In Vivo Pharmacologist with expertise in CNS disorders including neurodegenerative disease, psychiatric disorders and pain.

Education & Certifications

  • Ph.D, University of Florida, Pharmaceutical Sciences (2020)
  • B.S, Florida State University, Biochemistry and Chemistry (2015)

All Publications

  • SRI-30827, a novel allosteric modulator of the dopamine transporter, alleviates HIV-1 Tat-induced potentiation of cocaine conditioned place preference in mice. NeuroImmune pharmacology and therapeutics Hammond, H. R., Eans, S. O., Cirino, T. J., Ananthan, S., Jimenez-Torres, A. C., Zhu, J., McLaughlin, J. P. 2024; 3 (1): 1-6


    HIV-1 Tat (transactivator of transcription) protein disrupts dopaminergic transmission and potentiates the rewarding effects of cocaine. Allosteric modulators of the dopamine transporter (DAT) have been shown to reverse Tat-induced DAT dysfunction. We hypothesized that a novel DAT allosteric modulator, SRI-30827, would counteract Tat-induced potentiation of cocaine reward.Doxycycline (Dox)-inducible Tat transgenic (iTat-tg) mice and their G-tg (Tat-null) counterparts were tested in a cocaine conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Mice were treated 14 days with saline, or Dox (100 mg/kg/day, i.p.) to induce Tat protein. Upon induction, mice were place conditioned two days with cocaine (10 mg/kg/day) after a 1-h daily intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) pretreatment with SRI-30827 (1 nmol) or a vehicle control, and final place preference assessed as a measure of cocaine reward.Dox-treatment significantly potentiated cocaine-CPP in iTat-tg mice over the response of saline-treated control littermates. SRI-30827 treatment eliminated Tat-induced potentiation without altering normal cocaine-CPP in saline-treated mice. Likewise, SRI-30827 did not alter cocaine-CPP in both saline- and Dox-treated G-tg mice incapable of expressing Tat protein.These findings add to a growing body of evidence that allosteric modulation of DAT could provide a promising therapeutic intervention for patients with comorbid HIV-1 and cocaine use disorder (CUD).

    View details for DOI 10.1515/nipt-2023-0022

    View details for PubMedID 38711842

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC11073800

  • SRI-32743, a novel allosteric modulator, attenuates HIV-1 Tat protein-induced inhibition of the dopamine transporter and alleviates the potentiation of cocaine reward in HIV-1 Tat transgenic mice NEUROPHARMACOLOGY Zhu, J., Quizon, P. M., Wang, Y., Adeniran, C. A., Strauss, M. J., Jimenez-Torres, A. C., Patel, P., Cirino, T. J., Eans, S. O., Hammond, H. R., Deliscar, L. S., O'Hara, P., Saini, S. K., Ofori, E., Vekariya, R. H., Zhang, S., Moukha-Chafiq, O., Nguyen, T. H., Ananthan, S., Augelli-Szafran, C. E., Zhan, C., McLaughlin, J. P. 2022; 220: 109239


    Cocaine abuse increases the incidence of HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders. We have demonstrated that HIV-1 transactivator of transcription (Tat) allosterically modulates dopamine (DA) reuptake through the human DA transporter (hDAT), potentially contributing to Tat-induced cognitive impairment and potentiation of cocaine conditioned place preference (CPP). This study determined the effects of a novel allosteric modulator of DAT, SRI-32743, on the interactions of HIV-1 Tat, DA, cocaine, and [3H]WIN35,428 with hDAT in vitro. SRI-32743 (50 nM) attenuated Tat-induced inhibition of [3H]DA uptake and decreased the cocaine-mediated dissociation of [3H]WIN35,428 binding in CHO cells expressing hDAT, suggesting a SRI-32743-mediated allosteric modulation of the Tat-DAT interaction. In further in vivo studies utilizing doxycycline-inducible Tat transgenic (iTat-tg) mice, 14 days of Tat expression significantly reduced the recognition index by 31.7% in the final phase of novel object recognition (NOR) and potentiated cocaine-CPP 2.7-fold compared to responses of vehicle-treated control iTat-tg mice. The Tat-induced NOR deficits and potentiation of cocaine-CPP were not observed in saline-treated iTat-tg or doxycycline-treated G-tg (Tat-null) mice. Systemic administration (i.p.) of SRI-32743 prior to behavioral testing ameliorated Tat-induced impairment of NOR (at a dose of 10 mg/kg) and the Tat-induced potentiation of cocaine-CPP (at doses of 1 or 10 mg/kg). These findings demonstrate that Tat and cocaine interactions with DAT may be regulated by compounds interacting at the DAT allosteric modulatory sites, suggesting a potential therapeutic intervention for HIV-infected patients with concurrent cocaine abuse.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2022.109239

    View details for Web of Science ID 000862130000001

    View details for PubMedID 36126727

  • Characterization of CM-398, a Novel Selective Sigma-2 Receptor Ligand, as a Potential Therapeutic for Neuropathic Pain MOLECULES Wilson, L. L., Alleyne, A. R., Eans, S. O., Cirino, T. J., Stacy, H. M., Mottinelli, M., Intagliata, S., McCurdy, C. R., McLaughlin, J. P. 2022; 27 (11)


    Sigma receptors modulate nociception, offering a potential therapeutic target to treat pain, but relatively little is known regarding the role of sigma-2 receptors (S2R) in nociception. The purpose of this study was to investigate the in vivo analgesic and anti-allodynic activity and liabilities of a novel S2R selective ligand, 1-[4-(6,7-dimethoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinolin-2-yl)butyl]-3-methyl-1,3-dihydro-1,3-benzimidazol-2-one (CM-398). The inhibition of thermal, induced chemical, or inflammatory pain as well as the allodynia resulting from chronic nerve constriction injury (CCI) model of neuropathic pain were assessed in male mice. CM-398 dose-dependently (10-45 mg/kg i.p.) reduced mechanical allodynia in the CCI neuropathic pain model, equivalent at the higher dose to the effect of the control analgesic gabapentin (50 mg/kg i.p.). Likewise, pretreatment (i.p.) with CM-398 dose-dependently produced antinociception in the acetic acid writhing test (ED50 (and 95% C.I.) = 14.7 (10.6-20) mg/kg, i.p.) and the formalin assay (ED50 (and 95% C.I.) = 0.86 (0.44-1.81) mg/kg, i.p.) but was without effect in the 55 °C warm-water tail-withdrawal assay. A high dose of CM-398 (45 mg/kg, i.p.) exhibited modest locomotor impairment in a rotarod assay and conditioned place aversion, potentially complicating the interpretation of nociceptive testing. However, in an operant pain model resistant to these confounds, mice experiencing CCI and treated with CM-398 demonstrated robust conditioned place preference. Overall, these results demonstrate the S2R selective antagonist CM-398 produces antinociception and anti-allodynia with fewer liabilities than established therapeutics, adding to emerging data suggesting possible mediation of nociception by S2R, and the development of S2R ligands as potential treatments for chronic pain.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/molecules27113617

    View details for Web of Science ID 000809144500001

    View details for PubMedID 35684553

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9182558

  • Novel histone modifications in microglia derived from a mouse model of chronic pain PROTEOMICS Zhang, P., Guergues, J., Alleyne, A. R., Cirino, T. J., Nadeau, O., Figueroa, A. M., Stacy, H. M., Suzuki, T., McLaughlin, J. P., Stevens, S. M., Liu, B. 2022; 22 (9): e2100137


    As the resident immune cells in the central nervous system, microglia play an important role in the maintenance of its homeostasis. Dysregulation of microglia has been associated with the development and maintenance of chronic pain. However, the relevant molecular pathways remain poorly defined. In this study, we used a mass spectrometry-based proteomic approach to screen potential changes of histone protein modifications in microglia isolated from the brain of control and cisplatin-induced neuropathic pain adult C57BL/6J male mice. We identified several novel microglial histone modifications associated with pain, including statistically significantly decreased histone H3.1 lysine 27 mono-methylation (H3.1K27me1, 54.8% of control) and H3 lysine 56 tri-methylation (7.5% of control), as well as a trend suggesting increased H3 tyrosine 41 nitration. We further investigated the functional role of H3.1K27me1 and found that treatment of cultured microglial cells for 4 consecutive days with 1-10 μM of NCDM-64, a potent and selective inhibitor of lysine demethylase 7A, an enzyme responsible for the demethylation of H3K27me1, dose-dependently elevated its levels with a greater than a two-fold increase observed at 10 μM compared to vehicle-treated control cells. Moreover, pretreatment of mice with NCDM-64 (10 or 25 mg/kg/day, i.p.) prior to cisplatin treatment prevented the development of neuropathic pain in mice. The identification of specific chromatin marks in microglia associated with chronic pain may yield critical insight into the contribution of microglia to the development and maintenance of pain, and opens new avenues for the development of novel nonopioid therapeutics for the effective management of chronic pain.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pmic.202100137

