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17/03/2014 | Neuropsychopharmacology   IF 7.2
Frequency of Cocaine Self-Administration Influences Drug Seeking in the Rat: Optogenetic Evidence for a Role of the Prelimbic Cortex.
Martin-Garcia E, Courtin J, Renault P, Fiancette JF, Wurtz H, Simonnet A, Levet F, Herry C, Deroche-Gamonet V

High-frequency intake and high drug-induced seeking are associated with cocaine addiction in both human and animals. However, their relationships and neurobiological underpinnings remain hypothetical. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), basolateral amygdala (BLA), and nucleus accumbens (NAc) have been shown to have a role in cocaine seeking. However, their involvement in regulating high-frequency intake and high cocaine-induced seeking is unclear. We manipulated frequency of cocaine self-administration and investigated whether it influenced cocaine seeking. The contribution of the aforementioned structures was evaluated using changes in expression of the immediate early gene c-Fos and targeted optogenetic manipulations. Rats that self-administered at High frequency (short inter-infusion intervals allowed by short time-out) showed higher cocaine-induced seeking than low frequency rats (long inter-infusions intervals imposed by long time-out), as measured with cocaine-induced reinstatement. c-Fos was enhanced in High frequency rats in the prelimbic (PL) and infralimbic (IL) areas of the mPFC, the BLA, and the NAc core and shell. Correlational analysis of c-Fos revealed that the PL was a critical node strongly correlated with both the IL and NAc core in High frequency rats. Targeted optogenetic inactivation of the PL decreased cocaine-induced reinstatement, but increased cocaine self-administration, in High frequency rats. In contrast, optogenetic activation of the PL had no effect on Low frequency rats. Thus, high-frequency intake promotes a PL-dependent control of cocaine seeking, with the PL exerting a facilitatory or inhibitory effect, depending on operant contingencies. Individual differences in cocaine-induced PL activation might be a source of vulnerability for poorly controlled cocaine-induced seeking and/or cocaine intake.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 16 April 2014; doi:10.1038/npp.2014.66.

Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors control the motivational properties and reinforcing effects of nicotine. Indeed, peripheral administration of a CB1 receptor antagonist dramatically decreases both nicotine taking and seeking. However, the neural substrates through which the cannabinoid CB1 receptors regulate the voluntary intake of nicotine remain to be elucidated. In the present study, we sought to determine whether central injections of a CB1 receptor antagonist delivered either into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) or the nucleus accumbens (NAC) may alter nicotine intravenous self-administration (IVSA). Rats were first trained to self-administer nicotine (30 mug/kg/0.1 ml). The effect of central infusions of the CB1 antagonist AM 251 (0, 1 and 10 mug/0.5 mul/side) on nicotine-taking behavior was then tested. Intra-VTA infusions of AM 251 dose dependently reduced IVSA with a significant decrease for the dose 10 mug/0.5 mul/side. Moreover, operant responding for water was unaltered by intra-VTA AM 251 at the same dose. Surprisingly, intra-NAC delivery of AM 251 did not alter nicotine behavior at all. These data suggest that in rats chronically exposed to nicotine IVSA, the cannabinoid CB1 receptors located in the VTA rather than in the NAC specifically control nicotine reinforcement and, subsequently, nicotine-taking behavior.