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Bull Exp Biol Med. 2014 Mar;156(5):609-11. doi: 10.1007/s10517-014-2406-3. Epub 2014 Mar 25.

Effect of activated peripheral κ-opioid receptors on the action of nicotine and its withdrawal in nicotine-dependent rats.

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P. K. Anokhin Research Institute of Physiology, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia,


We studied the possibilities of modulating the effects of nicotine and its withdrawal in nicotine-dependent rats by peripheral injection of κ-opioid receptor agonist ICI 204,448. Injection of nicotine to rats previously treated with nicotine for 14 days reduced motor activity, suppressed metabolism, and increased food intake. In rats receiving ICI 204,448 after chronic administration of nicotine, food intake did not differ from that in control animals receiving isotonic NaCl solution. ICI 204,448 had virtually no effect on suppression of motor activity and metabolism. The rats receiving the last injection of nicotine 24 h prior to the experiment demonstrated an increase in metabolism, locomotor activity, and food intake. In these animals, ICI 204,448 completely abolished the effects of nicotine withdrawal. It was found that peripheral administration of compound ICI 204,448 did not significantly inhibit the effect of nicotine in nicotine-dependent rats, but abolished symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. It can be hypothesized that nicotine withdrawal syndrome is related to inhibition of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens probably caused by enhanced κ-opioid activity in presynaptic terminals. Activation of peripheral κ-opioid receptors apparently suppressed (via vagal afferent pathways) central κ-opioid activity and reduced nicotine withdrawal symptoms in nicotine-dependent subjects.

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