Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior

Lesion of olfactory epithelium attenuates expression of morphine-induced behavioral sensitization and reinstatement of drug-primed conditioned place preference in mice.

PMID 23103203


Previous studies have shown that olfactory impairment by disrupting the olfactory epithelium prior to morphine administration attenuated the development addiction-related behaviors. However, it is unclear whether olfactory impairment will affect the expression of already established addiction-related behaviors. To address this issue, mice were conditioned with morphine to induce behavioral sensitization and condition placed preference (CPP). After an abstinence period, the animals were subjected to either an intranasal ZnSO(4) effusion (ZnE) or sham treatment with saline. Behavioral sensitization and CPP reinstatement were evaluated 24h later, as well as the expression of c-Fos protein, a marker of activated neural sites, in brain regions of interest. It was found that ZnE treatment attenuated morphine-induced behavioral sensitization and reinstatement of CPP. Compared to the saline-treated ones, the ZnE-treated animals showed reduced c-Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) associated with behavioral sensitization, and in the NAc, cingulate cortex, dentate gyrus, amygdala, lateral hypothalamus and ventral tegmental area associated with CPP reinstatement. Together, these results demonstrated that acute olfactory impairment could attenuate already established addiction-related behaviors and expression of c-Fos in drug addiction related brain regions, perhaps by affecting the coordination between reward and motivational systems in the brain.