CEXS-UPF: Consumption of "Cannibal drug" in adolescence has prejudicial effects on adulthood

CEXS-UPF: Consumption of "Cannibal drug" in adolescence has prejudicial effects on adulthood

News from CEXS-UPF

Consumption of the synthetic drug MDPV -a powerful psychostimulant known as 'cannibal drug'- in adolescence, can increase vulnerability of cocaine addiction during adulthood, according to a study carried out with laboratory animals and led by the researchers Olga Valverde, head of the Neurobiology of Behaviour Research Group (GreNeC) of UPF and Elena Escubedo, from the UB.

The new study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology analyses the influence of MDPV consumption during adolescence and its impact on adults' vulnerability in cocaine use. In the research, adolescent mice were treated with MDPV during seven days. After three weeks without the substance, adult animals' sensitivity to cocaine was analyzed under different experimental protocols. At the same time, the changes in certain proteins associated to the addictive process were also analyzed.

"In the new study, we state that the animals treated with MDPV during adolescence show reinforcing behavior patterns to cocaine which are higher than the control group. Also, these behavioural changes are related to alterations of factor expression directly related to addiction. For instance, the level of the factor DeltaFosB is three times higher than the normal level and it stays high during the three weeks after removing the addictive substances from the animals", says Escubedo.

More information:
CEXS-UPF website

Article Reference:
López-Arnau, R.; Luján, M. A.; Duart-Castells, L.; Pubill, D.; Camarasa, J.; Valverde, O.; Escubedo, E. «Exposure of mice to MDPV during adolescence increases the psychostimulant, rewarding and reinforcing effects of cocaine in adulthood». British Journal of Pharmacology, March 2017. Doi: 10.1111/bph.13771