Evidence for the role of nitric oxide in nicotine-induced locomotor sensitization in mice
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Nitric oxide (NO) is implicated in both acute effects of addictive drugs and development of dependence to them. We investigated the role of NO in nicotine-induced locomotor sensitization.
The effects of Nω-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME), a NO synthase inhibitor, and a combination of a NO precursor l-arginine and l-NAME on nicotine-induced locomotor sensitization were investigated in Swiss Webster mice.
Sensitization to psychomotor stimulating effect of nicotine was rendered by seven injections of nicotine (1 mg/kg) on every other day. To investigate their effect on the development of sensitization to nicotine, l-NAME (15–60 mg/kg) and l-arginine (1 g/kg) were given before nicotine administration during the first seven sessions. To investigate the effect of these compounds on the expression of nicotine sensitization, after a 4-day drug-free period another group of mice received a challenge injection of nicotine on day 18.
Nicotine (1 mg/kg) produced a robust locomotor sensitization in mice. The doses of 30 mg/kg and 60 mg/kg of l-NAME blocked the development of sensitization to nicotine; and, l-arginine (1 g/kg) pretreatment reversed this effect of l-NAME. Likewise, the doses of 30 mg/kg and 60 mg/kg of l-NAME inhibited the expression of sensitization to nicotine on day 18; and, l-arginine (1 g/kg) pretreatment reversed this inhibitory effect of l-NAME.
Our results suggest that NO is implicated in the development and expression of nicotine-induced locomotor sensitization in mice.
KeywordsLocomotor sensitization l-NAME l-Arginine Nicotine Nitric oxide Mice
This study was supported by the State Planning Institution and Ministry of Defense of the Turkish Government (Grant No: MSB-3, 99K120150).
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