The effect of nicotine administration on physical and psychological signs of withdrawal syndrome induced by single or frequent doses of morphine in rats
Ahmad Taghavi Rafsanjani
Sayed Ali Haeri Rohani
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Introduction: Morphine addiction and morphine withdrawal syndrome are the two main problems of today's human society. The present study has investigated the effects of nicotine on the strength of physical and psychological dependency in single and repeated doses morphine administrated rats. Methods: Male Wistar rats were subjected to morphine consumption with single or frequent dose protocols. In the single dose protocol, rats received only one dose of morphine and 24hrs later they also received one dose of nicotine 30 min prior to injection of naloxone. In the repeated dose protocol, rats received incremental doses of morphine for 7 days and 24hr after the last dose (the 8th day) were given naloxone. However, the nicotine regimen of this group was injected 15 min before the morphine injection, for 4 days, from the 4th to the 7th day. Five minutes after naloxone injection, each rat's behavior was captured for 30 min, and then physical and psychological signs of withdrawal syndrome were recorded. Data were analyzed by ANOVA followed by Tukey tests and p < 0.05 was considered as significant difference. Results: Results showed that the injection of frequent and single doses of morphine lead to morphine dependency. In single dose protocol, nicotine consumption attenuated the signs of withdrawal syndrome, especially weight of excrement and total withdrawal score. In frequent dose protocol, in addition to these effects, nicotine induced weight loss and place aversion. Discussion: The inhibitory effects of nicotine on signs of withdrawal syndrome may involve a dopaminergic portion of the central nervous system and is mediated by central nicotinic receptors. There is also a cross-dependence between nicotine and morphine.