Hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal neuropeptides and experimental drug addiction

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Oxytocin, a hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal neuropeptide was found to attenuate the development of tolerance to the analgesic action of morphine, heroin, β-endorphin or D-Pro2-Met5-enkephalinamide. The effect of oxytocin on morphine tolerance was prevented by Nα-acetyl-(2-0-methylty-rosine)-oxytocin or penicillamine1-(2-0-methyltyrosine)-lysine8-vasopressin, which are antagonists of oxytocin receptors. Oxytocin dose-dependently attenuated various signs of precipitated morphine withdrawal (e.g., stereotyped jumpings, hypothermia, body weight loss). The neuropeptide diminished intravenous self-administration of heroin in heroin-tolerant rats. It is concluded that brain oxytocin interferes with adaptive components of experimental drug addiction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-895
Number of pages3
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1988



  • Drug addiction
  • Hypothalamus
  • Morphine dependence
  • Neuropeptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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