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Neuropharmacology. 2016 Feb;101:490-505. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.10.020. Epub 2015 Oct 19.

Caffeine stimulates locomotor activity in the mammalian spinal cord via adenosine A1 receptor-dopamine D1 receptor interaction and PKA-dependent mechanisms.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and Institute of Neurobiology, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, PR 00936, USA.
2
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and Institute of Neurobiology, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, PR 00936, USA. Electronic address: manuel.diaz6@upr.edu.

Abstract

Caffeine is a potent psychostimulant that can have significant and widely variable effects on the activity of multiple neuronal pathways. The most pronounced caffeine-induced behavioral effect seen in rodents is to increase locomotor activity which has been linked to a dose-dependent inhibition of A1 and A(2A) receptors. The effects of caffeine at the level of the lumbar spinal central pattern generator (CPG) network for hindlimb locomotion are lacking. We assessed the effects of caffeine to the locomotor function of the spinal CPG network via extracellular ventral root recordings using the isolated neonatal mouse spinal cord preparation. Addition of caffeine and of an A1 receptor antagonist significantly decreased the cycle period accelerating the ongoing locomotor rhythm, while decreasing burst duration reversibly in most preparations suggesting the role of A1 receptors as the primary target of caffeine. Caffeine and an A1 receptor antagonist failed to stimulate ongoing locomotor activity in the absence of dopamine or in the presence of a D1 receptor antagonist supporting A1/D1 receptor-dependent mechanism of action. The use of caffeine or an A1 receptor blocker failed to stimulate an ongoing locomotor rhythm in the presence of a blocker of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) supporting the need of this intracellular pathway for the modulatory effects of caffeine to occur. These results support a stimulant effect of caffeine on the lumbar spinal network controlling hindlimb locomotion through the inhibition of A1 receptors and subsequent activation of D1 receptors via a PKA-dependent intracellular mechanism.

KEYWORDS:

Adenosine; Caffeine; Dopamine; Locomotion; Mouse; Spinal cord

PMID:
26493631
PMCID:
PMC4855515
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.10.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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