Role of the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens in reinstating methamphetamine seeking

Eur J Neurosci. 2010 Mar;31(5):903-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07134.x. Epub 2010 Feb 17.


Although the involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex projection to the nucleus accumbens in the reinstatement of cocaine seeking has been well studied, it is not known if this projection plays a similar role in the reinstatement of cue- and methamphetamine-induced drug seeking in animals extinguished from methamphetamine self-administration. Accordingly, following extinction from long-access methamphetamine self-administration, rats were bilaterally microinjected with either a combination of the GABA agonists baclofen/muscimol or vehicle (artificial cerebrospinal fluid) into the infralimbic or prelimbic subcompartments of the medial prefrontal cortex or into the shell or core subcompartments of the nucleus accumbens. Similar to cocaine seeking, inactivation of either the prelimbic cortex or accumbens core eliminated cue- and methamphetamine-induced reinstatement, and inactivation of neither the infralimbic cortex nor shell subcompartments inhibited methamphetamine-induced drug seeking. However, in contrast to previous reports with cocaine, cue-induced reinstatement of methamphetamine seeking was inhibited by inactivation of the infralimbic cortex. In conclusion, although a primary role in reinstated drug seeking by the prelimbic and the accumbens core is similar between cocaine and methamphetamine, the recruitment of the infralimbic cortex by conditioned cues differs between these two psychostimulant drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Addictive / physiopathology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology*
  • Cocaine / pharmacology*
  • Cues
  • Male
  • Methamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / drug effects
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Self Administration
  • Substance-Related Disorders / physiopathology


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine