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Nat Neurosci. 2011 Apr;14(4):420-2. doi: 10.1038/nn.2758. Epub 2011 Feb 20.

Ventral medial prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles mediate context-induced relapse to heroin.

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1
Behavioral Neuroscience Branch, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, US National Institutes of Health/Department of Health and Human Services, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

In a rat model of context-induced relapse to heroin, we identified sparsely distributed ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) neurons that were activated by the heroin-associated context. Selective pharmacogenetic inactivation of these neurons inhibited context-induced drug relapse. A small subset of ventral mPFC neurons formed neuronal ensembles that encode the learned associations between heroin reward and heroin-associated contexts; re-activation of these neuronal ensembles by drug-associated contexts during abstinence provoked drug relapse.

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PMID:
21336273
PMCID:
PMC3077927
DOI:
10.1038/nn.2758
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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