Rapid, transient potentiation of dendritic spines in context-induced relapse to cocaine seeking

Neringa M. Stankeviciute, Michael D. Scofield, Peter W. Kalivas, Cassandra D. Gipson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Addiction to cocaine produces long-lasting, stable changes in brain synaptic physiology that might contribute to the vulnerability to relapse. In humans, exposure to environmental contexts previously paired with drug use precipitates relapse, but the neurobiological mechanisms mediating this process are unknown. Initiation of cocaine relapse via re-exposure to a drug-associated context elicited reinstatement of cocaine seeking as well as rapid, transient synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcore), measured as an increase in dendritic spine diameter. These results show that rapid context-evoked synaptic potentiation in the NAcore may underpin relapse to cocaine use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)972-974
Number of pages3
JournalAddiction Biology
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

Keywords

  • Cocaine
  • context-induced relapse
  • dendritic spines
  • nucleus accumbens core
  • synaptic potentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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