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Brainstem noradrenergic neurons innervate the mesocorticolimbic reward pathway both directly and indirectly, with norepinephrine facilitating dopamine (DA) neurotransmission via α1-adrenergic receptors (α1ARs). Although α1AR signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) promotes mesolimbic transmission and drug-induced behaviors, the potential contribution of(More)
Dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) mediate the behavioral and motivational effects of many drugs of abuse, including nicotine. Repeated intermittent administration of these drugs, a pattern often associated with initial drug exposure, sensitises the reactivity of dopamine (DA) neurons in this(More)
Contextual stimuli present during nicotine exposure can come to act as conditioned stimuli and have been shown to play an important role in ongoing nicotine self-administration. In the present study, we characterized the effects of contextual stimuli previously paired with non-contingent nicotine exposure injections on subsequent nicotine(More)
Previous exposure to amphetamine leads to enhanced locomotor and nucleus accumbens (NAcc) dopamine (DA) responding to the drug as well as enhanced amphetamine self-administration. Here, we investigated the effects of exposure to Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannibinol (Δ(9)-THC) on behavioral and biochemical responding to amphetamine. Rats in different groups received(More)
The effect of nicotine exposure on the subsequent self-administration of amphetamine, extinction of this behavior, and amphetamine-induced reinstatement of drug seeking was assessed with particular attention to the contribution of contextual stimuli paired or unpaired with nicotine during exposure. Rats were exposed to five injections, one injection every(More)
Amphetamine exposure transiently increases Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) α expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) shell and this persistently increases local GluA1 S831 phosphorylation and enhances behavioral responding to the drug. Here we assessed whether transiently interfering with CaMKII signaling using a dominant-negative(More)
The striatum, which receives projections from the entire cortical mantle, is highly responsive to sensorimotor activity. Because either systemic or intra-striatal injections of ascorbate (AA) influence behavior known to involve striatal circuits, it is possible that the level of striatal AA, which is known to fluctuate with behavioral activation, directly(More)
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