Inhibitory Effect of Berberis vulgaris Aqueous Extract on Acquisition and Reinstatement Effects of Morphine in Conditioned Place Preferences (CPP) in Mice

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Background: It has been elucidated that Berberis vulgaris (barberry) can alleviate morphine withdrawal syndrome. Also it has been reported that aqueous extract of barberry possibly have inhibitory effect on NMDA receptors. Objectives: In this study, we decided to evaluate the effects of aqueous extract of B. vulgaris fruit on morphine tendency in mice using conditioned place preference (CPP) method. Materials and Methods: In experiment 1 (acquisition phase), mice underwent morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) training with injections of morphine (40 mg/kg). In experiment 2 (extinction and reinstatement phases), mice underwent the same CPP training as in experiment 1 and subsequent extinction training on day 16th a reinstatement by CPP was done by injection of reminding 10 mg/kg morphine. Results: The administration of morphine (40 mg/kg for four days) produced place preference. In the first method, the aqueous extract of barberry (200 mg/kg) prevented morphine tendency to white cell in CPP method. In the second method, after inter-peritoneal injection of aqueous extracts of barberry at 100 and 200 mg/kg, the animals tendency toward the white cells of CPP chamber on the sixteenth day (after a reminder injection of morphine 10 mg/kg) was significantly reduced. Conclusions: These results show that aqueous extract of barberry can reduce the acquisition and reinstatement of morphine-induced conditioned place preference.