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Papers: 6 Jan 2024 - 12 Jan 2024

2024 Jan 08

Brain Behav Immun


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.


Inan S, Meissler JJ, Bessho S, Wiah S, Tukel C, Eisenstein TK, Rawls SM


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 3 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.