Effect of Herbal-Acupuncture on Repeated Cocaine-induced Behavioral Sensitization in the Rat

약침이 반복적인 코카인 투여로 인한 행동적 민감화 현상에 미치는 효과

  • Lee, B.B (Oriental Medical Science, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Yang, C.H. (Department of Physiology, College of Oriental Medicine, Daegu Haany University) ;
  • Hahm, D.H. (Oriental Medical Science, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Lee, H.J. (Oriental Medical Science, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Shim, I.S. (Oriental Medical Science, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University)
  • 이봄비 (경희대학교 동서의학대학원 한의과학과) ;
  • 양재하 (대구한의대학교 한의과대학 생리학교실) ;
  • 함대현 (경희대학교 동서의학대학원 한의과학과) ;
  • 이혜정 (경희대학교 동서의학대학원 한의과학과) ;
  • 심인섭 (경희대학교 동서의학대학원 한의과학과)
  • Published : 2004.02.29


Substantial evidence suggests that behavioral and reinforcing effects of cocaine can be mediated by the mesolimbic dopaminergic system. It has been shown that repeated injections of cocaine produce increase in locomotor activity, expression of the immediate-early gene, c-fos in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), which was one of the main dopaminergic terminal areas. Herbal-acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention has been widely used for the treatment of many functional disorders such as drug abuse. Coptidis Rhizoma (CR) and its main component, berberine (BER) were selected as herbal medicine of herbal-acupuncture. Both medicines have been known to have the therapeutic effect on the central nervous system. In order to investigate the effects of CR and BER herbalacupuncture at shenmen (HT7) point (CR/H and BER/H) on the cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization, the influence of CR/H and BER/H on repeated cocaine-induced locomotor activity, the change of c-Fos expression in the brain by immunohistochemistry were examined. Male SD rats were given CR/H (0.4mg/kg) and BER/H (0.1mg/kg) 30 min before daily injections of cocaine hydrochloride (15mg/kg. i.p.) 10 days. After 3 days withdrawal, rats received a challenge injection of cocaine (15mg/kg, i.p.). Systemic challenge with cocaine produced much larger increased locomotor activity, accumbal Fos-like immunoreactivity in the NAc. Pretreatment with CR/H and BER/H significantly inhibited cocaine-induced locomotor activity, the change of c-Fos expression in the rats. Our data demonstrated that the inhibitory effects of cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization by CR/H and BER/H were closely associated with the reduction of presynaptic dopamine release in the NAc. These results suggest that CR/H and BER/H can be effectively applied to cocaine addiction.


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