Relationship of cocaine-induced c-Fos expression to behaviors and the role of serotonin 5-HT2A receptors in cocaine-induced c-Fos expression

Regina P. Szucs, Paul S. Frankel, Lance R. McMahon, Kathryn Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Serotonin 5-HT2A receptor antagonists have been shown to attenuate the locomotor stimulant effects of cocaine in rats. The present study used the expression of c-Fos protein as a marker to identify brain areas through which 5-HT2A receptors may modulate cocaine-induced behaviors. Significant correlations were observed between cocaine-induced hyperactivity and c-Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcC), caudate-putamen (CPu), and subthalamic nucleus. In a separate experiment, a low, behaviorally relevant dose of cocaine was found to increase c-Fos immunoreactivity in the medial CPu, NAcC, and nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh). The selective 5-HT2A receptor antagonist M100907 significantly attenuated cocaine-induced c-Fos expression in the medial CPu and in the NAcSh. These data suggest that 5-HT2A receptors in the NAcSh and CPu or in afferents to these regions may contribute to genomic responses to cocaine in the brain as well as to cocaine-induced locomotor activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1173-1183
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2005



  • 5-HT2A receptor
  • c-Fos
  • Cocaine
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology

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