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Keywords:

  • adenosine A1 receptor;
  • cDNA array;
  • glutamate receptor 5;
  • neuroglycan C;
  • repeated cocaine;
  • TrkB

Abstract

Addiction to psychostimulants elicits behavioral and biochemical changes that are assumed to be mediated by alterations of gene expression in the brain. The changes in gene expression after 3 weeks of withdrawal from chronic cocaine treatment were evaluated in the nucleus accumbens core and shell, dorsal prefrontal cortex and caudate using a complementary DNA (cDNA) array. The level of mRNA encoded by several genes was identified as being up- or down-regulated in repeated cocaine versus saline subjects. The results from the cDNA array were subsequently confirmed at the protein level with immunoblotting. Of particular interest, parallel up-regulation in protein and mRNA was found for the adenosine A1 receptor in the accumbens core, neuroglycan C in the accumbens shell, and the GluR5 glutamate receptor subtype in dorsal prefrontal cortex. However, there was an increase in TrkB protein in the nucleus accumbens core of cocaine-treated rats without a corresponding alteration in mRNA. These changes of gene expression in corticolimbic circuitry may contribute to the psychostimulant-induced behavioral changes associated with addiction.