LSP2-9166, an orthosteric mGlu4 and mGlu7 receptor agonist, reduces cocaine self-administration under a progressive ratio schedule in rats

Neurosci Lett. 2021 Nov 1;764:135603. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2020.135603. Epub 2020 Dec 30.


Cocaine addiction is a serious health issue in Western countries. Despite the regular increase in cocaine consumption across the population, there is no specific treatment for cocaine addiction. Critical roles for glutamate neurotransmission in the rewarding effects of psychostimulants as well as relapse have been suggested and accumulating evidence indicates that targeting mGlu group III receptors could represent a promising strategy to develop therapeutic compounds to treat addiction. In this context, the aim of our study was to examine the effect of LSP2-9166, a mGlu4/mGlu7 receptor orthosteric agonist, on the motivation for cocaine intake. We used an intravenous self-administration paradigm in male Wistar rats as a reliable model of voluntary drug intake. We first evaluated the direct impact of cocaine on Grm4 and Grm7 gene expression. Voluntary cocaine intake under a fixed ratio schedule of injections induced an increase of both mGlu4 and mGlu7 receptor transcripts in nucleus accumbens and hippocampus. We then evaluated the ability of LSP2-9166 to affect cocaine self-administration under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. We found that this compound inhibits the motivation to obtain the drug, although it induced a hypolocomotor effect which could biais motivation index. Our findings demonstrate that mGlu group III receptors represent new targets for decreasing motivation to self-administer cocaine.

Keywords: Cocaine; Grm4; Grm7; LSP2-9166; Motivation; Operant self-administration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Aminobutyrates / pharmacology*
  • Aminobutyrates / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Cocaine / administration & dosage
  • Cocaine / adverse effects
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / agonists*
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / metabolism
  • Reinforcement, Psychology
  • Self Administration
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects


  • Aminobutyrates
  • LSP2-9166
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 7
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Cocaine
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 4