Send to

Choose Destination
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Oct 12;363(1507):3223-32. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0092.

Review. Positron emission tomography imaging studies of dopamine receptors in primate models of addiction.

Author information

Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, 546 NRC, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1083, USA.


Animal models have provided valuable information related to trait and state variables associated with vulnerability to drug addiction. Our brain imaging studies in monkeys have implicated D2 receptors in cocaine addiction. For example, an inverse relationship between D2 receptor availability and rates of cocaine self-administration has been documented. Moreover, environmental variables, such as those associated with formation of the social hierarchy, can impact receptor availability and sensitivity to the abuse-related effects of cocaine. Similarly, both D2 receptor availability and cocaine self-administration can be altered by chronic drug administration and fluctuations in hormone levels. In addition, cocaine self-administration can be altered in an orderly fashion by presentation of an acute stressor, such as acting as an intruder into an unfamiliar social group, which can shift the cocaine dose-response curve to the left in subordinate monkeys and to the right in dominant animals, suggesting an interaction between social variables and acute stressors. Conversely, irrespective of social rank, acute environmental enrichment, such as increasing the size of the living space, shifts the cocaine dose-response curve to the right. These findings highlight a pervasive influence of the environment in modifying the reinforcing effects of cocaine and strongly implicate brain D2 receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center