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Neuropharmacology of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS): Focus on the Rewarding and Reinforcing Properties of Cannabimimetics and Amphetamine-Like Stimulants.

Miliano C, Serpelloni G, Rimondo C, Mereu M, Marti M, De Luca MA - Front Neurosci (2016)

Bottom Line: The use of NPS, mainly consumed along with other drugs of abuse and/or alcohol, has resulted in a significantly growing number of mortality and emergency admissions for overdoses, as reported by several poison centers from all over the world.Besides peripheral toxicological effects, many NPS seem to have addictive properties.Thus the neurochemical mechanisms that produce the rewarding properties of JWH-018, which most likely contributes to the greater incidence of dependence associated with "Spice" use, will be described (De Luca et al., 2015a).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari Cagliari, Italy.

ABSTRACT
New psychoactive substances (NPS) are a heterogeneous and rapidly evolving class of molecules available on the global illicit drug market (e.g smart shops, internet, "dark net") as a substitute for controlled substances. The use of NPS, mainly consumed along with other drugs of abuse and/or alcohol, has resulted in a significantly growing number of mortality and emergency admissions for overdoses, as reported by several poison centers from all over the world. The fact that the number of NPS have more than doubled over the last 10 years, is a critical challenge to governments, the scientific community, and civil society [EMCDDA (European Drug Report), 2014; UNODC, 2014b; Trends and developments]. The chemical structure (phenethylamines, piperazines, cathinones, tryptamines, synthetic cannabinoids) of NPS and their pharmacological and clinical effects (hallucinogenic, anesthetic, dissociative, depressant) help classify them into different categories. In the recent past, 50% of newly identified NPS have been classified as synthetic cannabinoids followed by new phenethylamines (17%) (UNODC, 2014b). Besides peripheral toxicological effects, many NPS seem to have addictive properties. Behavioral, neurochemical, and electrophysiological evidence can help in detecting them. This manuscript will review existing literature about the addictive and rewarding properties of the most popular NPS classes: cannabimimetics (JWH, HU, CP series) and amphetamine-like stimulants (amphetamine, methamphetamine, methcathinone, and MDMA analogs). Moreover, the review will include recent data from our lab which links JWH-018, a CB1 and CB2 agonist more potent than Δ(9)-THC, to other cannabinoids with known abuse potential, and to other classes of abused drugs that increase dopamine signaling in the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) shell. Thus the neurochemical mechanisms that produce the rewarding properties of JWH-018, which most likely contributes to the greater incidence of dependence associated with "Spice" use, will be described (De Luca et al., 2015a). Considering the growing evidence of a widespread use of NPS, this review will be useful to understand the new trends in the field of drug reward and drug addiction by revealing the rewarding properties of NPS, and will be helpful to gather reliable data regarding the abuse potential of these compounds.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Number of NPS reported by substance group in 2014. Adapted from UNODC (2014a).
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Figure 2: Number of NPS reported by substance group in 2014. Adapted from UNODC (2014a).

Mentions: Synthetic cannabinoids belong to the alkylindoles and cyclohexylphenos classes which show high affinity for CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors and act like Δ9-THC but with prolonged psychoactive effects and more side effects (Fattore and Fratta, 2011; Brents and Prather, 2014). As shown in Figure 2, they can be divided into naphtoylindoles (e.g., JWH- 018, JWH-073, JWH-210, WIN-55212), phenylacetylindoles (e.g., JWH-250 e JWH-251), benzoylindoles (e.g., WIN-48,098, AM-694, RSC-4), cyclohexylphenols (e.g., CP-47497, CP-55940, CP-55244) (Smith et al., 2015). They are generally consumed by inhalation through the consumption of cigarettes containing herbal substances as well as these synthetic molecules to obtain euphoria, anxiolytic, and antidepressant-like effects. However, reports presented by the EMCDDA (2009a) and by the Italian Early Warning System – N.E.W.S. (Anti-drug Policies Department) have shown effects like paranoia, tachycardia, panic, convulsions, psychosis, visual/auditory hallucinations, vomiting, and seizures (Hermanns-Clausen et al., 2013; Winstock and Barratt, 2013).


