The Effects of Cocaine on Different Redox Forms of Cysteine and Homocysteine, and on Labile, Reduced Sulfur in the Rat Plasma Following Active versus Passive Drug Injections
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The aim of the present studies was to evaluate cocaine-induced changes in the concentrations of different redox forms of cysteine (Cys) and homocysteine (Hcy), and products of anaerobic Cys metabolism, i.e., labile, reduced sulfur (LS) in the rat plasma. The above-mentioned parameters were determined after i.p. acute and subchronic cocaine treatment as well as following i.v. cocaine self-administration using the yoked procedure. Additionally, Cys, Hcy, and LS levels were measured during the 10-day extinction training in rats that underwent i.v. cocaine administration. Acute i.p. cocaine treatment increased the total and protein-bound Hcy contents, decreased LS, and did not change the concentrations of Cys fractions in the rat plasma. In turn, subchronic i.p. cocaine administration significantly increased free Hcy and lowered the total and protein-bound Cys concentrations while LS level was unchanged. Cocaine self-administration enhanced the total and protein-bound Hcy levels, decreased LS content, and did not affect the Cys fractions. On the other hand, yoked cocaine infusions did not alter the concentration of Hcy fractions while decreased the total and protein-bound Cys and LS content. This extinction training resulted in the lack of changes in the examined parameters in rats with a history of cocaine self-administration while in the yoked cocaine group an increase in the plasma free Cys fraction and LS was seen. Our results demonstrate for the first time that cocaine does evoke significant changes in homeostasis of thiol amino acids Cys and Hcy, and in some products of anaerobic Cys metabolism, which are dependent on the way of cocaine administration.
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