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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1997 Jul;57(3):449-55.

Sensitization to the behavioral effects of cocaine: modulation by dynorphin and kappa-opioid receptor agonists.

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Brain Imaging Section, NIDA Division of Intramural Research, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Several lines of evidence suggest an involvement of the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system in the mediation of psychostimulant-induced sensitization. It is also apparent that endogenous opioid peptide systems can modulate the activity of this same DA system. Psychostimulant-induced alterations in opioid peptide gene expression have also been reported. In this review, evidence will be presented that demonstrates that the administration of kappa-opioid agonists can prevent the initiation of behavioral sensitization to cocaine and that such treatment is also effective in preventing alterations in mesolimbic DA neurotransmission that occur as a consequence of repeated cocaine administration. The putative role of opioid-DA interactions in the modulation of psychostimulant-induced sensitization will also be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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