Prior Morphine Exposure Enhances Ibogaine Antagonism of Morphine-induced Dopamine Release in Rats

Abstract

The present study examines the effect of prior morphine exposure on ibogaine antagonism of morphine-induced dopamine release. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were pretreated once a day for 2 days with morphine (20 mg/kg, i.p.) or saline and given a low dose of ibogaine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) or saline 5 hr after the last morphine or saline injection. Nineteen hours later, rats (awake and freely moving) were challenged with morphine (5 mg/kg, i.p.), and dopamine and its metabolites were monitored in the striatum and nucleus accumbens using in vivo microdialysis. Neither saline pretreatment, morphine pretreatment, nor ibogaine alone altered morphine-induced increases in extracellular dopamine and dopamine metabolites in either structure. However, when morphine pretreatment was combined with ibogaine, the morphine-induced elevation of dopamine, but not of metabolites, was completely blocked. These data suggest that prior morphine exposure enhances an opioid antagonist action of ibogaine on dopaminergic systems and that prior drug exposure may be a clinically significant determinant of ibogaine efficacy and/or potency in the treatment of opioid addiction.

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