Background Nicotine dependence is maintained by neurobiological adaptations in the dopaminergic brain reward pathway with the contribution of opioidergic circuits. This study assessed the role of opioid peptides and receptors on the molecular changes associated with nicotine dependence. To this aim we analysed nicotine effects on opioid gene and receptor expression in the reward pathway in a nicotine sensitization model. Methods Sprague-Dawley rats received nicotine administrations for five days and locomotor activity assessment showed the development of sensitization. The mRNA expression of prodynorphin (pdyn), pronociceptin (pnoc) and the respective receptors was measured by quantitative PCR in the ventral midbrain (VM), the nucleus accumbens (NAc), the caudate-putamen (CPu), the pre-frontal cortex (PFCx), and the hippocampus. Results A significant positive effect of sensitization on pdyn mRNA levels was detected in the CPu. This effect was supported by a significant and selective correlation between the two parameters in this region. Moreover, chronic but not acute nicotine treatment significantly decreased pdyn mRNA levels in the NAc and increased expression in the PFCx. Pnoc mRNA was significantly increased in the VM and the PFCx after sub-chronic administration of nicotine, whereas no alterations were observed after acute treatment. No treatment associated changes were detected in κ-opioid receptor or nociceptin receptor mRNAs. Conclusions This experiment revealed an effect of nicotine administration that was distinguishable from the effect of nicotine sensitization. While several pnoc and pdyn changes were associated to nicotine administration, the only significant effect of sensitization was a significant increase in pdyn in the CPu.
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|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Titolo:||Repeated nicotine exposure modulates prodynorphin and pronociceptin levels in the reward pathway|
|Autori:||Carboni, Lucia; Romoli, Benedetto; Romualdi, Patrizia; Zoli, Michele|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.07.002|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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