Effect of Combined Methamphetamine and Oxycodone Use on the Synaptic Proteome in an In Vitro Model of Polysubstance Use

Daniel Meyer, Pranavi Athota, Austin Gowen, Nghi M. Nguyen, Victoria L. Schaal, Sowmya V. Yelamanchili, Gurudutt Pendyala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Polysubstance use (PSU) generally involves the simultaneous use of an opioid along with a stimulant. In recent years, this problem has escalated into a nationwide epidemic. Understanding the mechanisms and effects underlying the interaction between these drugs is essential for the development of treatments for those suffering from addiction. Currently, the effect of PSU on synapses—critical points of contact between neurons—remains poorly understood. Using an in vitro model of primary neurons, we examined the combined effects of the psychostimulant methamphetamine (METH) and the prescription opioid oxycodone (oxy) on the synaptic proteome using quantitative mass-spectrometry-based proteomics. A further ClueGO analysis and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) indicated the dysregulation of several molecular functions, biological processes, and pathways associated with neural plasticity and structural development. We identified one key synaptic protein, Striatin-1, which plays a vital role in many of these processes and functions, to be downregulated following METH+oxy treatment. This downregulation of Striatin-1 was further validated by Western blot. Overall, the present study indicates several damaging effects of the combined use of METH and oxy on neural function and warrants further detailed investigation into mechanisms contributing to synaptic dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1816
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • methamphetamine
  • oxycodone
  • polysubstance use
  • speedballing
  • striatin-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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