Kappa-Opioid Agonist U69593 Potentiates Locomotor Sensitization to the D2/D3 Agonist Quinpirole: Pre- and Postsynaptic Mechanisms
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To assess whether the development and expression of behavioral sensitization to the dopamine D2/D3 agonist quinpirole (QNP) is influenced by coadministration of the kappa opioid receptor agonist U69593, rats received every 3-4 days for a total of 10 treatments an injection of U69593 (0.3 mg/kg) together with an injection of either a postsynaptic (0.5 mg/kg) or a presynaptic dose of QNP (0.05 mg/kg); locomotor activity was measured after each treatment. Control rats were injected as appropriate with QNP, U69593, and vehicle/saline. Following chronic treatment, dose-response profiles to QNP were obtained to assess the expression of sensitization; the effect of U69593 on locomotor activity in animals already sensitized to QNP was also assessed. Results showed that cotreatment of U69593 with a postsynaptic dose of QNP doubled the speed and magnitude of sensitization to QNP, while U69593 cotreatment with a presynaptic dose of QNP switched the effects of QNP from locomotor depression to locomotor sensitization. However, U69593 cotreatment with a presynaptic dose of QNP changed a different set of measures of sensitization than did cotreatment with a postsynaptic dose of the dopamine agonist. Together, findings suggest that sensitization to QNP is not a unitary phenomenon but has components that are relatively independent, mediated by distinct pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms and modulated by kappa receptor activity.
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