Dopamine D3 receptors in the basolateral amygdala and the lateral habenula modulate cue-induced reinstatement of nicotine seeking

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 Dec;39(13):3049-58. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.158. Epub 2014 Jul 7.


Dopamine D3 receptors are implicated in cue-induced relapse to drug seeking. We have previously shown that systemic administration of a selective D3 antagonist reduces cue-induced reinstatement of nicotine seeking in rats. The current study sought to investigate potential neural substrates mediating this effect. The D3 antagonist SB-277011-A (0.01-1 μg/0.5 μl/side) infused into the basolateral amygdala or the lateral habenula, but not the nucleus accumbens, significantly attenuated cue-induced reinstatement of nicotine seeking. Moreover, infusion of SB-277011-A (1 μg/0.5 μl/side) into the basolateral amygdala or lateral habenula had no effect on food self-administration. Together with the finding that systemic SB-277011-A had no effect on extinction responding, this suggests that the effects observed here were on reinstatement and cue seeking, and not due to nonspecific motor activation or contextual-modified residual responding. The further finding of binding of [(125)I]7-OH-PIPAT to D3 receptors in the lateral habenula and in the basolateral amygdala is consistent with an important role of D3 receptors in these areas in nicotine seeking. It was also found that systemic administration of the selective D2 antagonist L741626 decreased cue-induced reinstatement, consistent with a role of D2 and D3 receptors in modulating this behavior. The current study supports an important role for D3 receptors in the basolateral amygdala and lateral habenula in cue-induced reinstatement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Basolateral Nuclear Complex / drug effects*
  • Basolateral Nuclear Complex / metabolism
  • Conditioning, Operant / drug effects
  • Cues*
  • Dopamine Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Drug-Seeking Behavior / drug effects*
  • Extinction, Psychological / drug effects
  • Habenula / drug effects*
  • Habenula / metabolism
  • Indoles / pharmacology
  • Iodine Isotopes / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Nicotinic Agonists / administration & dosage*
  • Nitriles / pharmacology
  • Piperidines / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Receptors, Dopamine D3 / metabolism*
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*
  • Self Administration
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines / pharmacology
  • Tetrahydronaphthalenes / pharmacokinetics


  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Indoles
  • Iodine Isotopes
  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Nitriles
  • Piperidines
  • Receptors, Dopamine D3
  • SB 277011
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines
  • Tetrahydronaphthalenes
  • 7-hydroxy-2-(N-n-propyl-N-(3-iodo-2'-propenyl)-amino)tetralin
  • Nicotine
  • 3-(4-(4-chlorophenyl-4-hydroxypiperidino)methyl)indole