Drugs of abuse cause activation of the cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Expression of active CREB in rat NAc medium spiny neurons (MSNs) increased their excitability, whereas dominant-negative CREB had the opposite effect. Decreasing excitability of NAc MSNs in vivo by overexpression of potassium channels enhanced locomotor responses to cocaine, suggesting that the increased NAc MSN excitability caused by CREB helped to limit behavioral sensitivity to cocaine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Neuroscience