Effects of the kappa opioid receptor antagonist, norbinaltorphimine, on stress and drug-induced reinstatement of nicotine-conditioned place preference in mice
Several studies implicate stress as a risk factor for the development and maintenance of drug addictive behaviors and drug relapse. Kappa opioid receptor (KOR) antagonists have been shown to attenuate behavioral responses to stress and stress-induced reinstatement of cocaine and ethanol seeking and preference.
In the current study, we determined whether the selective KOR antagonist, norbinaltorphimine (nor-BNI), would block stress-induced reinstatement of nicotine preference.
Adult Institute of Cancer Research mice were conditioned with 0.5 mg/kg nicotine, injected subcutaneously (s.c.) for 3 days and tested in the nicotine-conditioned place preference (CPP) model. After 3 days extinction, nor-BNI (10 mg/kg, s.c.) was administered 16 h prior to a priming dose of nicotine (0.1 mg/kg, s.c.), and mice were tested in the CPP model for nicotine-induced reinstatement of CPP. A separate group of mice was subjected to a 2-day modified forced swim test (FST) paradigm to induce stress after 3 days extinction from CPP. Mice were given vehicle or nor-BNI (10 mg/kg, s.c.) 16 h prior to each FST session.
Nor-BNI pretreatment significantly attenuated stress-induced reinstatement of nicotine-CPP, but had no effect on nicotine-primed reinstatement.
Blockade of KORs by selective antagonists attenuates stress-induced reinstatement of nicotine-CPP. Overall, the kappa opioid system may serve as a therapeutic target for suppressing multiple signaling processes which contribute to maintenance of smoking, smoking relapse, and drug abuse in general.