Further studies on the effects of acamprosate on tolerance to the analgesic effects of morphine and NO synthesis in the brain

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2013.511A1001    1,740 Downloads   2,666 Views  


The aim of this work was to investigate whether acamprosate modifies the expression of the enzyme responsible for neuronal NO synthesis (nNOS) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of mice chronically treated with morphine and during the abstinence syndrome induced by naloxone. The enzyme was monitored by the NADPH diaphorase method. The number of cells stained for NADPH diaphorase in the NAc of mice was counted in 40 μm thick coronal brain slices at 40X. The intensity of the histochemical reaction of stained cells from naive morphine plus saline and morphine plus acamprosate treated mice was analyzed by Image Pro Plus 4.5.1. Morphine administered in a slow release preparation increased the stain intensity of the positive neurons. The increase in the NADPH staining persisted after naloxone was given to mice chronically treated with morphine. Acamprosate antagonized the effects induced by chronic morphine treatment in the NAc of mice. These results indicate that up-regulation of nNOS in the NAc is a consequence of the sustained effects of morphine stimulation, which, in turn, may result from an increased in glutamate release during the abstinence syndrome.

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Sepúlveda, J. , Ortega, A. , Roa, J. and Contreras, E. (2013) Further studies on the effects of acamprosate on tolerance to the analgesic effects of morphine and NO synthesis in the brain. Health, 5, 1-6. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.511A1001.


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