Modulation of cocaine- and methamphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization by inhibition of brain nitric acid oxide

Yossef Itzhak

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109 Scopus citations


Evidence suggest the existence of multiple interactions between dopamine, glutamate and nitric oxide (NO) in brain structure associated with psychomotor stimulation. The present study was undertaken to the neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoform, 7-nitroindazole (7-NI), on the development of sensitization to the locomotor stimulating effect of cocaine and methamphetamine (METH). Male Swiss Webster mice that received 15 mg/kg cocaine once a day for 5 days developed a marked locomotor sensitization to a challenge cocaine (15 mg/kg) or cross-sensitization to a challenge METH (0.5 mg/kg) injection given after a 10-day drug-free period. This treatment also produced a context-dependent sensitization as evident by the sensitized response to a challenge saline injection. Pretreatment with 7-NI (25 mg/kg) 30 min before cocaine administration (5 days) completely blocked the induction of sensitization to cocaine, the cross-sensitization to METH and the conditioned locomotion induced by cocaine. 7-NI when given alone, either acutely or for 5 days, had no significant effect on the locomotor activity of animals. Animals treated with METH (1.0 mg/kg) for 5 days developed marked sensitization to challenge METH (0.5 mg/kg), cross-sensitization to challenge cocaine (15 mg/kg) and context-dependent locomotion. Pretreatment with 7-NI (25 mg/kg) attenuated the sensitized response to METH and the cross- sensitization to cocaine as revealed after a 10-day drug-free period. However, the METH-induced conditioned locomotion was unaffected by the pretreatment with 7-NI. The present study supports the role of brain NO in the development of sensitization to both psychostimulants, cocaine and METH. However, it appears that the inability of 7-NI to completely abolish the sensitized responses induced after METH administration is the result of the resistible conditioned locomotion caused by METH, but not by cocaine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-527
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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