I.G. and E.H.C. contributed equally to this work.
LTP in the lateral amygdala during cocaine withdrawal
Article first published online: 20 DEC 2005
European Journal of Neuroscience
Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 239–250, January 2006
How to Cite
Goussakov, I., Chartoff, E. H., Tsvetkov, E., Gerety, L. P., Meloni, E. G., Carlezon, W. A. and Bolshakov, V. Y. (2006), LTP in the lateral amygdala during cocaine withdrawal. European Journal of Neuroscience, 23: 239–250. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2005.04538.x
- Issue published online: 20 DEC 2005
- Article first published online: 20 DEC 2005
- Received 1 September 2005, revised 4 November 2005, accepted 8 November 2005
- lateral amygdala;
The amygdala plays key roles in several aspects of addiction to drugs of abuse. This brain structure has been implicated in behaviours that reflect drug reward, drug seeking, and the aversive effects of drug withdrawal. Using a model that involves repeated cocaine injections to approximate ‘binge’ intoxication, we show in rats that during cocaine withdrawal, the impact of rewarding brain stimulation is attenuated, as quantified by alterations in intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) behaviour. These behavioural signs of withdrawal are accompanied by enhancements of glutamatergic synaptic transmission within the lateral amygdala (LA) that occlude electrically induced long-term potentiation (LTP) in tissue slices. Synaptic enhancements during periods of cocaine withdrawal are mechanistically similar to LTP induced with electrical stimulation in control slices, as both forms of synaptic plasticity involve an increase in glutamate release. These results suggest that mechanisms of LTP within the amygdala are recruited during withdrawal from repeated exposure to cocaine. As such, they raise the possibility that the development and maintenance of addictive behaviours may involve, at least in part, mechanisms of synaptic plasticity within specific amygdala circuits.