Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors in the striatum of non-human primates: dysregulation following chronic cocaine self-administration.
ABSTRACT A growing body of evidence has demonstrated a role for group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) in the reinforcing effects of cocaine. These receptors are important given their location in limbic-related areas, and their ability to control the release of glutamate and other neurotransmitters. They are also potential targets for novel pharmacotherapies for cocaine addiction. The present study investigated the impact of chronic cocaine self-administration (9.0mg/kg/session for 100 sessions, 900 mg/kg total intake) on the densities of group II mGluRs, as assessed with in vitro receptor autoradiography, in the striatum of adult male rhesus monkeys. Binding of [(3)H]LY341495 to group II mGluRs in control animals was heterogeneous, with a medial to lateral gradient in binding density. Significant elevations in the density of group II mGluRs following chronic cocaine self-administration were measured in the dorsal, central and ventral portions of the caudate nucleus (P<0.05), compared to controls. No differences in receptor density were observed between the groups in either the putamen or nucleus accumbens. These data demonstrate that group II mGluRs in the dorsal striatum are more sensitive to the effects of chronic cocaine exposure than those in the ventral striatum. Cocaine-induced dysregulation of the glutamate system, and its consequent impact on plasticity and synaptic remodeling, will likely be an important consideration in the development of novel pharmacotherapies for cocaine addiction.
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ABSTRACT: Acute re-exposure to cocaine or drug cues associated with cocaine use can elicit drug craving and relapse. Neuroimaging studies have begun to define neurobiological substrates underlying the acute effects of cocaine or cocaine cues in cocaine-dependent subjects. The present study was the first to use functional brain imaging to document acute cocaine-induced changes in brain activity during active drug use in nonhuman primates. Positron emission tomography imaging with O15-labeled water was used to measure drug-induced changes in cerebral blood flow. The acute effects of cocaine administered noncontingently were characterized in four drug-naïve rhesus monkeys. The same subjects were trained to self-administer cocaine under a fixed ratio schedule during image acquisition. Subsequently, three subjects with an extensive history of cocaine use were trained to self-administer cocaine under a second-order schedule. The same subjects also underwent extinction sessions during which saline was substituted for cocaine under the second-order schedule. Noncontingent administration of cocaine in drug-naïve subjects induced robust activation of prefrontal cortex localized primarily to the dorsolateral regions. In contrast, the pattern of brain activation induced by self-administered cocaine differed qualitatively and included anterior cingulate cortex. Moreover, drug-associated stimuli during extinction also induced robust activation of prefrontal cortex. The effects of cocaine and associated cues extend beyond the limbic system to engage brain areas involved in cognitive processes. The identification of neural circuits underlying the direct pharmacological and conditioned stimulus effects of cocaine may be highly relevant toward efforts to develop treatments for cocaine addiction.Psychopharmacologia 11/2009; 208(2):191-9. · 4.08 Impact Factor