Volume 14, Issue 4 (Winter 2011)                   Physiol Pharmacol 2011, 14(4): 435-444 | Back to browse issues page

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Abstract:   (13778 Views)
Introduction: Drugs of abuse such as nicotine and morphine used systemically by addicts produce their effects via the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway. Furthermore, evidence indicates that some behavioral effects of nicotine and morphine are mediated by nitric oxide (NO). Based on these observations, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of intra-nucleus accumbens (NAc) injection of a nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, L-NAME, on the nicotine’s effect on the morphine-induced amnesia. Methods: As a model of memory assessment, a step-through type passive avoidance task was used. All animals were bilaterally implanted with a chronic cannulae in the NAc shell and trained by using a 1 mA foot shock. Animals were tested 24 h after training to measure step-through latency. Results: Post-training injection of morphine impaired memory performance on the test day. Pre-test administration of the same doses of morphine reversed amnesia induced by post-training administration of morphine. Moreover, administration of nicotine before the test prevented morphine amnesia. Impairment of memory because of post-training injection of morphine was also prevented by pretest administration of L-NAME. Co-administration of an ineffective dose of nicotine with ineffective doses of L-NAME synergistically improved memory that was impaired by morphine. On the other hand, pre-test intra-NAc injection of L-NAME impaired passive avoidance memory by itself. Conclusion: Considering the effects of pre-test intra-NAc injection of L-NAME alone or in combination with ineffective dose of nicotine on morphine amnesia, it may be concluded that nitric oxide system of nucleus accumbens has an important role in the improvement of morphine-induced amnesia and morphine state-dependent memory caused by nicotine.
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Types of Manuscript: Original Research | Subject: Nervous system (others)