Lloret-Torres Mario E ¹, Martinez-Rivera Freddyson J ², Barreto-Estrada Jennifer L ¹

1 University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico

2 Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City


Opiate addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug use and drug seeking regardless of negative consequences. In the United States, opiate related deaths continue to increase in what is being classified as a public health crisis. Currently opiate addiction is treated with a combination of behavioral therapies and replacement medication however, for a significant portion of opiate addicts these treatments remain ineffective. One potential new treatment for opiate addiction is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). DBS consists of applying electrical current directly to a desired brain region by way of a surgically implanted electrode. Because DBS is both reversible and adjustable it more clinically viable than other surgical interventions. Studies on DBS for addiction have shown positive results but they tend to be limited due to low number of participants, and some studies show adverse effects. To obtain more consistent results more studies on the underlying mechanisms of DBS are required.

Previously we have found the LF-DBS to the NAc during morphine Extinction facilitated long term extinction after cessation of stimulation, however this was done a partial extinction paradigm and as such the effects on full extinction remain unknown. Here we study the effects of DBS on full extinction of morphine CPP. First, we surgically implanted stimulation electrodes into the rats NAc.

We then used a Conditioned place preference model to condition our animals for morphine.

Finally, we applied low-frequency DBS to the animals during extinction sessions and allowed them to fully extinguish their preference and measured the number of sessions required. We also performed a 2 reinstatement tests at 24 hours and 7 days after the final day of extinction. We found that animals that underwent DBS extinguished their conditioned preference with significantly less extinction session P < 0.001. Our data suggest that LF-DBS to the NAc could facilitate full extinction of morphine CPP which is consistent with previous animals data as well as human case studies.

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