AM404 attenuates reinstatement of nicotine seeking induced by nicotine-associated cues and nicotine priming but does not affect nicotine- and food-taking

J Psychopharmacol. 2013 Jun;27(6):564-71. doi: 10.1177/0269881113477710. Epub 2013 Feb 20.


Multiple studies suggest a pivotal role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of the reinforcing effects of various substances of abuse. Different approaches have been used to modulate endocannabinoid neurotransmission including the use of endogenous cannabinoid anandamide reuptake inhibitors. Previously, the effects of one of them, N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-arachidonamide (AM404), have been explored in rodents trained to self-administer ethanol and heroin, producing some promising results. Moreover, AM404 attenuated the development and reinstatement of nicotine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP). In this study, we used the nicotine intravenous self-administration procedure to assess the effects of intraperitoneal administration of 0, 1, 3 and 10 mg/kg AM404 on nicotine-taking and food-taking behaviors under fixed-ratio and progressive-ratio schedules of reinforcement, as well as on reinstatement of nicotine-seeking induced by nicotine priming and by presentation of nicotine-associated cues. The ability of AM404 to produce place preference was also evaluated. AM404 did not produce CPP and did not modify nicotine-taking and food-taking behaviors. In contrast, AM404 dose-dependently attenuated reinstatement of nicotine-seeking behavior induced by both nicotine-associated cues and nicotine priming. Our results indicate that AM404 could be a potential promising therapeutic option for the prevention of relapse to nicotine-seeking in abstinent smokers.

Keywords: AM404; Nicotine; endocannabinoids; nicotine seeking; nicotine taking.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Arachidonic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Conditioning, Psychological / drug effects*
  • Cues
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug-Seeking Behavior / drug effects*
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Reinforcement Schedule
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Self Administration


  • Arachidonic Acids
  • Nicotine
  • N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)arachidonylamide