μ-opioid receptor knockout mice are insensitive to methamphetamine- induced behavioral sensitization

Xine Shen, Chris Purser, Lu Tai Tien, Chi Tso Chiu, Ian A. Paul, Rodney Baker, Horace H. Loh, Ing K. Ho, Tangeng Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Repeated administration of psychostimulants to rodents can lead to behavioral sensitization. Previous studies, using nonspecific opioid receptor (OR) antagonists, revealed that ORs were involved in modulation of behavioral sensitization to methamphetamine (METH). However, the contribution of OR subtypes remains unclear. In the present study, using μ-OR knockout mice, we examined the role of μ-OR in the development of METH sensitization. Mice received daily intraperitoneal injection of drug or saline for 7 consecutive days to initiate sensitization. To express sensitization, animals received one injection of drug (the same as for initiation) or saline on day 11. Animal locomotor activity and stereotypy were monitored during the periods of initiation and expression of sensitization. Also, the concentrations of METH and its active metabolite amphetamine in the blood were measured after single and repeated administrations of METH. METH promoted significant locomotor hyperactivity at low doses and stereotyped behaviors at relative high doses (2.5 mg/kg and above). Repeated administration of METH led to the initiation and expression of behavioral sensitization in wild-type mice. METH-induced behavioral responses were attenuated in the μ-OR knockout mice. Haloperidol (a dopamine receptor antagonist) showed a more potent effect in counteracting METH-induced stereotypy in the μ-OR knockout mice. Saline did not induce behavioral sensitization in either genotype. No significant difference was observed in disposition of METH and amphetamine between the two genotypes. Our study indicated that the μ-opioid system is involved in modulating the development of behavioral sensitization to METH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2294-2302
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Volume88
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

Keywords

  • Drug abuse
  • Locomotor activity
  • Stereotyped behaviors

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