Effects of the Fyn kinase inhibitor saracatinib on ventral striatal activity during performance of an fMRI monetary incentive delay task in individuals family history positive or negative for alcohol use disorder. A pilot randomised trial

Altered striatal regulation of the GluN2B subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors by the Fyn/Src family of protein tyrosine kinases has been implicated in animal alcohol consumption. Previously, we have described differences between individuals positive (FHP) and negative (FHN) for familial alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the ventral striatal (VS) activation associated with monetary incentive delay task (MIDT) performance during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Here, we used AZD0530 (saracatinib), a centrally active Fyn/Src inhibitor to probe the role of Fyn/Src regulation of NMDA receptors (NMDAR) in VS activation differences between FHP and FHN individuals during fMRI MIDT performance. We studied 21 FHN and 22 FHP individuals, all without AUD. In two sessions, spaced 1 week apart, we administered 125 mg of saracatinib or placebo in a double-blind manner, prior to measuring VS signal during fMRI MIDT performance. MIDT comprises reward prospect, anticipation, and outcome phases. During the initial (prospect of reward) task phase, there was a significant group-by-condition interaction such that, relative to placebo, saracatinib reduced VS BOLD signal in FHP and increased it in FHN individuals. This study provides the first human evidence that elevated signaling in striatal protein kinase A-dependent pathways may contribute to familial AUD risk via amplifying the neural response to the prospect of reward. As Fyn kinase is responsible for NMDAR upregulation, these data are consistent with previous evidence for upregulated NMDAR function within reward circuitry in AUD risk. These findings also suggest a possible therapeutic role for Src/Fyn kinase inhibitors in AUD risk.

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Cat.No. Product Name Information
S1006 Saracatinib (AZD0530) Saracatinib (AZD0530) is a potent Src inhibitor with IC50 of 2.7 nM in cell-free assays, and potent to c-Yes, Fyn, Lyn, Blk, Fgr and Lck; less active for Abl and EGFR (L858R and L861Q). Saracatinib induces autophagy. Phase 2/3.

Related Targets

Autophagy Src EGFR