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Evaluation of anti and pro-apoptotic proteins in rat primary hippocampal cell culture after exposure to cocaine, AEME and cocaine-AEME combination

Grant number: 15/10395-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2015
Effective date (End): June 19, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Toxicology
Principal Investigator:Raphael Caio Tamborelli Garcia
Grantee:Leandro Ferreira Dal'Jovem
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciências Ambientais, Químicas e Farmacêuticas (ICAQF). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Diadema. Diadema , SP, Brazil


Cocaine is a drug of abuse used worldwide and its usage can cause physical, psychiatric and social problems with neurological outcomes, leading to emotional instability, impulsivity and cognitive impairment, such as learning and memory disorders. The number of crack cocaine users, the smoked form of cocaine, has been increasing, consisting in a public health problem. Along with cocaine, anhydroecgonine methyl ester (AEME), a cocaine pyrolysis product, is also inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. It is important to note that crack cocaine users exhibit cognitive impairment faster than any other routes of cocaine administration. The mechanism by which cocaine causes neurological damages is complex and it involves many neurotransmitter systems which may play a role in neuronal death; however, the mechanisms underlying AEME's neurotoxicity are not clear. Thus, the aim of this project is to evaluate the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and pro-apoptotic proteins Bax and caspase 3, 8 and 9, using western blotting, in primary hippocampal cell culture after exposure to cocaine, AEME and cocaine-AEME combination for 3, 6, 12 and 24 hours.

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