Cocaine addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease characterized by an inability to regulate drug-seeking behavior. Here we investigated the role of mGluR5 in the ventral and dorsal striatum in regulating cocaine-seeking following both abstinence and extinction. Animals underwent 2 weeks of cocaine self-administration followed by 3 weeks of home-cage abstinence. Animals were then reintroduced to the operant chamber for a context-induced relapse test, followed by 7-10 days of extinction training. Once responding was extinguished, cue-primed reinstatement test was conducted. Both drug-seeking tests were conducted in the presence of either mGluR5 negative allosteric modulator, MTEP or vehicle infused into either the nucleus accumbens (NA) core or dorsolateral striatum (dSTR). We found that MTEP infused in the NA core attenuated both context-induced relapse following abstinence and cue-primed reinstatement following extinction training. Blocking dSTR mGluR5 had no effect on context- or cue-induced cocaine-seeking. However, the intra-dSTR MTEP infusion on the context-induced relapse test day attenuated extinction learning for 4 days after the infusion. Furthermore, mGluR5 surface expression was reduced and LTD was absent in dSTR slices of animals undergoing 3 weeks of abstinence from cocaine but not sucrose self-administration. LTD was restored by bath application of VU-29, a positive allosteric modulator of mGluR5. Bath application of MTEP prevented the induction of LTD in dSTR slices from sucrose animals. Taken together, this data indicates that dSTR mGluR5 plays an essential role in extinction learning but not cocaine relapse, while NA core mGluR5 modulates drug-seeking following both extinction and abstinence from cocaine self-administration.
Keywords: Abstinence; cocaine; dorsal striatum; extinction; long-term depression; mGluR5; nucleus accumbens; surface expression.
© 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction.