Life sciences

Effects of U-50,488H and U-50,488H withdrawal on catecholaminergic neurons of the rat hypothalamus.

PMID 10698355


Previous report from our laboratory showed that morphine produces a stimulatory effect of hypothalamic noradrenaline (NA) turnover concurrently with enhanced pituitary-adrenal response after its acute injection and during withdrawal. In the present work we have studied the effects of acute and chronic administration of the kappa agonist U-50,488H as well as the influence of U-50,488H withdrawal on the activity of hypothalamic NA and dopamine (DA) neurons and on the activity of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. A single dose of U-50,488H (15 mg/kg i.p.) significantly increased hypothalamic NA and decreased DA turnover at the time of an enhanced corticosterone release. Rats rendered tolerant to the kappa agonist by administration of U-50,488H twice a day for 4 days showed no changes in corticosterone secretion. Additionally, a decrease in both hypothalamic MHPG (the cerebral NA metabolite) production and NA turnover was observed, whereas DOPAC concentration and DA turnover were enhanced, which indicate the development of tolerance towards the neuronal and endocrine actions of U-50,488H. After naloxone (3 mg/kg s.c.) administration to U-50,488H-tolerant rats, we found neither behavioural signs of physical dependence nor changes in hypothalamic catecholaminergic neurotransmission. In addition, corticosterone secretion was not altered in U-50,488H withdrawn rats. Present data clearly indicate that tolerance develops towards the NA turnover accelerating and DA turnover decreasing effect of U-50,488H. Importantly and by contrast to mu agonists, present results demonstrate that U-50,488H withdrawal produce no changes in hypothalamic catecholamines turnover or in corticosterone release (an index of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal activity), which indicate the absence of neuroendocrine dependence on the kappa agonist. As has been proposed, this would suggest that the mu and the kappa receptor be regulated through different cellular mechanisms, as kappa agonists have a lower proclivity to induce dependence.

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4-Hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylglycol hemipiperazinium salt
C9H12O4 · 0.5C4H10N2