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A single cocaine exposure increases BDNF and D3 receptor expression: implications for drug-conditioning

Le Foll, BernardCA 2; Diaz, Jorge1; Sokoloff, Pierre


Environmental stimuli associated with a single cocaine exposure acquire long-lasting motivational properties that are able to induce relapse. We measured Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and dopamine D3 receptor (Drd3) expressions in rat brain regions that have been involved in drug-conditioning. Acute cocaine produced a transient increase in BDNF mRNA in the prefrontal cortex, associated with a long-lasting increase in drd3 mRNA, and a delayed and long-lasting increase in Drd3 protein in the nucleus accumbens. Methamphetamine and morphine, two drugs known to easily induce drug-conditioning, also markedly elevated BDNF mRNA. Nicotine had more limited effects. Abused drugs increase acutely BDNF expression, which leads to subsequent long-lasting elevation of Drd3 in the nucleus accumbens that may facilitate responding to drug-associated stimuli.

INSERM (U573), Centre Paul Broca, 75014 Paris; 1Université René Descartes, laboratoire de Physiologie, 75006 Paris, France

2Present Address: Preclinical Pharmacology Section, NIDA, NIH, 5500 Nathan Shock Drive, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

CACorresponding author:

Received 24 November 2004; accepted 7 December 2004

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.