The effect of diazepam on the development of physical dependence on morphine and on the naloxone-precipitated increase in cortical NA turnover were investigated in mice. Co-administration of diazepam (1-4 mg/kg, i.p.) during chronic morphine treatment suppressed the expression of naloxonc (3 mg/kg, s.c.)-precipitated withdrawal signs (jumping, exploratory rearing and weight loss). However, a single injection of diazepam (4 mg/kg, i.p.) in morphine-dependent mice did not affect the expression of naloxone-precipitated withdrawal signs. The 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylethyleneglycol (MHPG) level and noradrenaline (NA) turnover (MHPG/NA) in the cerebral cortex were increased by naloxonc (3 mg/kg) challenge. These increases in the cortical MHPG level and NA turnover were significantly prevented by co-administration of diazepam (4 mg/kg, i.p.) during chronic morphine treatment. These findings suggest that the co-administration of diazepam during chronic morphine treatment may prevent some neurochemical changes in the central noradrenergic system during chronic morphine treatment and may suppress the development of physical dependence on morphine. Therefore, the inhibitory action of GABA via benzodiazepine binding sites may play an important role in the development of physical dependence on morphine.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)