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In this study, we examined the ability of post-training injections of cocaine to facilitate spatial memory performance using the Morris water maze (MWM). We also investigated the role that hippocampal protein kinase A (PKA) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK) signaling may play in cocaine-mediated spatial memory consolidation processes. Male(More)
The transcription factor deltaFosB (DeltaFosB), induced in nucleus accumbens (NAc) by chronic exposure to drugs of abuse, has been shown to mediate sensitized responses to these drugs. However, less is known about a role for DeltaFosB in regulating responses to natural rewards. Here, we demonstrate that two powerful natural reward behaviors, sucrose(More)
There is a rise in the concurrent use of methylphenidate (MPH) and fluoxetine (FLX) in pediatric populations. However, the long-term neurobiological consequences of combined MPH and FLX treatment (MPH + FLX) during juvenile periods are unknown. We administered saline (VEH), MPH, FLX, or MPH + FLX to juvenile Sprague Dawley male rats from postnatal day 20 to(More)
BACKGROUND Fluoxetine (FLX), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, is prescribed for the treatment of major depressive disorder in young populations. Here, we explore the short- and long-term consequences of adolescent exposure to FLX on behavioral reactivity to emotion-eliciting stimuli. METHODS Adolescent male rats received FLX (10 mg/kg) twice(More)
BACKGROUND Major depressive disorder afflicts up to 10% of adolescents. However, nearly 50% of those afflicted are considered nonresponsive to available treatments. Ketamine, a noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist has shown potential as a rapid-acting and long-lasting treatment for major depressive disorder in adults. Thus, the(More)
Neurotrophic factors and their signaling pathways have been implicated in the neurobiological adaptations in response to stress and the regulation of mood-related behaviors. A candidate signaling molecule implicated in mediating these cellular responses is the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2), although its functional role in mood regulation(More)
Methylphenidate (MPH) is commonly prescribed in childhood and adolescence for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders. In rodents, MPH exposure during preadolescence (postnatal days (PD) 20-35) causes decreased sensitivity to drug and natural rewards, while enhancing a negative emotional state characterized by increased sensitivity to(More)
Chronic exposure to cocaine increases the activity of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a neural substrate for drugs of abuse. However, the functional significance of changes in ERK1/2 activity in this brain region is unknown. Using herpes simplex virus-mediated gene transfer to regulate ERK2 activity within(More)
Enhanced glutamatergic transmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a region critical for reward and motivation, has been implicated in the pathophysiology of depression; however, the afferent source of this increased glutamate tone is not known. The NAc receives glutamatergic inputs from the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), ventral hippocampus (vHIP) and(More)
BACKGROUND It is well known that exposure to severe stress increases the risk for developing mood disorders. However, most chronic stress models in rodents involve at least some form of physically experiencing traumatic events. METHODS This study assessed the effects of a novel social stress paradigm that is insulated from the effects of physical stress.(More)