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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Blockade of nitric oxide overproduction and oxidative stress by Nigella sativa oil attenuates morphine-induced tolerance and dependence in mice.

The effects of Nigella sativa oil on morphine-induced tolerance and dependence in mice and possible mechanism(s) of these effects were investigated, for the first time, in this study. Repeated administration of Nigella sativa oil (4 ml/kg, p.o.) along with morphine (5 mg/kg, s.c.) attenuated the development of tolerance, as measured by the hot plate test, and dependence, as assessed by naloxone (5 mg/kg, i.p.)-precipitated withdrawal manifestations. Concomitantly, nitric oxide overproduction and increase in brain malondialdehyde level induced by repeated administration of morphine to mice or by administration of naloxone to morphine-dependent mice were inhibited by co-administration of the oil. Also, the decrease in brain intracellular reduced glutathione level and glutathione peroxidase activity induced by both treatments were inhibited by co-administration of the oil. The increase in brain glutamate level induced by both treatments was not inhibited by concurrent administration of the oil. The inhibitory effect of the oil on morphine-induced tolerance and dependence and on naloxone-induced biochemical alterations in morphine-dependent mice was enhanced by concurrent i.p. administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist, dizocilpine (0.25 mg/kg). Similarly, concurrent i.p. administration of the NO synthase inhibitors; L-N (G)-nitroarginine methyl ester (10 mg/kg), aminoguanidine (20 mg/kg) and 7-nitroindazole (25 mg/kg) or the antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine (50 mg/kg) enhanced this inhibitory effect of the oil. On the other hand, this effect was antagonized by concurrent i.p. administration of the nitric oxide precursor, L-arginine (300 mg/kg). These results provide evidence that Nigella sativa oil, through inhibition of morphine-induced NO overproduction and oxidative stress, appears to have a therapeutic potential in opioid tolerance and dependence.[1]


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