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Exp Neurobiol. 2013 Sep;22(3):224-31. doi: 10.5607/en.2013.22.3.224. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

Cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization in mice: effects of microinjection of dopamine d2 receptor antagonist into the nucleus accumbens.

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Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Department of Life Sciences, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Korea.


To determine the role of dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core in cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization, D2R antagonist, raclopride was bilaterally microinjected (2.5 or 5 nmol) into the NAc core of WT and D2R(-/-) mice and the initiation and expression phase of cocaine-mediated locomotor sensitization were analyzed. WT and D2R knockout (D2R(-/-)) mice received bilateral injections of either saline, or raclopride at the NAc core 30 min before each of five daily repeated injections of saline or cocaine (15 mg/kg i.p.). Following 2 weeks of withdrawal after repeated exposure to cocaine, the animals were pre-treated with an intra-accumbal injection of vehicle or raclopride before receiving a systemic cocaine challenge for the expression of sensitization. Animals which had been microinjected raclopride into NAc core displayed the enhancement of cocaine-induced behavioral response for the initiation but also for the expression of sensitization in WT as well as in D2R(-/-) mice, which was thus unaltered as compared to vehicle-injected control group. These results suggest that D2R in NAc core is not involved in cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization.


addiction; behavioral sensitization; cocaine; dopamine receptor; nucleus accumbens

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