Overexpression of CREB in the nucleus accumbens shell increases cocaine reinforcement in self-administering rats

Erin B. Larson, Danielle L. Graham, Rose R. Arzaga, Nicole Buzin, Joseph Webb, Thomas Green, Caroline E. Bass, Rachael L. Neve, Ernest F. Terwilliger, Eric J. Nestler, David W. Self

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chronic exposure to addictive drugs enhances cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-regulated gene expression in nucleus accumbens (NAc), and these effects are thought to reduce the positive hedonic effects of passive cocaine administration. Here, we used viral-mediated gene transfer to produce short- and long-term regulation ofCREBactivity inNAcshell of rats engaging in volitional cocaine self administration. Increasing CREB expression in NAc shell markedly enhanced cocaine reinforcement of self-administration behavior, as indicated by leftward (long-term) and upward (short-term) shifts in fixed ratio dose-response curves.CREBalso increased the effort exerted by rats to obtain cocaine on more demanding progressive ratio schedules, an effect highly correlated with viral-induced modulation of BDNF protein in the NAc shell. CREB enhanced cocaine reinforcement when expressed either throughout acquisition of self-administration or when expression was limited to postacquisition tests, indicating a direct effect of CREB independent of reinforcement-related learning. Downregulating endogenous CREB in NAc shell by expressing a short hairpin RNA reduced cocaine reinforcement in similar tests, while overexpression of a dominant negative CREB S133A mutant had no significant effect on cocaine self-administration. Finally, increasing CREB expression after withdrawal from selfadministration enhanced cocaine-primed relapse, while reducing CREB levels facilitated extinction of cocaine seeking, but neither altered relapseinducedbycocaine cues or footshock stress. Together, these findings indicate thatCREBactivity inNAcshell increases the motivation for cocaine during active self-administration or after withdrawal from cocaine. Our results also highlight that volitional and passive drug administration can lead to substantially different behavioral outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16447-16457
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume31
Issue number45
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 9 2011

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Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
Nucleus Accumbens
Cocaine
Self Administration
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Pleasure
Viral Genes
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Small Interfering RNA
Cues
Motivation
Appointments and Schedules
Down-Regulation
Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Overexpression of CREB in the nucleus accumbens shell increases cocaine reinforcement in self-administering rats. / Larson, Erin B.; Graham, Danielle L.; Arzaga, Rose R.; Buzin, Nicole; Webb, Joseph; Green, Thomas; Bass, Caroline E.; Neve, Rachael L.; Terwilliger, Ernest F.; Nestler, Eric J.; Self, David W.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 31, No. 45, 09.11.2011, p. 16447-16457.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Larson, EB, Graham, DL, Arzaga, RR, Buzin, N, Webb, J, Green, T, Bass, CE, Neve, RL, Terwilliger, EF, Nestler, EJ & Self, DW 2011, 'Overexpression of CREB in the nucleus accumbens shell increases cocaine reinforcement in self-administering rats', Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 31, no. 45, pp. 16447-16457. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3070-11.2011
Larson, Erin B. ; Graham, Danielle L. ; Arzaga, Rose R. ; Buzin, Nicole ; Webb, Joseph ; Green, Thomas ; Bass, Caroline E. ; Neve, Rachael L. ; Terwilliger, Ernest F. ; Nestler, Eric J. ; Self, David W. / Overexpression of CREB in the nucleus accumbens shell increases cocaine reinforcement in self-administering rats. In: Journal of Neuroscience. 2011 ; Vol. 31, No. 45. pp. 16447-16457.
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AU - Graham, Danielle L.

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AU - Buzin, Nicole

AU - Webb, Joseph

AU - Green, Thomas

AU - Bass, Caroline E.

AU - Neve, Rachael L.

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AU - Nestler, Eric J.

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