Neuropeptide FF (NPFF) reduces the expression of cocaine-induced conditioned place preference and cocaine-induced sensitization in animals

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The endogenous brain opioid system is believed to play an important role in mediating reward mechanisms. Opioid innervation is high in many limbic regions and reinforcing actions of many drugs of abuse, including cocaine, are thought to be mediated via endogenous opioid system. The aim of the present study was to indicate whether the anti-opioid peptide, neuropeptide FF (NPFF; FLFQPQRF-NH2) was able to modify the rewarding effect of cocaine (5 mg/kg) measured in the expression of conditioned place preference (CPP) test in rats and the expression of sensitization to hyperlocomotor effect of cocaine (10 mg/kg) in mice. Our results indicate that NPFF (5, 10, and 20 nmol) given intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) inhibited the expression of cocaine-induced CPP at the dose of 10 nmol (P < 0.01) and 20 nmol (P < 0.001). Moreover, NPFF inhibited the expression of cocaine-induced sensitization to its hyperlocomotor effect at the dose of 20 nmol (P < 0.05) and acute hyperlocomotor effect of cocaine at doses of 5 nmol (P < 0.01), 10 nmol (P < 0.01), and 20 nmol (P < 0.05). Our study suggests that NPFF may participate in a rewarding effect of cocaine measured in the CPP paradigm. On the other hand, our experiments indicate that NPFF is involved in the mechanism of expression of sensitization to cocaine hyperlocomotion but this effect seems to be non-specific because NPFF also inhibited the acute hyperlocomotor effect of cocaine.

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