Extinction-induced upregulation in AMPA receptors reduces cocaine-seeking behaviour.

Division of Molecular Psychiatry and the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 02/2003; 421(6918):70-5. DOI: 10.1038/nature01249
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cocaine addiction is thought to involve persistent neurobiological changes that facilitate relapse to drug use despite efforts to abstain. But the propensity for relapse may be reduced by extinction training--a form of inhibitory learning that progressively reduces cocaine-seeking behaviour in the absence of cocaine reward. Here we show that extinction training during withdrawal from chronic cocaine self-administration induces experience-dependent increases in the GluR1 and GluR2/3 subunits of AMPA (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate) glutamate receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell, a brain region that is critically involved in cocaine reward. Increases in the GluR1 subunit are positively associated with the level of extinction achieved during training, suggesting that GluR1 may promote extinction of cocaine seeking. Indeed, viral-mediated overexpression of both GluR1 and GluR2 in nucleus accumbens shell neurons facilitates extinction of cocaine- but not sucrose-seeking responses. A single extinction training session, when conducted during GluR subunit overexpression, attenuates stress-induced relapse to cocaine seeking even after GluR overexpression declines. Our findings indicate that extinction-induced plasticity in AMPA receptors may facilitate control over cocaine seeking by restoring glutamatergic tone in the nucleus accumbens, and may reduce the propensity for relapse under stressful situations in prolonged abstinence.

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    ABSTRACT: Extinction of drug seeking is facilitated by NMDA receptor (NMDAr) agonists, but it remains unclear whether extinction is dependent on NMDAr activity.
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    ABSTRACT: Adenosine receptor stimulation and blockade have been shown to modulate a variety of cocaine-related behaviors. These studies identify the direct effects of adenosine receptor stimulation on cocaine seeking during extinction training and the persistent effects on subsequent reinstatement to cocaine seeking. Rats self-administered cocaine on a fixed ratio one schedule in daily sessions over 3 weeks. Following a 1-week withdrawal, the direct effects of adenosine receptor modulation were tested by administering the adenosine A1 receptor agonist, N(6)-cyclopentyladenosine (CPA, 0.03 and 0.1 mg/kg), the adenosine A2A agonist, CGS 21680 (0.03 and 0.1 mg/kg), the presynaptic adenosine A2A receptor antagonist, SCH 442416 (0.3, 1, and 3 mg/kg), or vehicle prior to each of six daily extinction sessions. The persistent effects of adenosine receptor modulation during extinction training were subsequently tested on reinstatement to cocaine seeking induced by cues, cocaine, and the dopamine D2 receptor agonist, quinpirole. All doses of CPA and CGS 21680 impaired initial extinction responding; however, only CPA treatment during extinction produced persistent impairment in subsequent cocaine- and quinpirole-induced seeking. Dissociating CPA treatment from extinction did not alter extinction responding or subsequent reinstatement. Administration of SCH 442416 had no direct effects on extinction responding but produced dose-dependent persistent impairment of cocaine- and quinpirole-induced seeking. These findings demonstrate that adenosine A1 or A2A receptor stimulation directly impair extinction responding. Interestingly, adenosine A1 receptor stimulation or presynaptic adenosine A2A receptor blockade during extinction produces lasting changes in relapse susceptibility.
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    ABSTRACT: This article reviews research on the behavioral and neural mechanisms of extinction as it is represented in both Pavlovian and instrumental learning. In Pavlovian extinction, repeated presentation of a signal without its reinforcer weakens behavior evoked by the signal; in instrumental extinction, repeated occurrence of a voluntary action without its reinforcer weakens the strength of the action. In either case, contemporary research at both the behavioral and neural levels of analysis has been guided by a set of extinction principles that were first generated by research conducted at the behavioral level. The review discusses these principles and illustrates how they have informed the study of both Pavlovian and instrumental extinction. It shows that behavioral and neurobiological research efforts have been tightly linked and that their results are readily integrated. Pavlovian and instrumental extinction are also controlled by compatible behavioral and neural processes. Since many behavioral effects observed in extinction can be multiply determined, we suggest that the current close connection between behavioral-level and neural-level analyses will need to continue.
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