    View details for Web of Science ID 000751387200001

    View details for PubMedID 35081661

  • Mini review: Promotion of substance abuse in HIV patients: Biological mediation by HIV-1 Tat protein NEUROSCIENCE LETTERS Cirino, T. J., McLaughlin, J. P. 2021; 753: 135877


    Despite successful viral suppression by combinatorial anti-retroviral therapy, HIV infection continues to negatively impact the quality of life of patients by promoting neuropathy and HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND), where substance use disorder (SUD) is highly comorbid and known to worsen health outcomes. While substance abuse exacerbates the progression of HIV, emerging evidence also suggests the virus may potentiate the rewarding effect of abused substances. As HIV does not infect neurons, these effects are theorized to be mediated by viral proteins. Key among these proteins are HIV-1 Tat, which can continue to be produced under viral suppression in patients. This review will recap the behavioral evidence for HIV-1 Tat mediation of a potentiation of cocaine, opioid and alcohol reward, and explore the neurochemical dysfunction associated by Tat as potential mechanisms underlying changes in reward. Targeting rampant oxidative stress, inflammation and excitotoxicity associated with HIV and Tat protein exposure may prove useful in combating persistent substance abuse comorbid with HIV in the clinic.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neulet.2021.135877

    View details for Web of Science ID 000640924300004

    View details for PubMedID 33838257

  • Expression of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transactivator of Transcription (HIV-Tat<sub>1-86</sub>) Protein Alters Nociceptive Processing that is Sensitive to Anti-Oxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Interventions JOURNAL OF NEUROIMMUNE PHARMACOLOGY Cirino, T. J., Alleyne, A. R., Duarte, V., Figueroa, A., Simons, C. A., Anceaume, E. M., Kendrick, J., Wallman, O., Eans, S. O., Stacy, H. M., Medina, J. M., McLaughlin, J. P. 2022; 17 (1-2): 152-164


    Despite the success of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) in reducing viral load, a substantial portion of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)+ patients report chronic pain. The exact mechanism underlying this co-morbidity even with undetectable viral load remains unknown, but the transactivator of transcription (HIV-Tat) protein is of particular interest. Functional HIV-Tat protein is observed even in cerebrospinal fluid of patients who have an undetectable viral load. It is hypothesized that Tat protein exposure is sufficient to induce neuropathic pain-like manifestations via both activation of microglia and generation of oxidative stress. iTat mice conditionally expressed Tat(1-86) protein in the central nervous system upon daily administration of doxycycline (100 mg/kg/d, i.p., up to 14 days). The effect of HIV-Tat protein exposure on the well-being of the animal was assessed using sucrose-evoked grooming and acute nesting behavior for pain-depressed behaviors, and the development of hyperalgesia assessed with warm-water tail-withdrawal and von Frey assays for thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia, respectively. Tissue harvested at select time points was used to assess ex vivo alterations in oxidative stress, astrocytosis and microgliosis, and blood-brain barrier integrity with assays utilizing fluorescence-based indicators. Tat protein induced mild thermal hyperalgesia but robust mechanical allodynia starting after 4 days of exposure, reaching a nadir after 7 days. Changes in nociceptive processing were associated with reduced sucrose-evoked grooming behavior without altering acute nesting behavior, and in spinal cord dysregulated free radical generation as measured by DCF fluorescence intensity, altered immunohistochemical expression of the gliotic markers, Iba-1 and GFAP, and increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier to the small molecule fluorescent tracer, sodium fluorescein, in a time-dependent manner. Pretreatment with the anti-inflammatory, indomethacin (1 mg/kg/d, i.p.), the antioxidant, methylsulfonylmethane (100 mg/kg/d i.p.), or the immunomodulatory agent, dimethylfumarate (100 mg/kg/d p.o.) thirty minutes prior to daily injections of doxycycline (100 mg/kg/d i.p.) over 7 days significantly attenuated the development of Tat-induced mechanical allodynia. Collectively, the data suggests that even acute exposure to HIV-1 Tat protein at pathologically relevant levels is sufficient to produce select neurophysiological and behavioral manifestations of chronic pain consistent with that reported by HIV-positive patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11481-021-09985-4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000620444700001

    View details for PubMedID 33619645

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8380260

  • Kratom Alkaloids, Natural and Semi-Synthetic, Show Less Physical Dependence and Ameliorate Opioid Withdrawal CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR NEUROBIOLOGY Wilson, L. L., Chakraborty, S., Eans, S. O., Cirino, T. J., Stacy, H. M., Simons, C. A., Uprety, R., Majumdar, S., McLaughlin, J. P. 2021; 41 (5): 1131-1143


