Naloxone blockade of amphetamine place preference conditioning

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1991;104(2):265-74. doi: 10.1007/BF02244190.


Amphetamine and naloxone were examined in place conditioning, in order to study possible interactions between endogenous opioids and catecholamines in reinforcement. After initial preferences were determined, animals were conditioned with amphetamine alone (1.0 mg/kg SC), naloxone alone (0.02, 0.2 or 2.0 mg/kg SC) or combinations of amphetamine plus naloxone. A reliable, long-lasting preference for the compartment associated with amphetamine was observed, reflecting the reinforcing properties of this drug. No preference or aversion was observed in animals that received saline in both compartments. Naloxone (0.02, 0.2 and 2.0 mg/kg) produced a dose-dependent place aversion; while the lowest dose had effects similar to saline, the higher doses produced significant place aversions. Naloxone, at all three doses examined, prevented the ability of amphetamine to produce a place preference. Thus, the lowest dose of naloxone, having no effects alone in place conditioning was still able to block the reinforcing effects of amphetamine. These results suggest that the reinforcing effects of amphetamine are dependent on activation of opiate receptors, and provide further evidence that interactions between endogenous opioids and catecholamines may be important in reinforcement.

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Amphetamine / pharmacology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Catecholamines / metabolism
  • Conditioning, Operant / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endorphins / metabolism
  • Male
  • Naloxone / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reinforcement, Psychology


  • Catecholamines
  • Endorphins
  • Naloxone
  • Amphetamine