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Addictive drugs hijack mechanisms of learning and memory that normally underlie reinforcement of natural rewards and induce synaptic plasticity of glutamatergic transmission in the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system. In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a single exposure to cocaine efficiently triggers NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in DA neurons,(More)
Cocaine strengthens excitatory synapses onto midbrain dopamine neurons through the synaptic delivery of GluR1-containing AMPA receptors. This cocaine-evoked plasticity depends on NMDA receptor activation, but its behavioral significance in the context of addiction remains elusive. Here, we generated mice lacking the GluR1, GluR2, or NR1 receptor subunits(More)
The mesolimbic dopaminergic system has been implicated in mediating the motivational effects of opioids and other drugs of abuse. The site of action of opioids within this system and the role of endogenous opioid peptides in modulating dopamine activity therein remain unknown. Employing the technique of in vivo microdialysis and the administration of highly(More)
A fundamental function of the brain is to evaluate the emotional and motivational significance of stimuli and to adapt behaviour accordingly. The IMAGEN study is the first multicentre genetic-neuroimaging study aimed at identifying the genetic and neurobiological basis of individual variability in impulsivity, reinforcer sensitivity and emotional(More)
Negative cognitive bias-the tendency to interpret ambiguous situations pessimistically-is a central feature of stress-related disorders such as depression. The underlying neurobiology of this bias, however, remains unclear, not least because of a lack of translational tools. We established a new ambiguous-cue interpretation paradigm and, with respect to the(More)
In order to develop a model for a depression-like syndrome in mice, we subjected male C57BL/6 mice to a 4-week-long chronic stress procedure, consisting of rat exposure, restraint stress, and tail suspension. This protocol resulted in a strong decrease in sucrose preference, a putative indicator of anhedonia in rodents. Interestingly, predisposition for(More)
Some psychoactive drugs are abused because of their ability to act as reinforcers. As a consequence behavioural patterns (such as drug-seeking/drug-taking behaviours) are promoted that ensure further drug consumption. After prolonged drug self-administration, some individuals lose control over their behaviour so that these drug-seeking/taking behaviours(More)
Investigations using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster have shown that the circadian clock gene period (Per) can influence behavioral responses to cocaine. Here we show that the mouse homologues of the Drosophila Per gene, mPer1 and mPer2, modulate cocaine sensitization and reward, two phenomena extensively studied in humans and animals because of their(More)
A key deficit in alcohol dependence is disrupted prefrontal function leading to excessive alcohol seeking, but the molecular events underlying the emergence of addictive responses remain unknown. Here we show by convergent transcriptome analysis that the pyramidal neurons of the infralimbic cortex are particularly vulnerable for the long-term effects of(More)
Period (Per) genes are involved in regulation of the circadian clock and are thought to modulate several brain functions. We demonstrate that Per2(Brdm1) mutant mice, which have a deletion in the PAS domain of the Per2 protein, show alterations in the glutamatergic system. Lowered expression of the glutamate transporter Eaat1 is observed in these animals,(More)