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, 235 (7), 1987-1999

Cross State-Dependency of Learning Between Tramadol and MK-801 in the Mouse Dorsal Hippocampus: Involvement of Nitric Oxide (NO) Signaling Pathway

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Cross State-Dependency of Learning Between Tramadol and MK-801 in the Mouse Dorsal Hippocampus: Involvement of Nitric Oxide (NO) Signaling Pathway

Majid Jafari-Sabet et al. Psychopharmacology (Berl).

Abstract

Rationale: Tramadol, an atypical μ-opioid receptor agonist, as a psychoactive drug, is frequently abused by human beings. Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of drug-associated learning and memory formation may help prevent drug addiction and relapse. Previous study revealed that dorsal hippocampus (CA1) plays a crucial role in the retrieval of tramadol-associated memory and that its role depends on the expression of CA1 N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (Jafari-Sabet et al. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 96:45-50, 2018).

Objective: To clarify the exact mechanisms involved, the activation of CA1 nitric oxide (NO) signaling pathway by L-arginine (a nitric oxide precursor) on the interaction between tramadol and MK-801 in memory retrieval was examined. The dorsal hippocampal CA1 regions of adult male NMRI mice were bilaterally cannulated and a single-trial step-down inhibitory avoidance apparatus was used for the assessment of memory retrieval.

Results: Post-training and/or pre-test microinjection of tramadol (0.5 and 1 μg/mouse) and/or a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist, MK-801 (0.25 and 0.5 μg/mouse), induced amnesia which were reversed when the same doses of the drugs were administered 24 h later in a pre-test session, suggesting tramadol state-dependent learning (SDL) and MK-801 SDL. The amnesia induced by post-training microinjection of tramadol (1 μg/mouse) was reversed by pre-test microinjection of MK-801 (0.25 and 0.5 μg/mouse). Pre-test microinjection of MK-801 (0.125 and 0.25 μg/mouse) with an ineffective dose of tramadol (0.25 μg/mouse) potentiated tramadol SDL. The amnesia induced by post-training microinjection of MK-801 (0.5 μg/mouse) was reversed by pre-test microinjection of tramadol (0.5 and 1 μg/mouse). Pre-test microinjection of tramadol (0.25 and 0.5 μg/mouse) with an ineffective dose of MK-801 (0.125 μg/mouse) potentiated MK-801 SDL. Pre-test microinjection of ineffective doses of L-arginine (0.125, 025, and 0.5 μg/mouse) improved amnesia induced by the co-administration of tramadol and MK-801. Pre-test microinjection of L-arginine (0.125, 025, and 0.5 μg/mouse) could not reverse amnesia induced by post-training microinjection of tramadol while same doses of L-arginine improved MK-801 response on tramadol SDL.

Conclusion: The results strongly propose that activation of CA1 NO signaling pathway has a pivotal role in cross SDL among tramadol and MK-801.

Keywords: Dorsal hippocampus; L-Arginine; Mouse; State-dependent learning; Tramadol; MK-801.

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