Long-Term Potentiation (LTP) in the Central Amygdala (CeA) is enhanced after prolonged withdrawal from chronic cocaine and requires CRF1 receptors

Yu Fu, Sebastian Pollandt, Jie Liu, Balaji Krishnan, Kathy Genzer, Luis Orozco-Cabal, Joel P. Gallagher, Patricia Shinnick-Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


The amygdala is part of the brain reward circuitry that plays a role in cocaine-seeking and abstinence in animals and cocaine craving and relapse in humans. Cocaine-seeking is elicited by cocaine-associated cues, and the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and CeA are essential in forming and communicating drug-related associations that are thought to be critical in long-lasting relapse risk associated with drug addiction. Here we simulated a cue stimulus with high-frequency stimulation (HFS) of the BLA-CeA pathway to examine mechanisms that may contribute to drug-related associations. We found enhanced long-term potentiation (LTP) after 14-day but not 1-day withdrawal from 7-day cocaine treatment mediated through N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (NRs), Ltype voltage-gated calcium channels (L-VGCCs), and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)1 receptors; this was accompanied by increased phosphorylated NR1 and CRF1 protein not associated with changes in NMDA/AMPA ratios in amygdalae from cocaine-treated animals. We suggest that these signaling mechanisms may provide therapeutic targets for the treatment of cocaine cravings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)937-941
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

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