The present study compared the effects of the cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR 141716 on morphine-induced locomotor sensitization (Experiment 1) and conditioned place preference (CPP, Experiment 2) in male albino Wistar rats. In Experiment 1, rats received seven consecutive daily treatments with morphine (10 mg/kg, SC) in combination with either SR 141716 (0, 0.1, 0.5 or 3.0 mg/kg, IP), or naloxone (10 mg/kg, IP). Three days later, all rats were challenged with a lower dose of morphine (5 mg/kg, SC). Rats pre-treated with morphine showed significantly elevated locomotor activity during the challenge session compared to vehicle-pre-treated animals indicating behavioural sensitization. Prior naloxone, but not SR 141716, co-administration with morphine, significantly attenuated the locomotor sensitization observed. In Experiment 2A, SR 141716 (0.1 mg/kg, IP), co-administered during conditioning, significantly attenuated the place preference produced by morphine (4 mg/kg, SC) in a standard unbiased two compartment place conditioning task. In Experiment 2B, the timing of drug administration and drug doses used were altered to be similar to Experiment 1, such that a comparison between the sensitization and CPP paradigms could be made. Thus, rats were conditioned with morphine (10 mg/kg, SC) combined with SR 141716 (0, 0.1, 0.5 or 3.0 mg/kg, IP) and tested for place preference under the influence of morphine (5 mg/kg, SC). SR 141716 attenuated morphine place preference at a dose (3.0 mg/kg) that did not itself affect place conditioning. Morphine also induced locomotor sensitization in the drug-paired compartment in Experiment 2B which was not blocked by any dose of SR 141716. We conclude that CB 1 receptor antagonism modulates the rewarding value of opioids, but not the behavioural sensitization induced by chronic opioid administration.
Brain Research – Elsevier
Published: Nov 12, 2004
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