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The beta-lactam antibiotic ceftriaxone inhibits physical dependence and abstinence-induced withdrawal from cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and clorazepate in planarians.

Author(s): Rawls SM, Cavallo F, Capasso A, Ding Z, Raffa RB

Affiliation(s): Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Temple University School of Pharmacy, 3307 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.

Publication date & source: 2008-04-28, Eur J Pharmacol., 584(2-3):278-84. Epub 2008 Feb 17.

Publication type: Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Ceftriaxone (a beta-lactam antibiotic) has recently been identified as having the rare ability to increase the expression and functional activity of the glutamate transporter subtype 1 (GLT-1) in rat spinal cord cultures. GLT-1 has been implicated in diverse neurological disorders and in opioid dependence and withdrawal. It has been speculated that it might also be involved in the physical dependence and withdrawal of other abused drugs, but demonstration of this property can be difficult in mammalian models. Here, we demonstrate for the first time using a planarian model that ceftriaxone attenuates both the development of physical dependence and abstinence-induced withdrawal from cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and a benzodiazepine (clorazepate) in a concentration-related manner. These results suggest that physical dependence and withdrawal from several drugs involve a common - beta-lactam-sensitive - mechanism in planarians. If these findings can be shown to extend to mammals, beta-lactam antibiotics might represent a novel pharmacotherapy or adjunct approach for treating drug abuse or serve as a template for drug discovery efforts aimed at treating drug abuse, recovery from drug abuse, or ameliorating the withdrawal from chronic use of therapeutic medications.

Page last updated: 2008-08-11

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