Agmatine Prevents Adaptation of the Hippocampal Glutamate System in Chronic Morphine-Treated Rats

Abstract

Chronic exposure to opioids induces adaptation of glutamate neurotransmission, which plays a crucial role in addiction. Our previous studies revealed that agmatine attenuates opioid addiction and prevents the adaptation of glutamate neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens of chronic morphine-treated rats. The hippocampus is important for drug addiction; however, whether adaptation of glutamate neurotransmission is modulated by agmatine in the hippocampus remains unknown. Here, we found that continuous pretreatment of rats with ascending doses of morphine for 5 days resulted in an increase in the hippocampal extracellular glutamate level induced by naloxone (2 mg/kg, i.p.) precipitation. Agmatine (20 mg/kg, s.c.) administered concurrently with morphine for 5 days attenuated the elevation of extracellular glutamate levels induced by naloxone precipitation. Furthermore, in the hippocampal synaptosome model, agmatine decreased the release and increased the uptake of glutamate in synaptosomes from chronic morphine-treated rats, which might contribute to the reduced elevation of glutamate levels induced by agmatine. We also found that expression of the hippocampal NR2B subunit, rather than the NR1 subunit, of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) was down-regulated after chronic morphine treatment, and agmatine inhibited this reduction. Taken together, agmatine prevented the adaptation of the hippocampal glutamate system caused by chronic exposure to morphine, including modulating extracellular glutamate concentration and NMDAR expression, which might be one of the mechanisms underlying the attenuation of opioid addiction by agmatine.

DOI: 10.1007/s12264-016-0031-z

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@article{Wang2016AgmatinePA, title={Agmatine Prevents Adaptation of the Hippocampal Glutamate System in Chronic Morphine-Treated Rats}, author={Xiao-Fei Wang and Tai-Yun Zhao and Rui-bin Su and Ning Wu and Jin Li}, journal={Neuroscience Bulletin}, year={2016}, volume={32}, pages={523-530} }