1School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Iran
3Pharmaceutical Research Center, Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
Objective: It has been shown that berberine, a major component of Berberis vulgaris extract, modulates the activity of several neurotransmitter systems including dopamine (Da) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) contributing to rewarding and reinforcing effects of morphine. Drug craving and relapsing even after a long time of abstinence therapy are the most important problems of addiction. In the present study, we investigated the alleviating effects of berberine on the acquisition and reinstatement of morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) in mice. Materials and Methods: In male NMRI mice, the acquisition of CPP was established by 40 mg/kg of morphine sulphate injection and extinguished after the extinction training and reinstated by a 10 mg/kg injection of morphine. The effects of different doses of berberine (5, 10, and 20 mg/kg) on the acquisition and reinstatement induced by morphine were evaluated in a conditioned place preference test. Results: The results showed that intraperitoneal administration of berberine (5, 10, and 20 mg/kg) did not induce conditioned appetitive or aversive effects. Injection of berberine (10 and 20 mg/kg) 2 h before the morphine administration reduced acquisition of morphine-induced CPP. In addition, same doses of berberine significantly prevented the reinstatement of morphine-induced CPP. Conclusion: These results suggest that berberine can reduce the acquisition and reinstatement of morphine-induced conditioned place preference and may be useful in treatment of morphine addiction.
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