Cannabinoid and heroin activation of mesolimbic dopamine transmission by a common mu1 opioid receptor mechanism
by
Tanda G, Pontieri FE, Di Chiara G
Department of Toxicology
and
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR),
Center for Neuropharmacology,
University of Cagliari,
Viale A. Diaz 182, 09126 Cagliari, Italy.
Science 1997 Jun 27; 276(5321):2048-50


ABSTRACT

The effects of the active ingredient of Cannabis, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC), and of the highly addictive drug heroin on in vivo dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens were compared in Sprague-Dawley rats by brain microdialysis. Delta9-THC and heroin increased extracellular dopamine concentrations selectively in the shell of the nucleus accumbens; these effects were mimicked by the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN55212-2. SR141716A, an antagonist of central cannabinoid receptors, prevented the effects of Delta9-THC but not those of heroin. Naloxone, a generic opioid antagonist, administered systemically, or naloxonazine, an antagonist of mu1 opioid receptors, infused into the ventral tegmentum, prevented the action of cannabinoids and heroin on dopamine transmission. Thus, Delta9-THC and heroin exert similar effects on mesolimbic dopamine transmission through a common mu1 opioid receptor mechanism located in the ventral mesencephalic tegmentum.
THC
Opioids
Reward
Dopamine
Pain-relief
Cannabinoids
Endomorphins
Pharmacokinetics
Humans are not rats
Cannabis and reward
Rimonabant (Acomplia) impairs positive memories


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