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The Anorexigenic Peptide Neuromedin U (NMU) Attenuates Amphetamine-Induced Locomotor Stimulation, Accumbal Dopamine Release and Expression of Conditioned Place Preference in Mice

Journal article
Authors Daniel Vallöf
Jesper Vestlund
Jörgen Engel
Elisabeth Jerlhag
Published in Plos One
Volume 11
Issue 5
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Language en
Keywords central-nervous-system, body-weight, food-intake, addiction, ethanol, rat, identification, receptor, leptin, reward, Science & Technology - Other Topics
Subject categories Neurosciences


Amphetamine dependence, besides its substantial economical consequence, is a serious cause of mortality and morbidity. By investigations of the neurochemical correlates through which addictive drugs, such as amphetamine, activate the mesoaccumbal dopamine system unique targets for treatment of drug addiction can be identified. This reward link consists of a dopamine projection from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) suggesting that these brain areas are important for reward. The physiological function of gut-brain peptides has expanded beyond food intake modulation and involves regulation of drug reinforcement. A novel candidate for reward regulation is the anorexigenic peptide neuromedin U (NMU). We therefore investigated the effects of intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of NMU on amphetamine's well-documented effects on the mesoaccumbal dopamine system, i. e. locomotor stimulation and accumbal dopamine release in mice. In addition, the effect of accumbal NMU administration on locomotor activity was examined. The effect of NMU, icv or intra-NAc, on the expression of conditioned place preference (CPP) was elucidated. Firstly, we showed that icv administration of NMU attenuate the amphetamine-induced locomotor stimulation, accumbal dopamine release and expression of CPP in mice. Secondly, we found that a lower dose of NMU (icv) reduce the amphetamine-induced locomotor stimulation in mice. Thirdly, we demonstrated that NMU administration into the NAc block the ability of amphetamine to cause a locomotor stimulation in mice. However, accumbal NMU administration did not attenuate the amphetamine-induced expression of CPP in mice. Our novel data suggest that central NMU signalling is involved in development of amphetamine dependence.

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