The Neurobiology of Addiction Research Center (NARC)
Project 4 - Preclinical Evalution of Anti-Relapse Medications
Principle Investigator: Ronald E. See, Ph.D.
In this project, we take intervention strategies identified through the NARC aimed at reducing relapse to cocaine seeking. Our project uses standardized procedures through the NARC Animal Core of self-administration, withdrawal, and reinstatement to assess acute and chronic pharmacotherapy treatments that inhibit cocaine seeking. This data is then used in other NARC projects to assess the validity of cocaine-induced neuroplasticity for drug target development and as a transition to future clinical assessment of promising pharmacotherapies. We have primarily focused on selected strategies of drug intervention by targeting dopaminergic activity via a partial DA receptor agonist, enhancement of glutamate homeostasis, antagonism of the orexin-1 receptor, and the novel attention-enhancing agent, modafinil. Since our focus is to assess compounds that can be readily applied in a clinical environment, we have generally concentrated on systemically available, approved drugs for use in humans. However, we also take identified compounds from the NARC projects for systematic examination of their anti-relapse potential.