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Paper   IPM / Cognitive Sciences / 17579
School of Cognitive Sciences
  Title:   N-acetylcysteine attenuates accumbal core neuronal activity in response to morphine in the reinstatement of morphine CPP in morphine extinguished rats
1.  S. Katebi
2.  A. Torkaman-Boutorabi
3.  E. Riahi
4.  A. Haghparast
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
  Year:  2024
  Supported by:  IPM
Numerous studies have suggested that N-acetylcysteine (NAC), has the potential to suppress drug craving in people with substance use disorder and reduce drug-seeking behaviors in animals. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays a crucial role in the brain's reward system, with the nucleus accumbens core (NAcore) specifically implicated in compulsive drug seeking and relapse. In this study, we aimed to explore the impact of subchronic NAC administration during the extinction period and acute NAC administration on the electrical activity of NAcore neurons in response to a priming dose of morphine in rats subjected to extinction from morphine-induced place preference (CPP).We conducted single-unit recordings in anesthetized rats on the reinstatement day, following the establishment of morphine-induced conditioned place preference (7 mg/kg, s.c., 3 days), and subsequent drug-free extinction. In the subchronically NAC-treated groups, rats received daily injections of either NAC (50 mg/kg; i.p.) or saline during the extinction period. On the reinstatement day, we recorded the spontaneous activity of NAcore neurons for 15 min, administered a priming dose of morphine, and continued recording for an additional 45 min. While morphine excited most recorded neurons in saline-treated rats, it failed to alter firing rates in NAC-treated rats that had received NAC during the extinction period. For acutely NAC-treated animals, we recorded the baseline activity of NAcore neurons for 10 min before administering a single injection of either NAC (50 mg/kg; i.p.) or saline in rats with no treatment during the extinction. Following 30 min of recording and a priming dose of morphine (1 mg/kg, s.c.), the recording continued for an additional 30 min. The firing activity of NAcore neurons did not show significant changes after morphine or NAC injection. In conclusion, our findings emphasize that daily NAC administration during the extinction period significantly attenuates the morphine-induced increase in firing rates of NAcore neurons during the reinstatement of morphine CPP. However, acute NAC injection does not produce the same effect. These results suggest that modulating glutamate transmission through daily NAC during extinction may effectively inhibit the morphine place preference following the excitatory effects of morphine on NAcore neurons.

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