Health & Medical Neurological Conditions

Adenosinergic System: Therapeutics for Drug Addiction

´╗┐Adenosinergic System: Therapeutics for Drug Addiction

Functional Effects of the Stimulation of the Adenosinergic System by Addictive Agents

Although several reports showed the interplay of adenosine receptors with several signaling mechanisms in the process of addiction with a variety of drugs, only a few studies emphasized the effect of addictive drugs on the innate levels of brain adenosine. Studying the effect of drugs on adenosine levels would provide phenomenal data as adenosine has an established neuromodulatory role in complex circuitry of the interconnected neuronal signaling. Following chronic cocaine treatment, adenosine concentration was shown to be enhanced at the presynaptic terminals and conversely, adenosine uptake was shown to be enhanced and presynaptic sensitivity to adenosine decreased following cocaine withdrawal.

Addictive drugs such as opioids and alcohol have long been proposed to modulate the adenosine levels in the brain, subjecting animals to varied responses in the reward and withdrawal phenomena. Increased levels of adenosine metabolites in the nucleus accumbens were shown to occur during opiate withdrawal in rats and adenosine kinase inhibitors were shown to significantly reduce morphine withdrawal symptoms in mice. In addition, earlier studies also showed that alcohol activates adenosine A2 receptor signaling in neuronal cell culture leading to increased extracellular adenosine, and thus resulting in elevated cAMP levels.

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