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Brain Res. 1996 Aug 26;731(1-2):31-8.

Effects of dopaminergic and glutamatergic receptor antagonists on the establishment and expression of conditioned locomotion to cocaine in rats.

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Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy.


A series of experiments were conducted to investigate the role of dopaminergic D1 and D2 and glutamatergic NMDA and AMPA/kainate receptors on the establishment and expression of cocaine-induced conditioned locomotion in rats. In the first experiment conditioned locomotion was demonstrated by testing the animals in an environment previously associated with 15 mg/kg i.p. cocaine. The D2-receptor antagonist (-)-sulpiride (50 and 100 mg/kg i.p.) administered before cocaine during the conditioning phase did not modify the establishment of conditioned locomotion whereas when administered before testing only at the higher dose it partially reduced rats' locomotion in the absence of cocaine (expression). At the higher dose (0.1 mg/kg i.p.) the D1-receptor antagonist SCH 23390 attenuated the expression of cocaine-induced conditioned locomotion whereas the lower dose (0.03 mg/kg i.p.) had no effect. Both doses of the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 (0.125 and 0.25 mg/kg i.p.) blocked the development of cocaine-induced conditioned locomotion but neither dose, when administered before testing, modified locomotion in the absence of cocaine. Both doses of the AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist DNQX administered intracerebroventricularly (1 and 3 micrograms/rat) blocked cocaine-induced conditioned locomotion when given before cocaine during conditioning but when given before testing only the higher dose attenuated the conditioned activity. The results confirm the importance of the interaction between glutamatergic and dopaminergic systems for the conditional factors maintaining drug seeking behaviour. The findings may have implications for the treatment of cocaine craving and relapse.

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