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Addict Biol. 2016 Mar;21(2):255-66. doi: 10.1111/adb.12193. Epub 2014 Nov 6.

Methamphetamine induces a rapid increase of intracellular Ca(++) levels in neurons overexpressing GCaMP5.

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Center for Neuropsychiatric Research, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan.
National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, Baltimore, MD, USA.


In this study, methamphetamine (Meth)- and glutamate (Glu)-mediated intracellular Ca(++) (Ca(++) i) signals were examined in real time in primary cortical neurons overexpressing an intracellular Ca(++) probe, GCaMP5, by adeno-associated viral (AAV) serotype 1. Binding of Ca(++) to GCaMP increased green fluorescence intensity in cells. Both Meth and Glu induced a rapid increase in Ca(++) i, which was blocked by MK801, suggesting that Meth enhanced Ca(++) i through Glu receptor in neurons. The Meth-mediated Ca(++) signal was also blocked by Mg(++) , low Ca(++) or the L-type Ca(++) channel inhibitor nifedipine. The ryanodine receptor inhibitor dantrolene did not alter the initial Ca(++) influx but partially reduced the peak of Ca(++) i. These data suggest that Meth enhanced Ca(++) influx through membrane Ca(++) channels, which then triggered the release of Ca(++) from the endoplasmic reticulum in the cytosol. AAV-GCaMP5 was also injected to the parietal cortex of adult rats. Administration of Meth enhanced fluorescence in the ipsilateral cortex. Using immunohistochemistry, Meth-induced green fluorescence was found in the NeuN-containing cells in the cortex, suggesting that Meth increased Ca(++) in neurons in vivo. In conclusion, we have used in vitro and in vivo techniques to demonstrate a rapid increase of Ca(++) i by Meth in cortical neurons through overexpression of GCaMP5. As Meth induces behavioral responses and neurotoxicity through Ca(++) i, modulation of Ca(++) i may be useful to reduce Meth-related reactions.


Calcium; glutamate; magnesium; methamphetamine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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