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Neuropharmacology. 2005 Sep;49(4):439-46.

The effect of a systemically active ORL-1 agonist, Ro 64-6198, on the acquisition, expression, extinction, and reinstatement of morphine conditioned place preference.

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1
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California-Los Angeles, 760 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA. shoblock@ucla.edu

Abstract

ORL-1 agonists have been proposed as potential therapeutics for substance abuse based on their propensity to counter the effects of mu opioid agonists in several systems, and to inhibit mesolimbic dopamine release, while mostly being devoid of aversive properties. In support of this, ORL-1 agonists have been shown to block the acquisition of morphine conditioned place preference (CPP). We investigated the effect of Ro 64-6198, a systemically active ORL-1 agonist, on the acquisition, expression, extinction, and reinstatement of morphine (20 mg/kg, s.c.) CPP in C57BL6/J mice. Similar to effects obtained with nociceptin/orphanin FQ, Ro 64-6198 (1 mg/kg, i.p.) blocked the acquisition of morphine CPP when given 15 min prior to each drug and vehicle conditioning session. This effect was not due to state dependent learning, since when tested again in the presence of Ro 64-6198 or vehicle no CPP was observed. Administration of Ro 64-6198 (0.3 or 1 mg/kg, i.p.) on the test day alone, in a separate group of animals, failed to block the expression of morphine CPP. Another group of mice was conditioned to morphine to develop CPP, and then exposed to the CPP chambers in the absence of drug once a day for 30 min to extinguish the CPP. Ro 64-6198 (1 mg/kg, i.p.) given 15 min prior to each session during extinction did not affect the rate of extinction. Finally, another group was conditioned to morphine, their CPP extinguished and subsequently reinstated by a priming injection of morphine (20 mg/kg, s.c.). Ro 64-6198 (1 mg/kg, i.p.), given 15 min prior to the priming injection, blocked reinstatement of morphine CPP. These results suggest that Ro 64-6198's effects may be limited to attenuation of the acute rewarding effects of morphine.

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