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Neuron. 2010 Jul 15;67(1):11-24. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.06.004.

AMPA receptor synaptic plasticity induced by psychostimulants: the past, present, and therapeutic future.

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1
Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, VCU Psychiatry, Richmond, VA 23284, USA.

Abstract

Experience-dependent plasticity at excitatory synapses of the mesocorticolimbic system is a fundamental brain mechanism that enables adaptation to an ever-changing environment. These synaptic responses are critical for the planning and execution of adaptive behaviors that maximize survival. The mesocorticolimbic system mediates procurement of positive reinforcers such as food and sex; however, drugs of abuse resculpt this crucial circuitry to promote compulsive drug-seeking behavior. This review will discuss the long-term changes in glutamatergic neurotransmission that occur within the mesolimbic system following cocaine exposure. In addition, we will examine how these long-lasting neuroadaptations may drive the pathology of psychostimulant addiction. Finally, we review clinical trials that highlight antagonists at excitatory AMPA receptors as promising targets against cocaine abuse.

PMID:
20624588
PMCID:
PMC2904302
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2010.06.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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