Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

Neurotensin receptor antagonist administered during cocaine withdrawal decreases locomotor sensitization and conditioned place preference.

PMID 17356568


Chronic use of psychostimulants induces enduringly increased responsiveness to a subsequent psychostimulant injection and sensitivity to drug-associated cues, contributing to drug craving and relapse. Neurotensin (NT), a neuropeptide functionally linked to dopaminergic neurons, was suggested to participate in these phenomena. We and others have reported that SR 48692, an NT receptor antagonist, given in pre- or co-treatments with cocaine or amphetamine, alters some behavioral effects of these drugs in rats. However, its efficacy when applied following repeated cocaine administration remains unknown. We, therefore, evaluated the ability of SR 48692, administered after a cocaine regimen, to interfere with the expression of locomotor sensitization and conditioned place preference (CPP) in rats. We demonstrated that the expression of locomotor sensitization, induced by four cocaine injections (15 mg/kg, i.p.) every other day and a cocaine challenge 1 week later, was attenuated by a subsequent 2-week daily administration of SR 48692 (1 mg/kg, i.p.). Furthermore, the expression of cocaine-induced CPP was suppressed by a 10-day SR 48692 treatment started after the conditioning period (four 15 mg/kg cocaine injections every other day). Taken together, our data show that a chronic SR 48692 treatment given after a cocaine regimen partly reverses the expression of locomotor sensitization and CPP in the rat, suggesting that NT participates in the maintenance of these behaviors. Our results support the hypothesis that targeting neuromodulatory systems, such as the NT systems may offer new strategies in the treatment of drug addiction.

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SR 48692, ≥98% (HPLC)