Author(s): Bespalov AY, Tokarz ME, Bowen SE, Balster RL, Beardsley PM
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Abstract Drug administration during test trials can increase the expression of place conditioning, offering an opportunity to determine the specificity of this enhanced response. Prior to training, Swiss-Webster mice spent similar durations in each of the distinctive compartments of a two-compartment box during three 900-s tests. During a 4-day conditioning period, daily injections of morphine (5-20 mg/kg, SC) or vehicle were differentially paired with one of two compartments of the box using an unbiased place conditioning procedure. Post-conditioning tests were conducted 2 and 3 days after the last conditioning day. Mice pre-treated during post-conditioning tests with vehicle did not show significant preference for the morphine-paired compartment when conditioned with morphine. Pretreatment with morphine (2.5-30 mg/kg, SC) led to a dose-dependent increase in time spent in the morphine-paired compartment. Post-conditioning tests in other groups of mice were conducted with heroin (0.1-3 mg/kg), fentanyl (0.01-0.3 mg/kg), cocaine (10-30 mg/kg) and pentobarbital (10-30 mg/kg), and results suggested that none of the tested drugs facilitated the expression of the morphine-conditioned place preference. In another experiment, naltrexone (0.1-10 mg/kg, SC) was administered as the conditioning drug. When tested with naltrexone (0.1-10 mg/kg), there was a dose-dependent avoidance of the naltrexone-paired compartment. Overall, the present data indicated that: (1) failure to exhibit place preference or place aversion when tested in a drug-free state does not imply the failure of conditioning procedure; and (2) effects of the morphine cue reinstatement during the post-conditioning tests appeared to be related to the unique pharmacological profile of the morphine stimulus.
This article was published in Psychopharmacology (Berl)
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy