RATIONALE: The repeated administration of addictive drugs, such as amphetamine, cocaine, and morphine, produces a progressive enhancement (sensitization) of their psychomotor activating effects. We have previously shown that administration of amphetamine or cocaine in a distinct test environment promotes more robust psychomotor sensitization than if they are given at home. No information is available, however, on whether this environmental manipulation has a similar effect on sensitization to morphine, a drug that enhances dopamine (DA) release in the striatum indirectly by disinhibiting midbrain DA neurons. OBJECTIVES: The main goal of present study was to determine whether exposure to a distinct environmental context facilitates morphine sensitization. METHODS: As an index of psychomotor activation, we used rotational behavior in rats with a unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesion of the mesostriatal DA system. There are inconsistencies in the literature regarding the ability of morphine to elicit rotational behavior. Therefore, in experiment 1 we determined the effect of 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 6.0, and 8.0 mg/kg, IP, of morphine on rotational behavior. In experiment 2, we studied the effect of five consecutive IV infusions of saline or morphine (2.0 mg/kg) in rats treated either in their home cage or in a distinct and relatively novel test environment. After 5 days of withdrawal, all rats received an IV infusion of 2.0 mg/kg morphine (Morphine challenge). The following day all rats received an IV infusion of saline (Saline challenge). RESULTS: Morphine produced a dose-dependent increase in rotational behavior. Environmental novelty enhanced both the acute psychomotor response to morphine and its ability to induce psychomotor sensitization. Furthermore, a conditioned rotational response was seen only in animals treated in the novel environment. CONCLUSIONS: Environmental novelty can facilitate the development of sensitization to the psychomotor activating effects of major addictive drugs, such as amphetamine, cocaine, and morphine.
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|Titolo:||Modulation of morphine sensitization in the rat by contextual stimuli|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2000|
|Appare nella tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|