Central opioid receptors differentially regulate the nalmefene-induced suppression of ethanol- and saccharin-reinforced behaviors in alcohol-preferring (p) rats
June HL, Cummings R, Eiler WJ, Foster KL,
McKay PF, Seyoum R, Garcia M, McCane S, Grey C, Hawkins SE, Mason D.
1Psychobiology of Addictions Program,
Department of Psychology,
Indiana University-Purdue University,
Indianapolis, IN, USA.
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2004 Feb;29(2):285-99


The exact opioid-sensitive receptors participating in EtOH-seeking behaviors remains unclear. Previous studies have reported higher densities of micro-opioid receptor binding in the nucleus accumbens (NACC) of P relative to NP rats; however, no differences were seen in delta-receptor binding. In contrast to the NACC, substantially lower levels of micro-receptor binding have been observed in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of both P and NP rats, albeit no line differences have been observed. In the present study, opioid receptors in the NACC, VTA, and hippocampus were evaluated for their capacity to regulate both EtOH- and saccharin-motivated behaviors in the genetically selected alcohol-preferring (P) rat. To accomplish this, nalmefene, an opiate antagonist with preferential binding affinity for the micro-opioid receptor was unilaterally or bilaterally infused during concurrent availability of 1 h daily EtOH (10% v/v) and saccharin (0.025 or 0.050% w/v) solutions. Rats performed under a two-lever fixed ratio (FR) schedule in which four responses on one lever produced the EtOH solution, and four on a second lever produced the saccharin solution. The results demonstrated that when responding maintained by both EtOH and saccharin are matched at basal levels, unilateral (1-60 microg) or bilateral (0.5-10 microg) microinjections of nalmefene into the NACC produced selective dose-dependent reductions on responding maintained by EtOH. Unilateral (40, 60 microg) and bilateral (10 microg) VTA infusions were also observed to selectively reduced EtOH responding; however, greater nalmefene doses were required and the magnitude of suppression on EtOH responding was markedly less compared with the NACC. The greater sensitivity of nalmefene to suppress EtOH responding in the NACC is likely due to the greater number of opioid receptors in the NACC relative to the VTA. Only bilateral infusion of the 40 microg dose in the NACC and VTA suppressed responding maintained by both EtOH and saccharin. In contrast, intrahippocampal infusions dose dependently suppressed EtOH- and saccharin-maintained responding over a range of doses (1-20 microg). The present study provides evidence that nalmefene suppresses EtOH-motivated behaviors via blockade of opioid receptors within the NACC and VTA, and under various dose conditions both reinforcer and neuroanatomical specificity can be observed
Nalmefene (Revex)
Nalmefene (Revex) for pathological gambling

and further reading

Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

The Good Drug Guide
The Good Drug Guide

The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family