Ginsburg Laboratory receives multiple achievements across two interior laboratories!
The Ginsburg lab has been involved in a number of projects related to the mission of the ARTT this year. The lab group is comprised of two different laboratories, the Behavioral Biology Laboratory which studies behavioral aspects relevant to substance use and recovery and the Biological Psychiatry Analytical Laboratory which is a fully function analytical laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment to perform quantitative analytical chemistry.
The Behavioral Biology Lab has developed a novel and sophisticated model of recovery for alcoholism which allows us to determine the impact of recovery-like behavior on stimulus control over alcohol use. Using a rat model, we have shown that recovery-like behavior can be maintained by providing rats with an enriched environment, even when alcohol remains consistently available in the same location at the same price. This is similar to the pattern of behavior desirable in humans entering recovery, when we hope to see persistence of healthy substance-free behavior even when the abused substance is still available in the immediate environment. We have shown that exposure to stimuli which had previously prompted robust alcohol seeking and consumption is less effective at prompting this relapse-like behavior with longer periods of recovery. Again, this is consistent with clinical data showing the risk of relapse declines with longer successful recovery. We have presented our recent work using this procedure at national and international meetings this year and are in the process of preparing several manuscripts describing our most recent work. These presentations are listed below.
The Biological Psychiatry Analytical Lab has also been active in numerous substance use disorder related projects. Recently, we published a manuscript demonstrating that the relationship between drinking and a biomarker of recent alcohol use (phosphatidylethanol) is similar in non-human primates to the relationship observed in humans. This is notable because to date, animal models of this biomarker have been limited, due to its rapid disappearance in rodents. Project development is underway to leverage this non-human primate model to better understand the synthesis and metabolism of this biomarker which is already in widespread use in both forensic and clinical settings. This publication is listed below.
In addition, we recently began work on a funded KL2 project awarded to Casey Straud, Ph.D. (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences) to examine the potential use of cannabidiol to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to therapeutic drug monitoring to verify patient cannabidiol compliance, we will also be quantifying circulating levels of two endogenous cannabinoids (anadamide and 2-AG) as well as cortisol to determine whether these measures are related to PTSD severity or recovery. Previously, in collaboration with Don McGeary, Ph.D. (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences) and Tim Houle, Ph.D. (Harvard University), we completed a secondary analysis of these same endogenous cannabinoid levels in blood samples obtained from patients undergoing an effective therapy for post-traumatic headache disorder, as the endogenous cannabinoid system appears to play a role in this debilitating condition. These results were recently analyzed and we are preparing a report on our findings.
Finally, we also completed a small pilot study in collaboration with Dimpy Shah, M.D., Ph.D. (Mays Cancer Center) in which we quantified metabolites of THC and cannabidiol in urine samples obtained from patients undergoing treatment for liver cancer. We found that the proportion of patients in our sample with evidence of recent cannabis use (11%) was similar to national averages, suggesting these patients may be using cannabis recreationally and not for their cancer condition per se. In addition, we found similar levels of THC and CBD metabolites which suggest these patients are not selecting products with high THC/low CBD, or conversely with low THC/high CBD (which is often indicated as a preference in survey data of cancer patients), but more likely natural botanical cannabis prodcuts. We are presently developing a larger pilot which will include a survey of both patients and health care providers to determine their stated product preferences, as well as the sources and quality of information these groups are using when considering cannabis use during cancer therapy.
In addition to these activities, we are engaged in ongoing, active collaborations with several aging research groups. We recently obtained competitive renewals of some of these projects, including the Intervention Testing Program of the National Institute on Aging, the Claude Pepper Center for Longevity Research, and the Nathan Shock Center of Excellence at San Antonio. We collaborate with investigators nationwide to provide measurement of pharmacological aging interventions applied in rodent diet, blood concentrations of these medications to assist in interpretations of their pharmacological effects, therapeutic drug monitoring in human study participants, and biomarker analysis of relevant anti-aging targets. Some recent publications derived from these collaborations are also listed below.
Behavioral Biology Laboratory Presentations and Publications:
Haidyn Stark, Dhariye Dave. Rick J. Lamb, Brett C. Ginsburg. Predicting choice from response latencies: a potential treatment target for behavioral allocation disorders. The International Study Group on Drugs as Reinforcers. 2021.
Haidyn Stark, Dhariye Dave, R.J. Lamb, Brett C Ginsburg. Predicting choice from response latencies: a potential treatment target for behavioral allocation disorders. Behavior, Biology, and Chemistry Annual Meting. 2021.
John D. Roache, Elizabeth Lehinger, Brett C. Ginsburg, James Murphy, Donald D. McGeary. What do opioid-using patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain really want? The Texas Research Society on Alcoholism Annual Meeting. 2021.
R.J. Lamb, Haidyn G. Stark & Brett C Ginsburg. Implications of there being many paths to addiction and recovery. Editor-invited opinion article. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior. Submitted.
Biological Psychiatry Analytical Laboratory Presentations and Publications:
Martin A. Javors, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, John D. Roache, Tara Karns-Wright, Marisa Lopez-Cruzan, Brett C. Ginsburg, Donald M. Dougherty. The ratio of phosphatidylethanol (PEth) 16:0/18:1 to PEth 16:0/18:2 as an indicator of recent abstinence from alcohol consumption. The Texas Research Society on Alcoholism Annual Meeting. 2021.
Martin A. Javors, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, John D. Roache, Tara Karns-Wright, Marisa Lopez-Cruzan, Brett C. Ginsburg, Donald M. Dougherty. The ratio of phosphatidylethanol (PEth) 16:0/18:1 to peth 16:0/18:2 as an indicator of recent abstinence from alcohol consumption. The Texas Research Society on Alcoholism Annual Meeting. 2021.
Martin A. Javors, Marisa Lopez-Cruzan, John D. Roache, Brett C. Ginsburg, Jesse J. Sanchez. The ratio of PEth 16:0/18:1 to PEth 16:0/18:2 as an indicator of recent abstinence from alcohol. Peth-Net First Annual Symposium (An international study group dedicated to understanding the use of phosphatidylethanol as a biomarker of alcohol use). 2021.
John D. Roache, Tara Karnes-Wright, Wouter Koek, Martin A. Javors, Donald M. Dougherty, Marisa Lopez-Cruzan, Brett C. Ginsburg, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczack. Sensitivity and specificity of PEth as predictor of drinking observed in the past two weeks. Peth-Net First Annual Symposium. 2021.
Lopez-Cruzan M, Walter NAR, Sanchez JJ, Ginsburg BC, Koek W, Jimenez VA,Grant KA, Javors MA. Phosphatidylethanol in whole blood of rhesus monkeys correlates with ethanol consumption. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2021 Apr;45(4):689-696. doi: 10.1111/acer.14584. Epub 2021 Apr 19. PMID: 33616217.
Dorigatti JD, Thyne KM, Ginsburg BC, Salmon AB. Beta-guanidinopropionic acid does not extend Drosophila lifespan. Biochem Biophys Rep. 2021 Jun 3;27:101040. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrep.2021.101040. PMID: 34141906.
Dorigatti JD, Thyne KM, Ginsburg BC, Salmon AB. Beta-guanidinopropionic acid has age-specific effects on markers of health and function in mice. Geroscience. 2021 Apr 23. doi: 10.1007/s11357-021-00372-8. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33890206.