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Physiol Behav. 2003 Jun;79(1):121-8.

The nociceptin/orphanin FQ/NOP receptor system as a target for treatment of alcohol abuse: a review of recent work in alcohol-preferring rats.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacological Sciences and Experimental Medicine, University of Camerino, Via Scalzino 3, 62032 (MC), Camerino, Italy.

Abstract

The intracerebroventricular administration of the 17 amino acid peptide nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ), the endogenous ligand of the NOP receptor (previously referred to as ORL-1 or OP4 receptor), reduces voluntary 10% ethanol intake in genetically selected Marchigian Sardinian alcohol-preferring (msP) rats. Studies aimed at the pharmacological characterization of the receptor, which mediates the effect, have shown that the C-terminal 13 amino acid sequence is crucial for activity and that the selective NOP receptor antagonist [Nphe(1)]N/OFQ(1-13)NH(2) blocks the effect of N/OFQ on ethanol drinking. In place conditioning studies, N/OFQ abolishes the conditioned place preference (CPP) induced by ethanol in msP rats, or by morphine in nonselected Wistar rats; these findings suggest that N/OFQ is able to abolish the rewarding properties of ethanol and morphine. Moreover, N/OFQ inhibits reinstatement of alcohol-seeking behavior induced to electric footshock stress, as well as reinstatement of alcohol-seeking behavior induced by ethanol-paired cues. Together, these findings suggest that N/OFQ and its receptor may represent an interesting target for pharmacological treatment of alcohol abuse.

PMID:
12818717
DOI:
10.1016/s0031-9384(03)00112-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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