The orexin-1 receptor antagonist SB-334867 reduces amphetamine-evoked dopamine outflow in the shell of the nucleus accumbens and decreases the expression of amphetamine sensitization

Quarta, D.; Valerio, E.; Hutcheson, D.M.; Hedou, G.; Heidbreder, C.

Neurochemistry International 56(1): 11-15


ISSN/ISBN: 1872-9754
PMID: 19737591
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuint.2009.08.012
Accession: 056423853

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Orexin-expressing neurons are present in hypothalamic nuclei and send projections toward mesolimbic regions such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain region implicated in the processing of the motivational significance of reinforcers. Recent evidence found that activation of the orexin system can lead to a state of hyperarousal that may facilitate drug craving or contribute to vulnerability to drug relapse. This study aimed at assessing the effects of the orexin-1 receptor antagonist SB-334867 [1-(2-methylbenzoxazol-6-yl)-3-[1,5]naphthyridin-4-yl-urea hydrochloride] on amphetamine-induced dopamine (DA) release in the shell subregion of the NAc by means of in vivo microdialysis in freely moving rats. Since behavioral sensitization is thought to play a role in the maintenance of compulsive drug use, we also tested the effect of SB-334867 on the expression of sensitization to the locomotor activating effects of amphetamine. Acute administration of SB-334867 (30 mg/kg SC) significantly reduced the acute effects of amphetamine (1 mg/kg IP) on extracellular DA levels in the NAc shell. The expression of amphetamine sensitization was also significantly reduced by acute SB-334867 treatment. Altogether our findings show that selective orexin-1 antagonism both reduces the acute effects of amphetamine on DA outflow in the NAc shell and decreases the expression of locomotor sensitization to the repeated, intermittent administration of amphetamine.