Cell Mol Neurobiol 2017 Mar 6;37(2):315-328. Epub 2016 Apr 6.
Neuroscience Research Center, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 19615-1178, Tehran, Iran.
Glutamate receptors in mesolimbic areas such as the nucleus accumbens, ventral tegmental area, prefrontal cortex (PFC), and hippocampus (HIP) are a component of the mechanisms of drug-induced reward and can modulate the firing pattern of dopaminergic neurons in the reward system. In addition, several lines of study have indicated that cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and c-fos have important role in morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) induced by drugs of abuse, such as morphine, cocaine, nicotine, and alcohol. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated the changes in phosphorylated CREB (p-CREB) and c-fos induction within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), HIP, and PFC after intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of different doses of CNQX or vehicle during extinction period or reinstatement of morphine-induced CPP. In all groups, the CPP procedure was done; afterward, the conditioning scores were recorded by Ethovision software. After behavioral test recording, we dissected out the NAc, HIP, and PFC regions and measured the p-CREB/CREB ratio and c-fos level by Western blot analysis. Our results showed that administration of CNQX significantly shortened the extinction of morphine CPP. Besides, ICV microinjection of CNQX following extinction period decreased the reinstatement of morphine CPP in extinguished rats. In molecular section, in treatment group, all mentioned factors were dose-dependently decreased in comparison with vehicle group (DMSO) after ICV microinjection of different doses of CNQX but not in pre-extinction microinjection. These findings suggested that antagonism of AMPA receptor decreased p-CREB/CREB ratio and c-fos level in the PFC, NAc, and HIP. Modulation of the drug memory reconsolidation may be useful for faster extinction of drug-induced reward and attenuation of drug-seeking behavior.