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J Neurochem. 2010 Jul;114(1):323-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2010.06782.x. Epub 2010 Apr 29.

Dietary restriction mitigates cocaine-induced alterations of olfactory bulb cellular plasticity and gene expression, and behavior.

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Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Because the olfactory system plays a major role in food consumption, and because 'food addiction' and associated morbidities have reached epidemic proportions, we tested the hypothesis that dietary energy restriction can modify adverse effects of cocaine on behavior and olfactory cellular and molecular plasticity. Mice maintained on an alternate day fasting (ADF) diet exhibited increased baseline locomotion and increased cocaine-sensitized locomotion during cocaine conditioning, despite no change in cocaine conditioned place preference, compared with mice fed ad libitum. Levels of dopamine and its metabolites in the olfactory bulb (OB) were suppressed in mice on the ADF diet compared with mice on the control diet, independent of acute or chronic cocaine treatment. The expression of several enzymes involved in dopamine metabolism including tyrosine hydroxylase, monoamine oxidases A and B, and catechol-O-methyltransferase were significantly reduced in OBs of mice on the ADF diet. Both acute and chronic administration of cocaine suppressed the production of new OB cells, and this effect of cocaine was attenuated in mice on the ADF diet. Cocaine administration to mice on the control diet resulted in up-regulation of OB genes involved in mitochondrial energy metabolism, synaptic plasticity, cellular stress responses, and calcium- and cAMP-mediated signaling, whereas multiple olfactory receptor genes were down-regulated by cocaine treatment. ADF abolished many of the effects of cocaine on OB gene expression. Our findings reveal that dietary energy intake modifies the neural substrates underlying some of the behavioral and physiological responses to repeated cocaine treatment, and also suggest novel roles for the olfactory system in addiction. The data further suggest that modification of dietary energy intake could provide a novel potential approach to addiction treatments.

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