Document Type: Research article
Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Division of Neurocognitive Sciences, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
In this study, the effect of topiramate, as an antiepileptic drug, was evaluated on morphine craving in rats. The conditioned place preference (CPP) test was used for this purpose. Repeated administration of morphine (10 mg/kg, i.p. for 4 days) induced significant CPP. Administration of topiramate (50 and 100 mg/kg, i.p. for 4 days) with each morphine administration decreased the acquisition of morphine-induced CPP. At the next step, the levels of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), p-ERK, cAMP responsive element binding (CREB), and p-CREB proteins were evaluated in hippocampus and cerebral cortex using western blot analysis. Following the repeated administration of morphine, the level of p-ERK protein markedly enhanced in both tissues, while topiramate could significantly reduce the phosphorylation of ERK in these brain regions. Additionally, the level of CREB and p-CREB proteins did not change in different groups. Memantine as a positive control reduced the acquisition of morphine-induced CPP. Also, memantine significantly decreased the level of p-ERK protein in hippocampus and cerebral cortex.
These results demonstrated that topiramate can attenuate the acquisition of morphine-induced CPP in rats. This effect in part can be mediated through down regulation of p-ERK protein in hippocampus and cerebral cortex.