Planarians are traditional animal models in developmental and regeneration biology. Recently, these organisms are arising as vertebrate-relevant animal models in neuropharmacology. Using an adaptation of published behavioral protocols, we have described the alleviation of cocaine-induced planarian seizure-like movements (pSLM) by a naturally-occurring sesquiterpene lactone, parthenolide. Interestingly, parthenolide does not prevent the expression of pSLM induced by amphetamines; in vertebrates, amphetamines interact with the same protein target as cocaine. Parthenolide is also unable to prevent pSLM elicited by the cholinergic compounds nicotine and cytisine or by the glutamatergic agents L- or D- glutamic acid or NMDA. Thus, we conclude that parthenolide is a specific anti-cocaine agent in this experimental organism.
International Journal of Developmental Biology
University of the Basque Country Press
Pagán, O. R., Baker, D., Deats, S., Montgomery, E., Tenaglia, M., Randolph, C., Kotturu, D., Tallarida, C., Bach, D., Wilk, G., Rawls, S., & Raffa, R. B. (2012). Planarians in pharmacology: parthenolide is a specific behavioral antagonist of cocaine in the planarian Girardia tigrina. International Journal of Developmental Biology, 56(1-3), 193-196. http://dx.doi.org/10.1387/ijdb.113486op