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    Memories of learned associations between the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse and environmental cues contribute to craving and relapse in humans. Disruption of reconsolidation dampens or even erases previous memories. Dopamine (DA) mediates the acquisition of reward memory and drugs of abuse can pathologically change related neuronal circuits in the mesolimbic DA system. Previous studies showed that DA D3 receptors are involved in cocaine-conditioned place preference (CPP) and reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. However, the role of D3 receptors in reconsolidation of cocaine-induced reward memory remains unclear. In the present study, we combined genetic and pharmacological approaches to investigate the role of D3 receptors in reconsolidation of cocaine-induced CPP. We found that the mutation of the D3 receptor gene weakened reconsolidation of cocaine-induced CPP in mice triggered by a 3-min (min) retrieval. Furthermore, treatment of a selective D3 receptor antagonist PG01037 immediately following the 3-min retrieval disrupted reconsolidation of cocaine-induced CPP in wild-type mice and such disruption remained at least 1 week after the 3-min retrieval. These results suggest that D3 receptors play a key role in reconsolidation of cocaine-induced CPP in mice, and that pharmacological blockade of these receptors may be therapeutic for the treatment of cocaine craving and relapse in clinical settings. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Y Yan, H Kong, E J Wu, A H Newman, M Xu. Dopamine D3 receptors regulate reconsolidation of cocaine memory. Neuroscience. 2013 Jun 25;241:32-40

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    PMID: 23506736

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