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eNeuro. 2017 Dec 21;4(6). pii: ENEURO.0378-17.2017. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0378-17.2017. eCollection 2017 Nov-Dec.

Boosting of Thalamic D2 Dopaminergic Transmission: A Potential Strategy for Drug-Seeking Attenuation.

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McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center, 6431 Fannin Street, Room 7.166, Houston, TX 77030.
Departments of Oral Biology and Psychiatry, Colleges of Dentistry and Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0W2, Canada.


This commentary focuses on novel findings by Clark et al. (2017) published in eNeuro, which show that dopamine D2 receptors (D2Rs) in the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT) are involved in cocaine sensitization. We extend the discussion on how their findings contribute to our understanding of the role of the PVT in drug seeking by providing new insight on the role of the PVT in the regulation of food-seeking and fear responses. We also consider the significance of the neuroanatomical findings reported by Clark et al., that the PVT is reciprocally connected with areas of the brain involved in addiction and discuss the implications associated with the source and type of dopaminergic fibers innervating this area of the thalamus.


cocaine; dopamine; food seeking; nucleus accumbens; paraventricular thalamus; prefrontal cortex

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