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Transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 channel modulates the abuse-related mechanisms of methamphetamine through interaction with dopamine transporter.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Methamphetamine (METH) use disorder has risen dramatically over the past decade, and there are currently no FDA-approved medications due, in part, to gaps in our understanding of the pharmacological mechanisms related to METH action in the brain.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Here, we investigated whether transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) mediates each of several METH abuse-related behaviours in rodents: self-administration, drug-primed reinstatement, acquisition of conditioned place preference, and hyperlocomotion. Additionally, METH-induced molecular (i.e., neurotransmitter and protein) changes in the brain were compared between wild-type and TRPA1 knock-out mice. Finally, the relationship between TRPA1 and the dopamine transporter was investigated through immunoprecipitation and dopamine reuptake assays.

KEY RESULTS: TRPA1 antagonism blunted METH self-administration and drug-primed reinstatement of METH-seeking behaviour. Further, development of METH-induced conditioned place preference and hyperlocomotion were inhibited by TRPA1 antagonist treatment, effects that were not observed in TRPA1 knock-out mice. Similarly, molecular studies revealed METH-induced increases in dopamine levels and expression of dopamine system-related proteins in wild-type, but not in TRPA1 knock-out mice. Furthermore, pharmacological blockade of TRPA1 receptors reduced the interaction between TRPA1 and the dopamine transporter, thereby increasing dopamine reuptake activity by the transporter.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: This study demonstrates that TRPA1 is involved in the abuse-related behavioural effects of METH, potentially through its modulatory role in METH-induced activation of dopaminergic neurotransmission. Taken together, these data suggest that TRPA1 may be a novel therapeutic target for treating METH use disorder.

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