Author(s): Spyraki C, Fibiger HC, Phillips AG
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Abstract The rewarding properties of systemically administered heroin were investigated with a conditioned place-preference paradigm. Reinforcing effects were observed with all doses of heroin tested (0.5, 1.0, 2.0 mg/kg) as indicated by a significant increase in preference for the place paired with drug injections. No similar change in preference was observed following saline injections. The rewarding effect of heroin (2 mg/kg) was attenuated by pretreatment with haloperidol (0.2 mg/kg), but haloperidol alone did not produce a place aversion. Lesions induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) of the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway at the level of the nucleus accumbens also attenuated the heroin-induced place preference. In contrast, depletion of central and peripheral noradrenaline induced by 6-OHDA had no significant effect on heroin-induced place preference. These data suggest an important role for the mesolimbic DA system in mediating the reinforcing effects of heroin.
This article was published in Psychopharmacology (Berl)
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy