial protection on DAT sites of the CPu. These results demonstrate that receptors postsynaptic to the DA terminals of the CPu are needed in order to express the neurotoxic effects of METH on integral components of the DA terminals of the nigrostriatal projection.
doi:10.1196/annals.1316.022
PMCID: PMC2894623  PMID: 15542715
Substance P; neurokinin-1 receptor; dopamine D1 receptor; WIN-51,708; SCH-23390; striatum
2.  Distinct Mechanisms Mediating Methamphetamine-Induced Neuronal Apoptosis and Dopamine Terminal Damage Share the Neuropeptide Substance P in the Striatum of Mice 
Methamphetamine (METH) is an addictive psychostimulant that induces damage to the dopamine terminals and the apoptosis of some neurons of the striatum. Our laboratory demonstrated using either a single bolus dose (30 mg/kg) or a binge (10 mg/kg 4× at 2-h intervals) of METH that pharmacological blockade of the substance P receptor (neurokinin-1) attenuates METH-induced damage to both the presynaptic dopamine terminals and the apoptosis of some neurons of the striatum. To determine the phenotype of striatal neuron ablated by METH, we combined TUNEL (Terminal Deoxyncleotidyl Transferase-Mediated dUTP Nick End Labeling) with immunofluorescence for selective markers of projection and interneurons. METH induces the loss of approximately 20% of the projection neurons. The cholinergic and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-parvalbumin interneurons sustain losses of 30% and 50%, respectively. The somatostatin/neuropeptide Y (NPY)/nitric oxide synthase (NOS) interneurons are not impacted by METH. To investigate the mechanism by which substance P mediates METH-induced damage in this part of the brain, we ablated the striatal interneurons that express the neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R) with the selective neurotoxin substance P-SAP. Ablation of the NK-1R-expressing interneurons prevented METH-induced apoptosis in the striatum but was without effect on depletion of dopamine terminal markers. We propose that substance P mediates the apoptosis of some striatal neurons via the intrastriatal activation of nitric oxide synthesis. In contrast, substance P may mediate damage of the dopamine terminals via an extrastriatal mechanism involving the substantia nigra and cortical glutamate release.
doi:10.1196/annals.1369.013
PMCID: PMC2892968  PMID: 17105911
striatum; methamphetamine; neurotoxicity; apoptosis; substance P; neurokinin-1 receptor

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