3 years ago

CRFR1 in the ventromedial caudate putamen modulates acute stress-enhanced expression of cocaine locomotor sensitization

Repeated exposure to psychostimulants induces a long-lasting enhancement of locomotor activity called behavioral sensitization, which is often reinforced by stress after drug withdrawal. The mechanisms underlying these phenomena remain elusive. Here we explored the effects of acute stress 3 or 14 days after the cessation of chronic cocaine treatment on the expression of locomotor sensitization induced by a cocaine challenge in rats and the key brain region and molecular mechanism underlying the phenomenon. A single session of forced swimming, as an acute stress (administered 2 days after the cessation of cocaine), significantly enhanced the expression of cocaine locomotor sensitization 14 days after the final cocaine injection (challenge at 12 days after acute stress) but not 3 days after the cessation of cocaine (challenge at 1 day after acute stress). The result indicated that acute stress enhanced the expression of cocaine locomotor sensitization after incubation for 12 days rather than 1 day after the last cocaine injection. Moreover, the enhancement in locomotor sensitization was paralleled by a selective increase in the number of the c-Fos+ cells, the level of CRFR1 mRNA in the ventromedial caudate putamen (vmCPu). Furthermore, the enhancement was significantly attenuated by CRFR1 antagonist NBI-27914 into the vmCPu, implying that the up-regulation of CRFR1 in the vmCPu seems to be critical in the acute stress-enhanced expression of cocaine locomotor sensitization. The findings demonstrate that the long-term effect of acute stress on the expression of cocaine locomotor sensitization is partially mediated by CRFR1 in the vmCPu.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0028390817301806

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