Cocaine esterase prevents cocaine-induced toxicity and the ongoing intravenous self-administration of cocaine in rats

Gregory T. Collins, Remy L. Brim, Diwahar Narasimhan, Mei Chuan Ko, Roger K. Sunahara, Chang Guo Zhan, James H. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cocaine esterase (CocE) is a naturally occurring bacterial enzyme, is a very efficient protein catalyst for the hydrolysis of cocaine, and has previously been shown to protect rodents from the lethal effects of cocaine. The current studies were aimed at evaluating the capacity of a longer acting mutant form (CocE T172R/G173Q; DM CocE) of CocE to protect against the lethal effects of cocaine, and alter ongoing intravenous cocaine self-administration in rats. A dose-response analysis revealed a dose-dependent suppression of cocaine-reinforced responding with 1.0 mg of CocE T172R/G173Q producing saline-like rates of responding. The effects of 1.0 mg of CocE T172R/ G173Q on cocaine-reinforced responding were then compared with responding when saline was available for injection, whereas the selectivity of CocE T172R/G173Q's effects was assessed by evaluating the effects of 1.0 mg of CocE T172R/ G173Q on (-)-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-phenyltropane (WIN-35065-2)- and food-reinforced responding. Although 1.0 mg of CocE T172R/G173Q suppressed responding maintained by 0.1 mg/kg/injection cocaine, a significant increase in responding was observed when responding was maintained by 1.0 mg/kg/ injection cocaine, resulting in a 10-fold rightward shift in the dose-response curve for cocaine self-administration at a dose that did not significantly alter responding maintained by either WIN-35065-2 or food. These findings demonstrate that a longacting form of CocE is effective at abruptly reducing the ongoing self-administration of low doses of cocaine, and provides a robust antagonism of cocaine's reinforcing effects. Furthermore, these studies provide strong evidence for the potential usefulness of a suitable, stable, and long-acting form of CocE as a pharmacotherapy for cocaine abuse in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-455
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Volume331
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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