There are few efficacious medications for drug dependence at present. We have previously demonstrated that Leu-Ile, which induces the expression of not only tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) but also glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), inhibits methamphetamine (METH) and morphine (MOR)-induced sensitization and rewarding effects by regulating extracellular dopamine levels via the induction of TNF-α expression, and indicated the potential of Leu-Ile as a novel therapeutic agent for METH and MOR-induced dependence. In the present study, we investigated the involvement of GDNF in inhibitory effects of Leu-Ile on MOR-induced sensitization and rewarding effects. Repeated treatment with MOR for 9 days, which results in an enhancement of the locomotor-stimulating effects (sensitization) of MOR, increased GDNF levels in the nucleus accumbens compared with those in saline-treated mice. Repeated pre-treatment with Leu-Ile for 9 days potentiated the MOR-induced increase in GDNF levels. MOR at a low dose (3 mg/kg) produced place preference in GDNF heterozygous knockout (GDNF-(+/-)) mice, but not in littermate GDNF-(+/+) mice. No inhibitory effect of Leu-Ile on MOR-induced place preference was observed in GDNF-(+/-) mice. These results suggest that GDNF is involved in the inhibitory effects of Leu-Ile on MOR-induced sensitization and rewarding effects. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.