Michela Marinelli

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Relapse to cocaine use after prolonged abstinence is an important clinical problem. This relapse is often induced by exposure to cues associated with cocaine use. To account for the persistent propensity for relapse, it has been suggested that cue-induced cocaine craving increases over the first several weeks of abstinence and remains high for extended(More)
Prior studies revealed that aversive stimuli and psychostimulant drugs elicit Fos expression in neurons clustered above and behind the interpeduncular nucleus that project strongly to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra (SN) compacta (C). Other reports suggest that these neurons modulate responses to aversive stimuli. We now designate the(More)
The leptin hormone is critical for normal food intake and metabolism. While leptin receptor (Lepr) function has been well studied in the hypothalamus, the functional relevance of Lepr expression in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) has not been investigated. The VTA contains dopamine neurons that are important in modulating motivated behavior, addiction, and(More)
In this review we summarize data obtained from animal studies showing that glucocorticoid hormones have a facilitatory role on behavioural responses to psychostimulant drugs such as locomotor activity, self-administration and relapse. These behavioural effects of glucocorticoids involve an action on the meso-accumbens dopamine system, one of the major(More)
Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with the psychostimulant drug methylphenidate (MP) has increased dramatically among schoolchildren. We tested whether repeated exposure to moderate doses of MP (5 and 10 mg/kg IP for 5 or 7 days) in adolescent rats increased reactivity to cocaine measured by motor responses (ambulations and rearing) to a(More)
Observations suggest that corticosterone, the principal glucocorticoid hormone in the rat, can modulate the behavioral effects of drugs of abuse. In this report, the influence of corticosterone on intravenous self-administration of cocaine was studied. In the first experiment, cocaine intravenous self-administration in adrenalectomized rats and in(More)
Secretion of glucocorticoids seems to control stress-induced sensitization of the behavioral effects of drugs of abuse by acting on the mesencephalic dopaminergic transmission, the principal neural substrate of sensitization. In order to investigate the mechanisms of this interaction between glucocorticoids and dopamine, we studied the sensitization of the(More)
Following prolonged withdrawal from extended access cocaine self-administration in adult rats, high conductance Ca2+ -ermeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) accumulate in nucleus accumbens (NAc) synapses and mediate the expression of "incubated" cue-induced cocaine craving. Using patch-clamp recordings from NAc slices prepared after extended access cocaine(More)
Repeated exposures to stress sensitize motor and addictive effects of drugs of abuse. Recently, it has been shown that stress-induced behavioral sensitization depends on the secretion of glucocorticoids. We investigated if sensitization of dopamine-dependent effects of psychostimulants and opioids was influenced by glucocorticoid. Sensitization of the(More)
In order to test the hypothesis that maternal corticosterone influences hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system activity in the adult rat and behaviors related to it, we induced a moderate increase in maternal plasma level of corticosterone by adding the hormone to the drinking water of the dams (200 micrograms/ml) from the day after delivery to(More)