Dansyl-PQRamide, a putative antagonist of NPFF receptors, reduces anxiety-like behavior of ethanol withdrawal in a plus-maze test in rats

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Much evidence indicates that endogenous opioid peptides are involved in effects caused by ethanol. The aim of the present study was to determine whether dansyl-PQR amide, a putative antagonist of receptors for an anti-opioid peptide—neuropeptide FF (NPFF) could affect anxiety-like behavior measured during withdrawal from acute-, and chronic ethanol administration in the elevated plus maze test in rats. Our study indicated that intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of dansyl-PQRamide (2.4 and 4.8 nmol) reversed anxiety-like behavior measured as a percent time spent in the open arms, and a percent open arm entries onto the open arms in the elevated plus-maze test in rats. These effects were inhibited by NPFF (10 and/or 20 nmol, i.c.v.) in the experiments performed during withdrawal from acute- and chronic ethanol administration. During withdrawal from acute ethanol, naloxone (1 mg/kg, i.p.), a nonselective opioid receptor antagonist, attenuated only an increased percent time spent in the open arms induced by dansyl-PQR amide (4.8 nmol). Dansyl-PQR amide, NPFF and naloxone given alone to naive rats did not have influence on spontaneous locomotor activity of animals. Furthermore, NPFF potentiated anxiety-like behavior during withdrawal from chronic, but not acute, ethanol administration in rats. Our data suggest that NPFF system is involved in regulation of affective symptoms of ethanol withdrawal. It seems that involvement of the NPFF system in ethanol withdrawal anxiety-like behavior is associated with regulation of the opioid system activity.

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