Effects of salvinorin A on locomotor sensitization to D2/D3 dopamine agonist quinpirole
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Locomotor sensitization induced by the dopamine agonist quinpirole can be potentiated by co-treatment with the synthetic kappa opioid agonist U69593. The identification of salvinorin A, an active component of the psychotropic sage Salvia divinorum, as a structurally different agonist of kappa-opioid receptors raised the question of whether this compound would similarly potentiate sensitization to quinpirole. Rats were co-treated with 0.5 mg/kg quinpirole and either salvinorin A (0.04, 0.4 or 2.0 mg/kg) or U69593 (0.3 mg/kg). Control groups were co-treated with vehicle and saline, vehicle and quinpirole (0.5 mg/kg), or saline and salvinorin A (0.4 mg/kg). Rats were injected biweekly for a total of 10 injections and locomotor activity measured after each treatment. Results showed that the highest dose of salvinorin A potentiated sensitization to quinpirole as did U69593, the middle salvinorin A dose had no effect on quinpirole sensitization, and the lowest dose of salvinorin A attenuated sensitization to quinpirole. These findings indicate that structural differences between salvinorin A and U69593 do not affect the potentiation of quinpirole sensitization. Moreover, the opposite effects of high and low salvinorin A doses suggest that salvinorin A can produce bidirectional modulation of sensitization to dopamine agonists.
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