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Brain Res. 2012 Jan 11;1431:53-61. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.11.003. Epub 2011 Nov 7.

Orexin-1 receptor antagonism does not reduce the rewarding potency of cocaine in Swiss-Webster mice.

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  • 1Laboratory of Developmental Neuropharmacology, Department of Neurology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.


The orexin family of hypothalamic neuropeptides has been implicated in reinforcement mechanisms relevant to both food and drug reward. Previous behavioral studies with antagonists at the orexin A-selective receptor, OX(1), have demonstrated its involvement in behavioral sensitization, conditioned place-preference, and self-administration of drugs of abuse. Adult male Swiss-Webster mice were implanted with stimulating electrodes to the lateral hypothalamus and trained to perform intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS). The effects of the OX(1)-selective antagonist SB 334867 on brain stimulation-reward (BSR) and cocaine potentiation of BSR were measured. SB 334867 (10-30mg/kg, i.p.) alone had no effect on ICSS performance or BSR threshold. Cocaine (1.0-30mg/kgi.p.) dose-dependently potentiated BSR, measured as lowering of BSR threshold. This effect was not blocked by 30mg/kg SB 334867 at any cocaine dose tested. In agreement with previous reports, SB 334867 resulted in a reduction of body weight 24h after acute administration. Based on these data, it is concluded that orexins acting at OX(1) do not contribute to BSR; and are not involved in the reward-potentiating actions of cocaine on BSR. The data are discussed in the context of prior findings of SB 334867 effects on drug-seeking and drug-consuming behaviors.

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