Ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonism attenuates cue-induced cocaine seeking

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2006 Apr;31(4):778-86. doi: 10.1038/sj.npp.1300845.


Neuroanatomical and pharmacological evidence implicates glutamate transmission in drug-environment conditioning that partly controls drug seeking and relapse. Glutamate receptors could be targets for pharmacological attenuation of the motivational properties of drug-paired cues and for relapse prevention. The purpose of the present study was therefore to investigate the involvement of ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptor subtypes in cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. Rats were trained to self-administer cocaine using a second-order schedule of reinforcement (FR4(FR5:S)) under which a compound stimulus (light and tone) associated with cocaine infusions was presented contingently. Following extinction, the effects of the competitive NMDA receptor antagonist CGP 39551 (0, 2.5, 5, 10 mg/kg intraperitoneally (i.p.)), two competitive AMPA/kainate antagonists, CNQX (0, 0.75, 1.5, 3 mg/kg i.p.) and NBQX (0, 1.25, 2.5, 5 mg/kg i.p.), the NMDA/glycine site antagonist L-701,324 (0, 0.63, 1.25, 2.5 mg/kg i.p.), and the mGluR5 antagonist MPEP (0, 1.25, 2.5, 5 mg/kg i.p.) on cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking were examined. The AMPA/kainate receptor antagonists CNQX and NBQX, the NMDA/glycine site antagonist L-701,324, and the mGluR5 antagonist MPEP attenuated significantly cue-induced reinstatement. The NMDA antagonist CGP 39551 failed to affect reinstatement. Additional control experiments indicated that attenuation of cue-induced reinstatement by CNQX, NBQX, L-701,324, and MPEP was not accompanied by significant suppression of spontaneous locomotor activity. These results suggest that conditioned influences on cocaine seeking depend on glutamate transmission. Accordingly, drugs with antagonist properties at various glutamate receptor subtypes could be useful in prevention of relapse induced by conditioned stimuli.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Cocaine / administration & dosage*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders* / psychology
  • Conditioning, Psychological / drug effects
  • Cues*
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Interactions
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Extinction, Psychological / drug effects
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Self Administration / methods


  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • Cocaine