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Neuron. 1996 Jul;17(1):147-56.

Network-level changes in expression of inducible Fos-Jun proteins in the striatum during chronic cocaine treatment and withdrawal.

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Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.


Repeated exposure to psychomotor stimulants produce long-term changes in behavior ranging from addiction to behavioral sensitization. Many of these behaviors depend on the nigrostriatal system of the basal ganglia. We show here that chronic cocaine exposure not only leads to time-varying alterations in the inducibility of bZIP transcription factors in individual striatal neurons, but also to long-lasting network changes in which ensembles of striatal neurons express these proteins. These network-level adaptations suggest that the behavioral sensitization induced by repeated psychomotor stimulant exposure may reflect an enduring functional reorganization of basal ganglia circuits.

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