    Chronic administration of opioids produces physical dependence and opioid-induced hyperalgesia. Users claim the Thai traditional tea "kratom" and component alkaloid mitragynine ameliorate opioid withdrawal without increased sensitivity to pain. Testing these claims, we assessed the combined kratom alkaloid extract (KAE) and two individual alkaloids, mitragynine (MG) and the analog mitragynine pseudoindoxyl (MP), evaluating their ability to produce physical dependence and induce hyperalgesia after chronic administration, and as treatments for withdrawal in morphine-dependent subjects. C57BL/6J mice (n = 10/drug) were administered repeated saline, or graded, escalating doses of morphine (intraperitoneal; i.p.), kratom alkaloid extract (orally, p.o.), mitragynine (p.o.), or MP (subcutaneously, s.c.) for 5 days. Mice treated chronically with morphine, KAE, or mitragynine demonstrated significant drug-induced hyperalgesia by day 5 in a 48 °C warm-water tail-withdrawal test. Mice were then administered naloxone (10 mg/kg, s.c.) and tested for opioid withdrawal signs. Kratom alkaloid extract and the two individual alkaloids demonstrated significantly fewer naloxone-precipitated withdrawal signs than morphine-treated mice. Additional C57BL/6J mice made physically dependent on morphine were then used to test the therapeutic potential of combined KAE, mitragynine, or MP given twice daily over the next 3 days at either a fixed dose or in graded, tapering descending doses. When administered naloxone, mice treated with KAE, mitragynine, or MP under either regimen demonstrated significantly fewer signs of precipitated withdrawal than control mice that continued to receive morphine. In conclusion, while retaining some liabilities, kratom, mitragynine, and mitragynine pseudoindoxyl produced significantly less physical dependence and ameliorated precipitated withdrawal in morphine-dependent animals, suggesting some clinical value.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10571-020-01034-7

    View details for Web of Science ID 000607338300001

    View details for PubMedID 33433723

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8164968

  • Lyophilized Kratom Tea as a Therapeutic Option for Opioid Dependence DRUG AND ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE Wilson, L. L., Harris, H. M., Eans, S. O., Brice-Tutt, A. C., Cirino, T. J., Stacy, H. M., Simons, C. A., Leon, F., Sharma, A., Boyer, E. W., Avery, B. A., McLaughlin, J. P., McCurdy, C. R. 2020; 216: 108310


    Made as a tea, the Thai traditional drug "kratom" reportedly possesses pharmacological actions that include both a coca-like stimulant effect and opium-like depressant effect. Kratom has been used as a substitute for opium in physically-dependent subjects. The objective of this study was to evaluate the antinociception, somatic and physical dependence produced by kratom tea, and then assess if the tea ameliorated withdrawal in opioid physically-dependent subjects.Lyophilized kratom tea (LKT) was evaluated in C57BL/6J and opioid receptor knockout mice after oral administration. Antinociceptive activity was measured in the 55 °C warm-water tail-withdrawal assay. Potential locomotor impairment, respiratory depression and locomotor hyperlocomotion, and place preference induced by oral LKT were assessed in the rotarod, Comprehensive Lab Animal Monitoring System, and conditioned place preference assays, respectively. Naloxone-precipitated withdrawal was used to determine potential physical dependence in mice repeatedly treated with saline or escalating doses of morphine or LKT, and LKT amelioration of morphine withdrawal. Data were analyzed using one- and two-way ANOVA.Oral administration of LKT resulted in dose-dependent antinociception (≥1 g/kg, p.o.) absent in mice lacking the mu-opioid receptor (MOR) and reduced in mice lacking the kappa-opioid receptor. These doses of LKT did not alter coordinated locomotion or induce conditioned place preference, and only briefly reduced respiration. Repeated administration of LKT did not produce physical dependence, but significantly decreased naloxone-precipitated withdrawal in morphine dependent mice.The present study confirms the MOR agonist activity and therapeutic effect of LKT for the treatment of pain and opioid physical dependence.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108310

    View details for Web of Science ID 000583221900045

    View details for PubMedID 33017752

  • HIV-Tat and Cocaine Impact Brain Energy Metabolism: Redox Modification and Mitochondrial Biogenesis Influence NRF Transcription-Mediated Neurodegeneration MOLECULAR NEUROBIOLOGY Sivalingam, K., Cirino, T. J., McLaughlin, J. P., Samikkannu, T. 2021; 58 (2): 490-504


