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Large-Scale, Ion-Current-Based Proteomic Investigation of the Rat Striatal Proteome in a Model of Short- and Long-Term Cocaine Withdrawal

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posted on 28.03.2016, 00:00 by Shichen Shen, Xiaosheng Jiang, Jun Li, Robert M. Straubinger, Mauricio Suarez, Chengjian Tu, Xiaotao Duan, Alexis C. Thompson, Jun Qu
Given the tremendous detriments of cocaine dependence, effective diagnosis and patient stratification are critical for successful intervention yet difficult to achieve due to the largely unknown molecular mechanisms involved. To obtain new insights into cocaine dependence and withdrawal, we employed a reproducible, reliable, and large-scale proteomics approach to investigate the striatal proteomes of rats (n = 40, 10 per group) subjected to chronic cocaine exposure, followed by either short- (WD1) or long- (WD22) term withdrawal. By implementing a surfactant-aided precipitation/on-pellet digestion procedure, a reproducible and sensitive nanoLC-Orbitrap MS analysis, and an optimized ion-current-based MS1 quantification pipeline, >2000 nonredundant proteins were quantified confidently without missing data in any replicate. Although cocaine was cleared from the body, 129/37 altered proteins were observed in WD1/WD22 that are implicated in several biological processes related closely to drug-induced neuroplasticity. Although many of these changes recapitulate the findings from independent studies reported over the last two decades, some novel insights were obtained and further validated by immunoassays. For example, significantly elevated striatal protein kinase C activity persisted over the 22 day cocaine withdrawal. Cofilin-1 activity was up-regulated in WD1 and down-regulated in WD22. These discoveries suggest potentially distinct structural plasticity after short- and long-term cocaine withdrawal. In addition, this study provides compelling evidence that blood vessel narrowing, a long-known effect of cocaine use, occurred after long-term but not short-term withdrawal. In summary, this work developed a well-optimized paradigm for ion-current-based quantitative proteomics in brain tissues and obtained novel insights into molecular alterations in the striatum following cocaine exposure and withdrawal.