Chronic cocaine produces decreases in N/OFQ peptide levels in select rat brain regions

Patrizia Romualdi, Manuela Di Benedetto, Claudio D'Addario, Stephanie L. Collins, Dean Wade, Sanzio Candeletti, Sari Izenwasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The interaction of opioids and stimulants is well established; however, the mechanisms that underlie the role that opioid receptors play in psychostimulant action are not. Nociceptin/orphaninFQ (N/OFQ), the endogenous agonist at NOP receptors, attenuates the behavioral effects of cocaine. The effects of cocaine on N/OFQ were examined in rats using immunoautoradiographic and RIA techniques. Chronic administration of cocaine decreased N/OFQ in medial regions of the caudate putamen, the nucleus accumbens shell, and the substantia nigra. These studies show that N/OFQ levels are altered by treatment with cocaine. Furthermore, the changes in N/OFQ parallel those seen for κ-opioid receptors, suggesting that the interactions between cocaine and these systems might be similar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-164
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Caudate putamen
  • Cocaine
  • N/OFQ
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Opioid
  • Substantia nigra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics


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