    HIV infection and drugs of abuse induce oxidative stress and redox imbalance, which cause neurodegeneration. The mechanisms by which HIV infection and cocaine consumption affect astrocyte energy metabolism, and how this leads to neurodegenerative dysfunction, remain poorly understood. Presently, we investigated how oxidative injury causes the depletion of energy resources and glutathione synthetase (GSS), which in turn activates 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), glycolytic enzymes, and mitochondrial biogenesis, finally resulting in nuclear factor erythroid (NRF) transcription in astrocytes. Both human primary astrocytes incubated with HIV-1 Tat protein in vitro and HIV-inducible Tat (iTat) mice exposed to cocaine showed decreased levels of GSS and increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels. These changes, in turn, significantly activated AMPK and raised the concentrations of several glycolytic enzymes, along with oxidative phosphorylation, the mitochondrial biogenesis of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator (PGC-1α) and mitochondrial transcription factor (TFAM), and Nrf1 and Nrf2 gene transcription and protein expression. Moreover, neurons exposed to HIV-1Tat/cocaine-conditioned media showed reductions in dendritic formation, spine density, and neuroplasticity compared with control neurons. These results suggest that redox inhibition of GSS altered AMPK activation and mitochondrial biogenesis to influence Nrf transcription. These processes are important components of the astrocyte signaling network regulating brain energy metabolism in HIV-positive cocaine users. In conclusion, HIV-1 Tat alters redox inhibition, thus increasing glycolytic metabolic profiles and mitochondrial biogenesis, leading to Nrf transcription, and ultimately impacting astrocyte energy resource and metabolism. Cocaine exacerbated these effects, leading to a worsening of neurodegeneration.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s12035-020-02131-w

    View details for Web of Science ID 000572719300003

    View details for PubMedID 32978730

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7855545

  • Region-specific effects of HIV-1 Tat on intrinsic electrophysiological properties of pyramidal neurons in mouse prefrontal cortex and hippocampus JOURNAL OF NEUROPHYSIOLOGY Cirino, T. J., Harden, S. W., McLaughlin, J. P., Frazier, C. J. 2020; 123 (4): 1332-1341


    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 transactivator of transcription protein (Tat) is a viral protein that promotes transcription of the HIV genome and possesses cell-signaling properties. Long-term exposure of central nervous system (CNS) tissue to HIV-1 Tat is theorized to contribute to HIV-associated neurodegenerative disorder (HAND). In the current study, we sought to directly evaluate the effect of HIV-1 Tat expression on the intrinsic electrophysiological properties of pyramidal neurons located in layer 2/3 of the medial prefrontal cortex and in area CA1 of the hippocampus. Toward that end, we drove Tat expression with doxycycline (100 mg·kg-1·day-1 ip) in inducible Tat (iTat) transgenic mice for 7 days and then performed single-cell electrophysiological studies in acute tissue slices made through the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Control experiments were performed in doxycycline-treated G-tg mice, which retain the tetracycline-sensitive promoter but do not express Tat. Our results indicated that the predominant effects of HIV-1 Tat expression are excitatory in medial prefrontal cortical pyramidal neurons yet inhibitory in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Notably, in these two populations, HIV-1 Tat expression produced differential effects on neuronal gain, membrane time constant, resting membrane potential, and rheobase. Similarly, we also observed distinct effects on action potential kinetics and afterhyperpolarization, as well as on the current-voltage relationship in subthreshold voltage ranges. Collectively, these data provide mechanistic evidence of complex and region-specific changes in neuronal physiology by which HIV-1 Tat protein may promote cognitive deficits associated with HAND.NEW & NOTEWORTHY We drove expression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 transactivator of transcription protein (Tat) protein in inducible Tat (iTat) transgenic mice for 7 days and then examined the effects on the intrinsic electrophysiological properties of pyramidal neurons located in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and in the hippocampus. Our results reveal a variety of specific changes that promote increased intrinsic excitability of layer II/III mPFC pyramidal neurons and decreased intrinsic excitability of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, highlighting both cell type and region-specific effects.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/jn.00029.2020

    View details for Web of Science ID 000529327500006

    View details for PubMedID 32101482

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7191522

  • Characterization of Sigma 1 Receptor Antagonist CM-304 and Its Analog, AZ-66: Novel Therapeutics Against Allodynia and Induced Pain FRONTIERS IN PHARMACOLOGY Cirino, T. J., Eans, S. O., Medina, J. M., Wilson, L. L., Mottinelli, M., Intagliata, S., McCurdy, C. R., McLaughlin, J. P. 2019; 10: 678


