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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013 Jul;23(7):691-6. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2012.05.014. Epub 2012 Jun 23.

mGluR5 is necessary for maintenance of methamphetamine-induced associative learning.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Center for Compulsive Behavior and Addiction, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Conditioned place preference (CPP) reflects the significance of contextual cues that are associated with rewarding effects of abused drugs such as methamphetamine (Meth). Glutamate neurotransmission is augmented following exposure to stimulants and associated cues. Activation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR) is critical for the acquisition and expression of stimulant-induced CPP. We hypothesized that the maintenance of Meth-induced CPP would also require activated mGluR, and that the role of mGluR1 vs. mGluR5 group I subtypes may differ. To test this hypothesis, negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) of these receptors were administered following the development of Meth-induced CPP. NAMs exert their functional effects by displacing agonist from agonist-occupied receptors, thus NAMs selectively target brain regions with glutamate release. Conditioning with Meth every other day for six days resulted in significant preference for the Meth-paired compartment. Two once-daily injections of the mGluR1 NAM, JNJ16259685 (0.3mg/kg, i.p.) or its vehicle on days 13 and 14 after Meth-conditioning did not influence the maintenance of Meth-induced CPP; however, administration of the mGluR5 NAMs MTEP (3mg/kg, i.p.) and MPEP (30 mg/kg, i.p.) inhibited maintenance processes necessary for CPP to be expressed. These findings suggest a subtype-specific role of mGluR5 receptors in the maintenance of place preference memory and potential of mGluR5 NAMs as a useful target for Meth addiction therapy.

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