Role of nitric oxide pathway in the conditioned rewarding effects of MDMA in mice

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Abstract

It is estimated that 2.1 million young adults used MDMA/Ecstasy in the last year in Europe. Vulnerable subjects can develop dependence after MDMA abuse but currently there does not exist an effective treatment for this disorder. The nitric oxide (NO) pathway seems to have an important role on the rewarding effects of different drugs and has been proposed as a new pharmacological treatment for psychostimulant addiction. In the present study, we intend to evaluate whether the blockade of the NO synthesis (NOS) interferes with the rewarding effects of MDMA in the conditioned preference place (CPP) paradigm in young adult male mice. Our results indicated that mice treated with 7-nitroindazole (a NOS inhibitor) did not show CPP after conditioning with MDMA (1.25 mg/kg). These results demonstrated the role of the NO pathway in the rewarding effects of MDMA and suggested that the manipulation of this pathway could be a new therapeutic option for MDMA abuse.

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