Silent synapses in selectively activated nucleus accumbens neurons following cocaine sensitization

Koya, Eisuke, Cruz, Fabio C, Ator, Robert, Golden, Sam A, Hoffman, Alexander F, Lupica, Carl R and Hope, Bruce T (2012) Silent synapses in selectively activated nucleus accumbens neurons following cocaine sensitization. Nature Neuroscience, 15 (11). pp. 1556-1562. ISSN 1097-6256

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Cocaine-induced alterations in synaptic glutamate function in nucleus accumbens are thought to mediate drug-related behaviors such as psychomotor sensitization. However, previous studies have examined global alterations in randomly selected accumbens neurons regardless of their activation state during cocaine-induced behavior. We recently found that a minority of strongly activated Fos-expressing accumbens neurons are necessary for cocaine-induced psychomotor sensitization, whereas the majority of accumbens neurons are less directly involved. We assessed synaptic alterations in these strongly activated accumbens neurons in Fos-GFP mice, which express a fusion protein of Fos and GFP in strongly activated neurons, and compared these alterations with those in surrounding non-activated neurons. Cocaine sensitization produced higher levels of 'silent synapses', which contained functional NMDA receptors and nonfunctional AMPA receptors only in GFP-positive neurons, 6–11 d after sensitization. Thus, distinct synaptic alterations are induced in the most strongly activated accumbens neurons that mediate psychomotor sensitization

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2012 14:18
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2012 14:18
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