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Science. 1996 Mar 15;271(5255):1586-9.

Opposite modulation of cocaine-seeking behavior by D1- and D2-like dopamine receptor agonists.

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Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, 06508, USA.


Activation of the mesolimbic dopamine system is known to trigger relapse in animal models of cocaine-seeking behavior. We found that this "priming" effect was selectively induced by D2-like, and not by D1-like, dopamine receptor agonists in rats. Moreover, D1-like receptor agonists prevented cocaine-seeking behavior induced by cocaine itself, whereas D2-like receptor agonists enhanced this behavior. These results demonstrate an important dissociation between D1- and D2-like receptor processes in cocaine-seeking behavior and support further evaluation of D1-like receptor agonists as a possible pharmacotherapy for cocaine addiction.

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