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Nitric Oxide-Dependent Mechanisms of Cocaine-Induced Place Preference and Mu Opioid Receptor Expression in the Nucleus Accumbens

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Title: Nitric Oxide-Dependent Mechanisms of Cocaine-Induced Place Preference and Mu Opioid Receptor Expression in the Nucleus Accumbens
Author: Theriault, Rachel-Karson
Department: Department of Biomedical Sciences
Program: Neuroscience
Advisor: Kalisch, BettinaLeri, Francesco
Abstract: Cocaine administration increases both mu opioid receptor (MOR) expression and nitric oxide (NO) production in brain areas associated with reward. This thesis explores the effect of acute and ‘subchronic’ cocaine administration on MOR and neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) expression, and the role of NO in cocaine reward and the cocaine-mediated expression of MOR and nNOS in rats. Acute cocaine (20 mg/kg) administration increased MOR and nNOS mRNA and protein expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), within 72 hours. Following 4 days of conditioning, cocaine (20 mg/kg) produced a conditioned place preference (CPP) and an increase in MOR mRNA in the rat NAc. Both effects were attenuated in rats pre-treated with the nNOS inhibitor, 7-nitroindazole (7-NI) (25 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg). Taken together, these results indicate that acute cocaine administration modulates MOR and nNOS expression at the transcriptional and translational level, and that nNOS plays a role in both cocaine CPP and the cocaine-induced MOR mRNA expression.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/11491
Date: 2017-07


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