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Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 30;8(1):11420. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29772-1.

Transcriptome profiling of whisker follicles in methamphetamine self-administered rats.

Author information

1
College of Pharmacy, Keimyung University, Daegu, 42601, Republic of Korea.
2
School of Medicine, Keimyung University, Daegu, 42601, Republic of Korea.
3
College of Oriental Medicine, Daegu Hanny University, Daegu, 42158, Republic of Korea.
4
College of Pharmacy, Keimyung University, Daegu, 42601, Republic of Korea. sylee21@kmu.ac.kr.
5
College of Pharmacy, Keimyung University, Daegu, 42601, Republic of Korea. chjeong75@kmu.ac.kr.

Abstract

Methamphetamine (MA) is a highly addictive psychostimulant that disturbs the central nervous system; therefore, diagnosis of MA addiction is important in clinical and forensic toxicology. In this study, a MA self-administration rat model was used to illustrate the gene expression profiling of the rewarding effect caused by MA. RNA-sequencing was performed to examine changes in gene expression in rat whisker follicles collected before self-administration, after MA self-administration, and after withdrawal sessions. We identified six distinct groups of genes, with statistically significant expression patterns. By constructing the functional association network of these genes and performing the subsequent topological analysis, we identified 43 genes, which have the potential to regulate MA reward and addiction. The gene pathways were then analysed using the Reactome and Knowledgebase for Addiction-Related Gene database, and it was found that genes and pathways associated with Alzheimer's disease and the heparan sulfate biosynthesis were enriched in MA self-administration rats. The findings suggest that changes of the genes identified in rat whisker follicles may be useful indicators of the rewarding effect of MA. Further studies are needed to provide a comprehensive understanding of MA addiction.

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