Neuropharmacology of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS): Focus on the Rewarding and Reinforcing Properties of Cannabimimetics and Amphetamine-Like Stimulants.

Miliano C, Serpelloni G, Rimondo C, Mereu M, Marti M, De Luca MA - Front Neurosci (2016)

Number of NPS reported by substance group in 2014. Adapted from UNODC (2014a).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4835722&req=5

Figure 2: Number of NPS reported by substance group in 2014. Adapted from UNODC (2014a).
Mentions: Synthetic cannabinoids belong to the alkylindoles and cyclohexylphenos classes which show high affinity for CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors and act like Δ9-THC but with prolonged psychoactive effects and more side effects (Fattore and Fratta, 2011; Brents and Prather, 2014). As shown in Figure 2, they can be divided into naphtoylindoles (e.g., JWH- 018, JWH-073, JWH-210, WIN-55212), phenylacetylindoles (e.g., JWH-250 e JWH-251), benzoylindoles (e.g., WIN-48,098, AM-694, RSC-4), cyclohexylphenols (e.g., CP-47497, CP-55940, CP-55244) (Smith et al., 2015). They are generally consumed by inhalation through the consumption of cigarettes containing herbal substances as well as these synthetic molecules to obtain euphoria, anxiolytic, and antidepressant-like effects. However, reports presented by the EMCDDA (2009a) and by the Italian Early Warning System – N.E.W.S. (Anti-drug Policies Department) have shown effects like paranoia, tachycardia, panic, convulsions, psychosis, visual/auditory hallucinations, vomiting, and seizures (Hermanns-Clausen et al., 2013; Winstock and Barratt, 2013).

Bottom Line: The use of NPS, mainly consumed along with other drugs of abuse and/or alcohol, has resulted in a significantly growing number of mortality and emergency admissions for overdoses, as reported by several poison centers from all over the world.Besides peripheral toxicological effects, many NPS seem to have addictive properties.Thus the neurochemical mechanisms that produce the rewarding properties of JWH-018, which most likely contributes to the greater incidence of dependence associated with "Spice" use, will be described (De Luca et al., 2015a).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari Cagliari, Italy.

ABSTRACT
New psychoactive substances (NPS) are a heterogeneous and rapidly evolving class of molecules available on the global illicit drug market (e.g smart shops, internet, "dark net") as a substitute for controlled substances. The use of NPS, mainly consumed along with other drugs of abuse and/or alcohol, has resulted in a significantly growing number of mortality and emergency admissions for overdoses, as reported by several poison centers from all over the world. The fact that the number of NPS have more than doubled over the last 10 years, is a critical challenge to governments, the scientific community, and civil society [EMCDDA (European Drug Report), 2014; UNODC, 2014b; Trends and developments]. The chemical structure (phenethylamines, piperazines, cathinones, tryptamines, synthetic cannabinoids) of NPS and their pharmacological and clinical effects (hallucinogenic, anesthetic, dissociative, depressant) help classify them into different categories. In the recent past, 50% of newly identified NPS have been classified as synthetic cannabinoids followed by new phenethylamines (17%) (UNODC, 2014b). Besides peripheral toxicological effects, many NPS seem to have addictive properties. Behavioral, neurochemical, and electrophysiological evidence can help in detecting them. This manuscript will review existing literature about the addictive and rewarding properties of the most popular NPS classes: cannabimimetics (JWH, HU, CP series) and amphetamine-like stimulants (amphetamine, methamphetamine, methcathinone, and MDMA analogs). Moreover, the review will include recent data from our lab which links JWH-018, a CB1 and CB2 agonist more potent than Δ(9)-THC, to other cannabinoids with known abuse potential, and to other classes of abused drugs that increase dopamine signaling in the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) shell. Thus the neurochemical mechanisms that produce the rewarding properties of JWH-018, which most likely contributes to the greater incidence of dependence associated with "Spice" use, will be described (De Luca et al., 2015a). Considering the growing evidence of a widespread use of NPS, this review will be useful to understand the new trends in the field of drug reward and drug addiction by revealing the rewarding properties of NPS, and will be helpful to gather reliable data regarding the abuse potential of these compounds.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus