Induction of nuclear factor-kappaB in nucleus accumbens by chronic cocaine administration

J Neurochem. 2001 Oct;79(1):221-4. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.2001.00563.x.


DeltaFosB is a Fos family transcription factor that is induced by chronic exposure to cocaine and other drugs of abuse in the nucleus accumbens and related striatal regions, brain regions that are important for the behavioral effects of these drugs. To better understand the mechanisms by which DeltaFosB contributes to the effects of chronic drug treatment, we used DNA microarray analysis to identify genes that are regulated in the nucleus accumbens upon DeltaFosB expression in inducible bitransgenic mice. One of the most highly regulated genes was that encoding a subunit of another transcription factor, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB). Subsequent experiments confirmed the induction of NF-kappaB in the nucleus accumbens of mice overexpressing DeltaFosB as well as in wild-type mice treated chronically, but not acutely, with cocaine. These results establish NF-kappaB as a putative target for DeltaFosB and implicate NF-kappaB signaling pathways in the long-term adaptations of nucleus accumbens neurons to cocaine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cocaine / administration & dosage
  • Cocaine / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression
  • I-kappa B Proteins / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • NF-kappa B / biosynthesis*
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects*
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Protein Subunits
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / physiology*


  • I-kappa B Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Protein Subunits
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos
  • Cocaine