Theophylline inhibits tolerance and sensitization induced by morphine: a conditioned place preference paradigm study in female mice

Behavioural Pharmacology

Volume 7 - Number

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

The effect of theophylline on reward properties of morphine was examined in the present study. A biased conditioned place preference paradigm was used to study the effects of theophylline on the development of conditioned place preference by morphine in sensitized and tolerant female mice. Subcutaneous injection of morphine (0.5-10 mg/kg) induced conditioned place preference in mice, while intraperitoneal administration of theophylline (2.5-100 mg/kg) did not induce conditioned place preference or conditioned place aversion. Theophylline (2.5-100mg/kg) in combination with morphine (5 mg/kg), during conditioning sessions, decreased the acquisition of morphine conditioned place preference dose independently. Administration of theophylline (2.5-100 mg/kg) before testing also caused a significant reduction of the expression of morphine-induced conditioned place preference in a dose-independent manner. Administration of morphine (112.5, 25 or 50 mg/kg) daily, for 3 days, produced tolerance to conditioned place preference induced by the drug (5 mg/kg). Administration of theophylline (2.5 and 10 mg/kg) 1 h before morphine (112.5, 25 mg/kg), during development of tolerance, abolished morphine tolerance. A higher dose of theophylline (1100 mg/kg), however, did not alter morphine tolerance. In addition, theophylline (2.5, 10 and 100 mg/kg) failed to reduce tolerance to a higher dose of morphine (50 mg/kg). Daily administration of morphine (5 mg/kg) for 3 days followed by a 5-day interval caused sensitization to morphine place conditioning. When theophylline was administered (2.5, 10 and 100 mg/kg) 1 h before morphine (5 mg/kg), during development of sensitization, inhibition of morphine-induced sensitization was demonstrated. The effect of theophylline was dose independent. It is concluded that while theophylline has no effect by itself, it reduced both the acquisition and expression of morphine conditioned place preference. In addition, theophylline reduced the acquisition of morphine conditioned place preference in morphine-sensitized and morphine-tolerant mice.