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Enhanced tyrosine hydroxylase phosphorylation in the nucleus accumbens and nucleus tractus solitarius-A2 cell group after morphine-conditioned place preference

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Abstract

Although dopamine (DA) has been extensively implicated in the morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP; a measure of reward), noradrenaline (NA) and other systems may play a larger role than previously suspected. The mesolimbic DA system, comprised of projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc), receives noradrenergic innervations from the nucleus tractus solitaries (NTS)-A2 cell group and is modulated by NA. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the turnover of DA and NA in the NAc and the site-specific phosphorylation of TH in the NAc, VTA, and NTS on the CPP mice conditioned by morphine. A dose–effect curve for morphine-induced CPP (0.5–8 mg/kg, s.c.) was obtained using 6-day conditioning sessions followed by a CPP test. TH phosphorylation was determined by quantitative blot immunolabeling and immunohistochemistry using phosphorylation state-specific antibodies; NA and DA turnover was evaluated by high-performance liquid chromatography. Morphine-induced CPP phosphorylates TH at serine (Ser)40 but not Ser31 in NAc, which is associated with an enhanced of DA and NA turnover. We also found that morphine-induced CPP increased levels of TH phosphorylated at Ser31 and Ser40 in the NTS. The present study demonstrates that morphine-induced CPP might stimulate TH activity and accelerate DA and NA turnover in the NAc via a mechanism involving phosphorylation of TH.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (Grants SAF/FEDER 2007-62758, 2009-07178, and 2010-17907) and Red de Trastornos Adictivos (RD06/0001/1006).

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Correspondence to M. L. Laorden.

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González-Cuello, A., Mora, L., Hidalgo, J.M. et al. Enhanced tyrosine hydroxylase phosphorylation in the nucleus accumbens and nucleus tractus solitarius-A2 cell group after morphine-conditioned place preference. Naunyn-Schmied Arch Pharmacol 382, 525–534 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00210-010-0567-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00210-010-0567-9

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