Author(s): Liu YL, Yan LD, Zhou PL, Wu CF, Gong ZH
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Abstract Levo-tetrahydropalmatine (l-THP) is an alkaloid purified from the Chinese herb corydalis and stephania and is contained in many traditional Chinese herbal preparations. Our previous studies demonstrated the ability of l-THP to inhibit locomotor stimulation and physical dependence induced by oxycodone in mice and rats. The present study was designed to evaluate effects of l-THP on reward of oxycodone using conditioned place preference assay. Oxycodone (0.32-5.0 mg/kg) induced the development of conditioned place preference in rats. Furthermore, oxycodone (2.5 mg/kg) induced the increased phosphorylation of CREB and ERK in nucleus accumbens and hippocampus, but not in prefrontal cortex. l-THP (6.25-18.50 mg/kg) per se was not able to induce conditioned place preference or conditioned place aversion. l-THP co-administered with oxycodone during the conditioning sessions partly abolished the development of oxycodone-induced conditioned place preference in rats. Furthermore, l-THP inhibited the increased phosphorylation of ERK and CREB in nucleus accumbens and hippocampus of rats. All these results suggest that l-THP can inhibit oxycodone-induced psychological dependence by affecting phosphorylation of CREB and ERK in nucleus accumbens and hippocampus of rats. Together, the present data, combined with previous finding, support the potential use of l-THP for treatment of oxycodone addiction.
This article was published in Eur J Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy