Enhanced CREB phosphorylation and changes in c-Fos and FRA expression in striatum accompany amphetamine sensitization

Brain Res. 1997 Feb 21;749(1):120-6. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(96)01316-9.


Expression in striatum of c-Fos, a 35 kDa Fos-related antigen (FRA) and the phosphorylated form of cyclic AMP response element binding protein (phosphoCREB) was assessed using Western blots in rats that developed behavioral sensitization following repeated amphetamine administration. Treatment with d-amphetamine (5 mg/kg) for 5 consecutive days produced behavioral sensitization. Similar to previous observations using chronic cocaine administration, amphetamine sensitized animals had decreased c-Fos and increased FRA proteins in striatum. Supershift analysis with antisera to c-Fos and FRA proteins demonstrated that 4-Fos and the 35 kDa FRA are components of the striatal AP-1 binding complex from sensitized rats. Thus, amphetamine sensitization is accompanied by alterations in the composition of the AP-1 DNA binding complex. An increased amount of phosphoCREB protein was also present in the striatum of amphetamine sensitized rats. These results suggest that alterations in Fos, FRA and CREB transcription factors are common neuronal responses to chronic psychostimulant administration and may contribute to regulation of genes important to the neuroplastic changes underlying psychostimulant sensitization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activating Transcription Factor 2
  • Amphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Antigens / biosynthesis*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Blotting, Western
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology*
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / metabolism*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neostriatum / drug effects
  • Neostriatum / metabolism*
  • Oligonucleotides / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / biosynthesis*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / immunology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / biosynthesis
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Activating Transcription Factor 2
  • Antigens
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • Oligonucleotides
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • Transcription Factors
  • Amphetamine