Sanya Fanous, Danielle H. Guez-Barber, Evan M. Goldart, Regina Schrama, Florence R. M. Theberge, Yavin Shaham and Bruce T. Hope
Unique gene expression in neurons activated during cue-induced heroin seeking
Learned associations during heroin self-administration are encoded within neuronal ensembles that can be selectively activated by drug-related cues. We used fluorescent-activated cell-sorting (FACS) to purify activated Fos-positive and non-activated Fos-negative neurons from prefrontal cortex 90 min after heroin seeking under extinction conditions. mRNA levels of the immediate early genes fosB, arc, egr1, and egr2, as well as npy and map2k6, were increased in Fos-positive, but not Fos-negative, neurons. Our data indicate that cue-induced relapse to heroin seeking after prolonged withdrawal induces unique molecular alterations within activated PFC neurons that are distinct from those observed in the surrounding majority of non-activated neurons.