Influence of nitric oxide on morphine-induced conditioned place preference in the rat central amygdala

European Journal of Pharmacology

Volume 1 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----
Abstract:

Effects of intra-central amygdala injections of L-arginine, a nitric oxide (NO) precursor, and N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), a NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor, on morphine-induced conditioned place preference in rats were investigated by using an unbiased 3-day schedule of place conditioning design. Animals receiving once daily injections of morphine (0.5-7.5 mg/kg, subcutaneously, s.c.) or saline (1.0 ml/kg, s.c.) showed a significant place preference in a dose-dependent manner. The maximum response was observed with 5.0 mg/kg of the opioid. Co-administration of morphine (5.0 mg/kg) with L-arginine (0.3, 1.0 and 3.0 mug/rat), but not with L-NAME (0.3, 1.0 and 3.0 mug/rat), during the acquisition of morphine-induced conditioned place preference increased morphine-induced conditioned place preference. The response to L-arginine was blocked by L-NAME preadministration. L-arginine and L-NAME by themselves did not induce conditioned place preference. When L-arginine or L-NAME at 0.3-3.0 mug/rat was administered 1 min before conditioned place preference testing, L-arginine but not L-NAME caused an increase in the expression of morphine-induced conditioned place preference, the effect that was blocked by L-NAME preadministration. A dose Of L-arginine (0.3 mug/rat), but not L-NAME, during expression of morphine-induced conditioned place preference produced an increase in locomotion compared with that in the control group. It may be concluded that an increase in the NO levels in the central amygdala may have an effect on the acquisition and expression of morphine-induced conditioned place preference. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.