Dendrosomal nanocurcumin prevents morphine self-administration behavior in rats despite CA1 damage
Dendrosomal nanocurcumin (DNC) is fabricated from esterification of oleic acid and polyethylene glycol residues with curcumin. DNC has shown antioxidant, neuroprotective, and neurogenesis-enhancing effects. In addition, it can attenuate morphine tolerance. Morphine self-administration is associated with neurodegenerative changes of CA1 neurons in the adult hippocampus. The present study evaluated the effect of DNC pretreatment on morphine self-administration and hippocampal damage. Rats were pretreated with DNC (5 and 10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) 30 min before a morphine self-administration paradigm performed in 2-h/sessions for 12 days under a FR-1 schedule. Pretreatment with both doses of DNC markedly suppressed morphine intake. Morphine self-administration resulted in a 71% reduction in the number of hippocampal CA1 neurons. DNC (5 mg/kg) pretreatment only marginally improved (by 22%) neuronal loss in this area. The data suggest that the effect of DNC on morphine self-administration is largely independent of the CA1 area. A functional restoration and regulation of reward circuit activity by DNC may reduce the motivation for morphine despite CA1 damage.