Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 within nucleus accumbens shell modulates environment-elicited cocaine conditioning expression

Arlene Martínez-Rivera, Enrique Rodríguez-Borrero, María Matías-Alemán, Alexandra Montalvo-Acevedo, Kathleen Guerrero-Figuereo, Liz J. Febo-Rodríguez, Amarilys Morales-Rivera, Carmen S. Maldonado-Vlaar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The metabotropic glutamate receptors 5 (mGluRs5) within the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) have been implicated in the modulation of psychostimulant reward. We hypothesized that blockade of mGluR5 within the NAc shell would impair cocaine conditioning in rats. For this study, animals were implanted with cannulae within the NAc shell, and separate groups were exposed to a multimodal environment within activity chambers that signaled cocaine (cocaine-paired) or saline (controls, cocaine-unpaired) injections. Prior to placing the animals in the chambers, rats received systemic intraperitoneal injections of saline or cocaine for 10 consecutive sessions. In the test session (D12), animals were exposed to the multimodal environment without any cocaine or saline pre-treatment. Before placing the rats in the chambers, separate groups of animals were infused within the NAc shell with 2.5, 12 or 25 nmol/0.5 μl/side of 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl) pyridine (MPEP), an antagonist of mGluR5 or with vehicle. Blockade of the mGluR5 subtype at a 2.5 nmol dose showed no significant difference in either the ambulatory distance (AD) or the vertical plane move time (VPT). In contrast, mGluR5 blockade at 12 nmol and 25 nmol decreased conditioned locomotion in the cocaine-paired groups. An association of the environmental cues with the effects of cocaine implies the involvement of memory process during the conditioning response. Our results suggest that mGluR5 within the NAc shell could be modulating the expression of memory related to the association of environmental cues with the effects of cocaine. We suggest that mGluR5 could be taking into account to further studies related with cocaine exposure and cocaine addiction treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-160
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cocaine
  • Conditioned locomotion
  • Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5)
  • Nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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