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Behav Brain Res. 2009 Sep 14;202(2):238-44. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2009.03.039. Epub 2009 Apr 5.

Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) antagonists attenuate cocaine priming- and cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, United States.


Accumulating evidence suggests that metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are involved in both cocaine reinforcement and the reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. In the present experiments, rats were trained to self-administer cocaine under fixed ratio (for cocaine priming-induced reinstatement) or second-order (for cocaine cue-induced reinstatement) schedules of reinforcement. Lever pressing was then extinguished followed by a reinstatement phase where operant responding was promoted by either cocaine itself or cocaine-associated light cues. Results indicated that systemic administration of the mGluR5 antagonists 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine (MPEP: 1 and 3mg/kg i.p.) or 3-((2-methyl-1,3-thiazol-4-yl)ethynyl)pyridine (MTEP: 0.1 and 1mg/kg i.p.) dose-dependently attenuated reinstatement of drug seeking induced by a systemic priming injection of 10mg/kg cocaine. Systemic administration of MTEP (0.1 and 1mg/kg i.p.) also dose-dependently attenuated cocaine cue-induced reinstatement of drug seeking. Systemic administration of neither MPEP nor MTEP influenced the reinstatement of sucrose seeking, which indicates that the effects of these compounds on cocaine seeking were reinforcer specific. Additionally, administration of MPEP (1microg/0.5microl) into the nucleus accumbens shell, a brain region that plays a critical role in cocaine seeking, attenuated cocaine priming-induced reinstatement of drug seeking. These results add to a growing literature indicating that mGluR antagonists attenuate the reinstatement of cocaine seeking. Importantly, the current findings also suggest that activation of mGluR5s specifically in the nucleus accumbens shell may promote the reinstatement of cocaine seeking.

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