Recent preclinical studies have reported that pretreatment with the novel and highly-selective dopamine D3 receptor (D3R) antagonists R-VK4-40 or VK4-116 attenuates the abuse-related behavioral effects of oxycodone while enhancing its analgesic properties. However, whether these observed effects are generalizable to the broad class of D3R antagonists and/or extend to opioids other than oxycodone has not been extensively explored. The present study sought to assess the impact of pretreatment with another selective D3R antagonist, PG01037, on several behavioral effects of morphine in mice. C57Bl/6 J mice were pretreated with PG01037 (0–10 mg/kg) and tested for 1) hyperlocomotion induced by acute morphine (5.6–56 mg/kg), 2) locomotor sensitization following repeated morphine (56 mg/kg), 3) antinociception following acute morphine (18 mg/kg), and 4) catalepsy following administration of PG01037 alone or in combination with morphine (56 mg/kg). PG01037 dose-dependently attenuated morphine-induced hyperlocomotion and morphine-induced antinociception at doses that did not alter basal locomotion or nociception alone, but did not prevent the induction of locomotor sensitization following repeated morphine administration. Moreover, PG01037 did not induce catalepsy either alone or in combination with morphine. These results suggest that attenuation of acute opioid-induced hyperactivity may be a behavioral effect shared among D3R-selective antagonists, thus supporting continued investigations into their use as potential treatments for opioid use disorder. However, PG01037 is unlike newer, highly-selective D3R antagonists in its capacity to reduce opioid-induced antinociception, indicating that modulation of opioid analgesia may vary across different D3R antagonists.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience