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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2016 Mar;41(4):989-1002. doi: 10.1038/npp.2015.226. Epub 2015 Aug 4.

Relative Timing Between Kappa Opioid Receptor Activation and Cocaine Determines the Impact on Reward and Dopamine Release.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, USA.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
3
Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Abstract

Negative affective states can increase the rewarding value of drugs of abuse and promote drug taking. Chronic cocaine exposure increases levels of the neuropeptide dynorphin, an endogenous ligand at kappa opioid receptors (KOR) that suppresses dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and elicits negative affective states upon drug withdrawal. However, there is evidence that the effects of KOR activation on affective state are biphasic: immediate aversive effects are followed by delayed increases in reward. The impact of KOR-induced affective states on reward-related effects of cocaine over time is not known. We hypothesize that the initial aversive effects of KOR activation increase, whereas the delayed rewarding effects decrease, the net effects of cocaine on reward and dopamine release. We treated rats with cocaine at various times (15 min to 48 h) after administration of the selective KOR agonist salvinorin A (salvA). Using intracranial self-stimulation and fast scan cyclic voltammetry, we found that cocaine-induced increases in brain stimulation reward and evoked dopamine release in the NAc core were potentiated when cocaine was administered within 1 h of salvA, but attenuated when administered 24 h after salvA. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to show that KOR and prodynorphin mRNA levels were decreased in the NAc, whereas tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter mRNA levels and tissue dopamine content were increased in the ventral tegmental area 24 h post-salvA. These findings raise the possibility that KOR activation-as occurs upon withdrawal from chronic cocaine-modulates vulnerability to cocaine in a time-dependent manner.

PMID:
26239494
PMCID:
PMC4748424
[Available on 2017-03-01]
DOI:
10.1038/npp.2015.226
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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