The role of beta-endorphin in the acute motor stimulatory and rewarding actions of cocaine in mice
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Opioid receptor antagonists have been shown to attenuate the rewarding and addictive effects of cocaine. Furthermore, cocaine has been shown to cause the release of beta-endorphin, an endogenous opioid peptide.
We assessed whether this neuropeptide would play a functional role in cocaine-induced motor stimulation and conditioned place preference (CPP).
Materials and methods
Mice lacking beta-endorphin and their wild-type littermates were habituated to motor activity chambers for 1 h, then injected with cocaine (0, 15, 30, or 60 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) or morphine (0, 5, or 10 mg/kg, subcutaneously), and motor activity was recorded for 1 h. In the CPP paradigm, mice were tested for baseline place preference on day 1. On days 2 and 3, mice received an alternate-day saline/cocaine (15, 30, or 60 mg/kg) or saline/morphine (10 mg/kg) conditioning session and then tested for postconditioning place preference on day 4.
Cocaine-induced motor stimulation and CPP were both reduced in mice lacking beta-endorphin. On the other hand, motor stimulation and CPP induced by morphine were not altered in mutant mice.
The present results demonstrate that the endogenous opioid peptide beta-endorphin plays a modulatory role in the motor stimulatory and rewarding actions of acute cocaine.
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- The role of beta-endorphin in the acute motor stimulatory and rewarding actions of cocaine in mice
Volume 197, Issue 3 , pp 443-448
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- Motor activity
- Conditioned place preference
- Knockout mouse
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Western University of Health Sciences, 309 East 2nd Street, Pomona, CA, 91766, USA
- 2. Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10029, USA