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J Neurochem. 2001 Apr;77(2):542-9.

Chronic cocaine-mediated changes in non-human primate nucleus accumbens gene expression.

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Center for the Neurobiological Investigation of Drug Abuse, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA.


Chronic cocaine use elicits changes in the pattern of gene expression within reinforcement-related, dopaminergic regions. cDNA hybridization arrays were used to illuminate cocaine-regulated genes in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) of non-human primates (Macaca fascicularis; cynomolgus macaque), treated daily with escalating doses of cocaine over one year. Changes seen in mRNA levels by hybridization array analysis were confirmed at the level of protein (via specific immunoblots). Significantly up-regulated genes included: protein kinase A alpha catalytic subunit (PKA(calpha)); cell adhesion tyrosine kinase beta (PYK2); mitogen activated protein kinase kinase 1 (MEK1); and beta-catenin. While some of these changes exist in previously described cocaine-responsive models, others are novel to any model of cocaine use. All of these adaptive responses coexist within a signaling scheme that could account for known inductions of genes(e.g. fos and jun proteins, and cyclic AMP response element binding protein) previously shown to be relevant to cocaine's behavioral actions. The complete data set from this experiment has been posted to the newly created Drug and Alcohol Abuse Array Data Consortium ( for mining by the general research community.

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