Intra-accumbal Cannabinoid Agonist Attenuated Reinstatement but not Extinction Period of Morphine-Induced Conditioned Place Preference; Evidence for Different Characteristics of Extinction Period and Reinstatement.Neurochem Res. 2017 Nov; 42(11):3321-3330.NR
The brain reward system consists of the ventral tegmental area that sends its dopaminergic projections to the forebrain, cortical areas, amygdala and largely to the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The present study aims were to investigate the effects of bilateral intra-accumbal microinjection of WIN55,212-2, a CB1 receptor agonist, on the duration of extinction period and reinstatement to morphine by the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm in the rat. Forty-six adult male albino Wistar rats received intra-accumbal WIN55,212-2 [p0.5, 1 and 2 mM/0.5 μl dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)] injections bilaterally. To induce CPP, morphine (5 mg/kg) was injected subcutaneously over three consecutive days. The results showed that intra-NAc administration of WIN55,212-2 during the extinction period had no effect on its duration but single administration of the1 mM/0.5 μl DMSO dose just before the reinstatement phase significantly attenuated its conditioning score. This is the first time that interactions of opioid and cannabinoid systems by local activation of CB1 receptors in the NAc during extinction and morphine-induced reinstatement were investigated. The CB1 agonist can inhibit and eliminate the reward-associated memory of morphine and the conditioning score in reinstatement but not in the extinction period. Our findings suggest that the extinction period and reinstatement could occur through different mechanisms.