3 years ago

Maintenance on naltrexone+amphetamine decreases cocaine-vs.-food choice in male rhesus monkeys

Cocaine use disorder remains a significant public health issue for which there are no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies. Amphetamine maintenance reduces cocaine use in preclinical and clinical studies, but the mechanism of this effect is unknown. Previous studies indicate a role for endogenous opioid release and subsequent opioid receptor activation in some amphetamine effects; therefore, the current study examined the role of mu-opioid receptor activation in d-amphetamine treatment effects in an assay of cocaine-vs-food choice. Methods Adult male rhesus monkeys with double-lumen intravenous catheters responded for concurrently available food pellets and cocaine injections (0–0.1mg/kg/injection) during daily sessions. Cocaine choice and overall reinforcement rates were evaluated during 7-day treatments with saline or test drugs. Results During saline treatment, cocaine maintained a dose-dependent increase in cocaine-vs.-food choice. The mu-opioid receptor agonist morphine (0.032–0.32mg/kg/h) dose-dependently increased cocaine choice and decreased rates of reinforcement. A dose of the mu-selective opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone (0.0032mg/kg/h) that completely blocked morphine effects had no effect on cocaine choice when it was administered alone, but it enhanced the effectiveness of a threshold dose of 0.032mg/kg/h amphetamine to decrease cocaine choice without also enhancing nonselective behavioral disruption by this dose of amphetamine. Conversely, the kappa-selective opioid antagonist norbinalorphimine did not enhance amphetamine effects on cocaine choice. Conclusions These results suggest that amphetamine maintenance produces mu opioid-receptor mediated effects that oppose its anti-cocaine effects. Co-administration of naltrexone may selectively enhance amphetamine potency to decrease cocaine choice without increasing amphetamine potency to produce general behavioral disruption.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0376871617305033

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