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A central feature of drugs of abuse is to induce gene expression in discrete brain structures that are critically involved in behavioral responses related to addictive processes. Although extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) has been implicated in several neurobiological processes, including neuronal plasticity, its role in drug addiction remains(More)
Many drugs of abuse exert their addictive effects by increasing extracellular dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, where they likely alter the plasticity of corticostriatal glutamatergic transmission. This mechanism implies key molecular alterations in neurons in which both dopamine and glutamate inputs are activated. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase(More)
BACKGROUND Activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in the striatum is crucial for long-term behavioral alterations induced by drugs of abuse. In response to cocaine, ERK phosphorylation (i.e., activation) is restricted to medium-sized spiny neurons expressing dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) and depends on a concomitant stimulation of D1R(More)
The mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MAPK/ERK) signaling cascade contributes to synaptic plasticity and to long-term memory formation, yet whether MAPK/ERK controls activity-dependent gene expression critical for long-lasting changes at the synapse and what the events underlying transduction of the signal are remain(More)
Drug addiction results in part from the distortion of dopamine-controlled plasticity, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) plays an important role in the underlying molecular mechanisms of this process. ERK is activated by drugs of abuse in a subset of neurons in reward-related brain regions. This activation, necessary for the expression of(More)
Activity-dependent changes in neuronal structure and synaptic remodeling depend critically on gene regulation. In an attempt to understand how glutamate receptor stimulation at the membrane leads to gene regulation in the nucleus, we traced intracellular signaling pathways targeting DNA regulatory elements of immediate early genes (IEGs). For this purpose(More)
In cell culture systems, the TCF Elk-1 represents a convergence point for extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase/stress-activated protein kinase (JNK/SAPK) subclasses of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades. Its phosphorylation strongly potentiates its ability to activate transcription of the c-fos promoter through(More)
A major goal of research on addiction is to identify the molecular mechanisms of long-lasting behavioural alterations induced by drugs of abuse. Cocaine and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) activate extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in the striatum and blockade of the ERK pathway prevents establishment of conditioned place preference to these(More)
Although the induction of persistent behavioral alterations by drugs of abuse requires the regulation of gene transcription, the precise intracellular signaling pathways that are involved remain mainly unknown. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) is critical for the expression of immediate-early genes in the striatum in response to cocaine and(More)
Behavioural and pharmacological effects of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and nicotine are well known. However, the possible interactions between these two drugs of abuse remain unclear in spite of the current association of cannabis and tobacco in humans. The present study was designed to analyse the consequences of nicotine administration on(More)