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AJP CME: June 2019 - Nociceptin Receptors Upregulated in Cocaine Use Disorder: A Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Study Using [11C]NOP-1A

Activity Type:

  • Journal CME

Release Date: 6/1/2019

Expiration Date: 5/31/2021

  • AMA PRA Category 1: 1
  • Participation: 1



Objective: Nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) is an antistress neuropeptide transmitter in the brain that counteracts corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)-mediated stress and anxiety symptoms during drug and alcohol withdrawal. It also inhibits the release of a wide array of neurotransmitters, including dopamine and glutamate, which allows for it to block the rewarding properties of cocaine. Chronic cocaine administration in rodents has been shown to decrease N/OFQ and increase nociceptive opioid peptide (NOP) receptors in the nucleus accumbens. No previous studies have reported on the in vivo status of NOP in chronic cocaine-abusing humans.

Methods: [11C]NOP-1A and positron emission tomography (PET) were used to measure in vivo NOP binding in 24 individuals with cocaine use disorder and 26 healthy control subjects matched for age, sex, and smoking status. Participants with cocaine use disorder with no comorbid psychiatric or medical disorders were scanned after 2 weeks of outpatient-monitored abstinence. [11C]NOP-1A distribution volume (VT) was measured with kinetic analysis using the arterial input function in brain regions that mediate reward and stress behaviors. Participants with cocaine use disorder were followed up for 12 weeks after PET scanning to document relapse and relate it to VT.


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Educational Objective

The participant will break down the role of nociceptin and its receptor nociceptive opioid peptide in addictive disorders.

Target Audience

This program is designed for all psychiatrists in clinical practice, residents in Graduate Medical Education programs, medical students interested in psychiatry, and other physicians who wish to advance their current knowledge of clinical medicine.

Estimated Time to Complete

Duration: 1 hour
Begin Date: June 1, 2019
End Date: May 31, 2021

How to Earn Credit

In order to earn CME credit, subscribers should read through the material presented in the article. After reading the article, complete the quiz and submit your evaluation and study hours (up to 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™).  A score of 60% or higher is required to receive credit.


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The APA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures

Title: Nociceptin Receptors Upregulated in Cocaine Use Disorder: A Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Study Using [11C]NOP-1A

Authors: Rajesh Narendran, M.D., Savannah Tollefson, B.S., Michael L. Himes, B.S., Jennifer Paris, M.Ed., M.S.L., Brian Lopresti, M.S.N.E., Roberto Ciccocioppo, Ph.D., N. Scott Mason, Ph.D.

Affiliations: Departments of Radiology and Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh (R.N., S.T., M.L.H., J.P., B.L., N.S.M.); School of Pharmacy, Pharmacology Unit, University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy (R.C.).

Disclosures: The authors report no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Discussion of unapproved or investigational use of products*: No.

*APA policy requires disclosure by CME authors of unapproved or investigational use of products discussed in CME programs. Off-label use of medications by individual physicians is permitted and common. Decisions about off-label use can be guided by scientific literature and clinical experience.

Program Planners

Ned H. Kalin, M.D. (Editor-in-Chief, AJP); Carolyn Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D. (Deputy Editor, AJP); Michael D. Roy (Editorial Director, AJP); Michael A. Pogachar (Online Content Manager, Journals). Dr. Kalin has served as a consultant to the Board of Scientific Advisors, the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium, and the Skyland Trail Advisory Board and as Councilor, Society of Biological Psychiatry. Dr. Rodriguez has served as a consultant to Allergan, Blackthorn, Epiodyne, and Rugen. Mr. Roy and Mr. Pogachar report no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.
Optimal System Configuration:
  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.1+ 
  • Browser: Firefox 3+, Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 4.0+, or Google Chrome 7.0+ 
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher
  • Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768 pixels.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC:500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card at least 16-bit; Macromedia Flash Player 10 or higher, audio playback with speakers for programs with video content; Firefox 1.1+, Internet Explorer 7.0+, Safari 1.0+, Google Chrome, or Opera
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.3 or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit

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