Blocking IL-17A prevents oxycodone-induced depression-like effects and elevation of IL-6 levels in the ventral tegmental area and reduces oxycodone-derived physical dependence in rats

Saadet Inan, Joseph J. Meissler, Shingo Bessho, Sonita Wiah, Cagla Tukel, Toby K. Eisenstein, Scott M. Rawls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Oxycodone is the most prescribed opioid for pain management and has been available in clinics for almost a century, but effects of chronic oxycodone have been studied less than morphine in preclinical and clinical studies. Newly developed depression has been coupled with chronic oxycodone use in a few clinical studies, but no preclinical studies have investigated the pathogenesis of oxycodone-induced depression. Gut microbiome changes following oxycodone use is an understudied area, and interleukin-17A (IL-17A) is linked to both the development of mood disorders and regulation of gut microbiome. The present study investigated effects of chronic oxycodone exposure on mood-related behaviors (depression and anxiety), pain hypersensitivity, physical dependence, immune markers, and the gut microbiome and tested the hypothesis that blocking IL-17A with a systemically administered monoclonal antibody reduces oxycodone-derived effects. Oxycodone (using an incremental dosing regimen) or saline was injected twice a day for 12 days. IL-17A Ab (200 µg/100 µl) or saline was administered every 3rd day during the 12-day interval. Chronic oxycodone induced a depression-like effect, but not anxiogenic- or anxiolytic-like effects; promoted hyperalgesia; increased IL-17A and IL-6 levels in the ventral tegmental area (VTA); and induced physical dependence. IL-17A Ab co-administration with oxycodone prevented the depression-like effect and hyperalgesia, reduced naloxone-precipitated withdrawal signs, and normalized the increase in cytokine levels. Chronic oxycodone exposure did not affect gut microbiome and integrity. Our results identify a role for IL-17A in oxycodone-related behavioral and neuroimmune effects and show that IL-17A Ab has potential therapeutic value in blocking these effects. Given that humanized IL-17A Ab is approved for treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, our findings point toward studying it for use in the treatment of oxycodone use disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-111
Number of pages12
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Volume117
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Dependence
  • Depression
  • Gut microbiome
  • Hyperalgesia
  • IL-17A
  • IL-17A Ab
  • IL-6
  • Oxycodone
  • Interleukin-6/pharmacology
  • Interleukin-17/metabolism
  • Rats
  • Depression/drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Hyperalgesia/drug therapy
  • Ventral Tegmental Area
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Oxycodone/pharmacology

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