Monday, October 1st, 2018
11AM, Dale Melbourne Herklotz Conference Center, Center for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (Building 506 on the campus map)
Alexander Smith, Ph.D
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
“Biochemical and Genetic Regulation of Plasticity Underlying Cue-Induced Reinstatement”
Addiction is a major health concern, and preventing relapse is perhaps the most difficult aspect in providing treatment. Despite distinct pharmacological mechanisms of action, all addictive drugs produce similar behavioral endpoints, including relapse that can be induced by drug-associated cues. Similarly, while different classes of drugs produce differing, sometimes opposite, constitutive effects on brain physiology, relapse to all addictive drugs is characterized by transient synaptic potentiation of corticostriatal synapses in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcore). Thus, I propose that the most promising pharmacotherapeutic targets for prevention of relapse are those that are similarly altered across classes of drugs. In this seminar, I will present data showing that cue-induced reinstatement to heroin, cocaine, and nicotine each require activation of the extracellular matrix-remodeling enzyme MMP-9. I will then present unpublished work examining the regulation of cue-induced reinstatement, and MMP-9 activity by two microRNAs: miR-132 and miR-212. Finally, I will discuss plans for the near future to perform brain-wide examination of shared neurobiological substrates of opiate and psychostimulant relapse.