Lack of β2-AR Increases Anxiety-Like Behaviors and Rewarding Properties of Cocaine.

Front Behav Neurosci 2017 13;11:49. Epub 2017 Mar 13.

State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences and the Institutes of Brain Science, Collaborative Innovation Center for Brain Science, Fudan University Shanghai, China.

It is well known that β-adrenoceptors (β-ARs) play a critical role in emotional arousal and stressful events, but the specific contributions of the β2-AR subtype to the psychological disorders are largely unknown. To investigate whether β2-AR are involved in anxiety-like behavior and reward to addictive drugs, we conducted a series of behavioral tests on β2-AR knock-out (KO) mice. β2-AR KO mice exhibited increased preference for the dark compartment and closed arm in tests of Light/Dark box and elevated plus maze, indicating that β2-AR deletion elevates level of anxiety or innate fear. β2-AR KO mice also showed decreased immobility in tail suspension test (TST), suggesting that β2-AR deletion inhibits depression-like behavior. Interestingly, β2-AR ablation did not change basal locomotion but significantly increased locomotor activity induced by acute cocaine administration. β2-AR KO mice showed enhanced place preference for cocaine, which could be attenuated by β1-selective AR antagonist betaxolol. Consistently, β2-AR agonist suppressed cocaine-conditioned place preference (CPP). These data indicate that β2-AR deletion enhances acute response and reward to cocaine. Our results suggest that β2-AR regulates anxiety level, depression-like behavior and hedonic properties of cocaine, implicating that β2-AR are the potential targets for the treatment of emotional disorders and cocaine addiction.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00049DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5346996PMC
March 2017
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