    Sigma-1 receptors (S1R) and sigma-2 receptors (S2R) may modulate nociception without the liabilities of opioids, offering a promising therapeutic target to treat pain. The purpose of this study was to investigate the in vivo analgesic and anti-allodynic activity of two novel sigma receptor antagonists, the S1R-selective CM-304 and its analog the non-selective S1R/S2R antagonist AZ-66. Inhibition of thermal, induced chemical or inflammatory pain, as well as the allodynia resulting from chronic nerve constriction injury (CCI) and cisplatin exposure as models of neuropathic pain were assessed in male mice. Both sigma receptor antagonists dose-dependently (10-45 mg/kg, i.p.) reduced allodynia in the CCI and cisplatin neuropathic pain models, equivalent at the higher dose to the effect of the control analgesic gabapentin (50 mg/kg, i.p.), although AZ-66 demonstrated a much longer duration of action. Both CM-304 and AZ-66 produced antinociception in the writhing test [0.48 (0.09-1.82) and 2.31 (1.02-4.81) mg/kg, i.p., respectively] equivalent to morphine [1.75 (0.31-7.55) mg/kg, i.p.]. Likewise, pretreatment (i.p.) with either sigma-receptor antagonist dose-dependently produced antinociception in the formalin paw assay of inflammatory pain. However, CM-304 [17.5 (12.7-25.2) mg/kg, i.p.) and AZ-66 [11.6 (8.29-15.6) mg/kg, i.p.) were less efficacious than morphine [3.87 (2.85-5.18) mg/kg, i.p.] in the 55°C warm-water tail-withdrawal assay. While AZ-66 exhibited modest sedative effects in a rotarod assay and conditioned place aversion, CM-304 did not produce significant effects in the place conditioning assay. Overall, these results demonstrate the S1R selective antagonist CM-304 produces antinociception and anti-allodynia with fewer liabilities than established therapeutics, supporting the use of S1R antagonists as potential treatments for chronic pain.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fphar.2019.00678

    View details for Web of Science ID 000471884800001

    View details for PubMedID 31258480

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6586922

  • Conditional Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transactivator of Transcription Protein Expression Induces Depression-like Effects and Oxidative Stress BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY-COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE AND NEUROIMAGING McLaughlin, J. P., Paris, J. J., Mintzopoulos, D., Hymel, K. A., Kim, J. K., Cirino, T. J., Gillis, T. E., Eans, S. O., Vitaliano, G. D., Medina, J. M., Krapf, R. C., Stacy, H. M., Kaufman, M. J. 2017; 2 (7): 599-609


    The prevalence of major depression in those with HIV/AIDS is substantially higher than in the general population. Mechanisms underlying this comorbidity are poorly understood. HIV-transactivator of transcription (Tat) protein, produced and excreted by HIV, could be involved. We determined whether conditional Tat protein expression in mice is sufficient to induce depression-like behaviors and oxidative stress. Further, as oxidative stress is associated with depression, we determined whether decreasing or increasing oxidative stress by administering methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) or diethylmaleate (DEM), respectively, altered depression-like behavior.GT-tg bigenic mice received intraperitoneal saline or doxycycline (Dox, 25-100 mg/kg/day) to induce Tat expression. G-tg mice, which do not express Tat protein, also received Dox. Depression-like behavior was assessed with the tail suspension test (TST) and the two-bottle saccharin/water consumption task. Reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) were assessed ex vivo. Medial frontal cortex (MFC) oxidative stress and temperature were measured in vivo with 9.4-Tesla proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).Tat expression increased TST immobility time in an exposure-dependent manner and reduced saccharin consumption. MSM decreased immobility time while DEM increased it in saline-treated GT-tg mice. Tat and MSM behavioral effects persisted for 28 days. Tat and DEM increased while MSM decreased ROS/RNS levels. Tat expression increased MFC glutathione levels and temperature.Tat expression induced rapid and enduring depression-like behaviors and oxidative stress. Increasing/decreasing oxidative stress increased/decreased, respectively, depression-like behavior. Thus, Tat produced by HIV may contribute to the high depression prevalence among those with HIV. Further, mitigation of oxidative stress could reduce depression severity.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bpsc.2017.04.002

    View details for Web of Science ID 000493954600009

    View details for PubMedID 29057370

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5648358