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Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England)

Differential effects of the MEK inhibitor SL327 on the acquisition and expression of ethanol-elicited conditioned place preference and aversion in mice.


PMID 28072036

Abstract

The involvement of mitogen-activating extracellular kinase (MEK) in place conditioning may vary depending on the motivational sign (positive or negative) and nature (pharmacological or nociceptive) of the unconditioned stimulus (US) and on the phase (acquisition or expression) of the learning process. This study investigated the role of MEK on the acquisition and expression of ethanol-elicited (given 2 g/kg) backward (preference, CPP) and forward (aversion, CPA) place conditioning. The MEK inhibitor SL327 (50 mg/kg for CPP, and 50 and 100 mg/kg for CPA) was administered to CD-1 mice 60 minutes before an ethanol dose (acquisition) or 60 minutes before the post-conditioning tests (expression). Ethanol significantly elicited CPP and CPA; SL327 (50 mg/kg) significantly blocked the acquisition of ethanol-elicited CPP, but not that of CPA. Moreover, SL327 (50 and 100 mg/kg) significantly reduced the expression of ethanol-elicited CPP, but not that of CPA. Finally, SL327 also prevented ethanol-elicited (given 2 g/kg) increases of phosphorylated extracellular signal regulated kinase (pERK)-positive neurons in the nucleus accumbens and other nuclei of the extended amygdala. Overall, these results confirmed the differential involvement of MEK in the acquisition and expression of drug-elicited place conditioning and suggested its differential involvement in distinct behavioral outcomes, depending on the motivational sign of the (same) US and on the significance of the experimental phase of the learning process.

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S4069
SL327, ≥98% (HPLC), Mixture of E & Z isomers, solid
C16H12F3N3S