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.
Effects of the kappa opioid receptor antagonist, norbinaltorphimine, on stress and drug-induced reinstatement of nicotine-conditioned place preference in mice