fMRI response in the medial prefrontal cortex predicts cocaine but not sucrose self-administration history
2-[14C]deoxyglucose autoradiography was used to determine local cerebral glucose utilization (lCGU) in rats following chronic cocaine treatment and subsequent abstinence. lCGU was examined in 43 discrete brain regions in animals which had received daily injections of cocaine for 14 days (10 mg/kg) followed by 3 days of saline or bromocriptine (10 mg/kg) treatment. Cocaine abstinence following chronic treatment significantly reduced lCGU in several regions including mesocorticolimbic structures such as ventral tegmental area, medial prefrontal cortex, and nucleus accumbens (NAc). Within the NAc, however, only the rostral pole showed significant reduction. In contrast, when bromocriptine treatment accompanied abstinence, lCGU was no longer reduced in mesocorticolimbic and most other regions, implying that metabolic recovery was enhanced by bromocriptine treatment during early abstinence following chronic cocaine treatment. These data suggest that cerebral metabolism is decreased during cocaine abstinence following chronic treatment in critical brain regions, and that this alteration can be prevented by treatment with direct-acting dopamine agonists such as bromocriptine.