Maintenance of intravenous heroin self-administration and the degree of tolerance to the analgesic effect of self-injected heroin were simultaneously measured in heroin-tolerant rats. Subcutaneous injection of oxytocin (OXT-(1-9)) and of its behaviorally active fragments desglycinamide9 -oxytocin (OXT-(1-8)) and [pGlu4, Cyt6]-oxytocin-(4-8) (OXT-(4-8)) decreased the amount of heroin self-injected. The C-terminal tripeptide of oxytocin (prolyl-leucyl-glycinamide, PLG, OXT-(7-9)) and desglycinamide9-[Arg]8-vasopressin (AVP-(1-8)) were ineffective in this respect. In spite of the lower amount of self-injected heroin after pretreatment with oxytocin fragments, no differences in the antinociceptive effect of self-injected heroin, as assessed by the lick response using a hot plate device, were observed after pretreatment with placebo and oxytocin fragments. These findings suggest that oxytocin and some of its behaviorally active fragments attenuate heroin tolerance and that this effect may result in a diminished heroin intake in tolerant animals self-injecting heroin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)