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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 Feb;39(3):569-78. doi: 10.1038/npp.2013.229. Epub 2013 Aug 30.

Cocaine-induced changes of synaptic transmission in the striatum are modulated by adenosine A2A receptors and involve the tyrosine phosphatase STEP.

Author information

  • 1Department Therapeutic Research and Medicines Evaluation, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Roma, Italy.
  • 2Department Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Roma, Italy.
  • 3Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.
  • 4Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Abstract

The striatum is a brain area implicated in the pharmacological action of drugs of abuse. Adenosine A2A receptors (A2ARs) are highly expressed in the striatum and mediate, at least in part, cocaine-induced psychomotor effects in vivo. Here we studied the synaptic mechanisms implicated in the pharmacological action of cocaine in the striatum and investigated the influence of A2ARs. We found that synaptic transmission was depressed in corticostriatal slices after perfusion with cocaine (10 μM). This effect was reduced by the A2AR antagonist ZM241385 and almost abolished in striatal A2AR-knockout mice (mice lacking A2ARs in striatal neurons, stA2ARKO). The effect of cocaine on synaptic transmission was also prevented by the protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) inhibitor sodium orthovanadate (Na3VO4). In synaptosomes prepared from striatal slices, we found that the activity of striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase (STEP) was upregulated by cocaine, prevented by ZM241385, and absent in synaptosomes from stA2ARKO. The role played by STEP in cocaine modulation of synaptic transmission was investigated in whole-cell voltage clamp recordings from medium spiny neurons of the striatum. We found that TAT-STEP, a peptide that renders STEP enzymatically inactive, prevented cocaine-induced reduction in AMPA- and NMDA-mediated excitatory post-synaptic currents, whereas the control peptide, TAT-myc, had no effect. These results demonstrate that striatal A2ARs modulate cocaine-induced synaptic depression in the striatum and highlight the potential role of PTPs and specifically STEP in the effects of cocaine.

PMID:
23989619
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3895235
Free PMC Article
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