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Scientific reports

Inhibition of actin polymerization in the NAc shell inhibits morphine-induced CPP by disrupting its reconsolidation.


PMID 26538334

Abstract

Drug-associated contextual cues contribute to drug craving and relapse after abstinence, which is a major challenge to drug addiction treatment. Previous studies showed that disrupting memory reconsolidation impairs drug reward memory. However, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Although actin polymerization is involved in memory formation, its role in the reconsolidation of drug reward memory is unknown. In addition, the specific brain areas responsible for drug memory have not been fully identified. In the present study, we found that inhibiting actin polymerization in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell, but not the NAc core, abolishes morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) by disrupting its reconsolidation in rats. Moreover, this effect persists for more than 2 weeks by a single injection of the actin polymerization inhibitor, which is not reversed by a morphine-priming injection. Furthermore, the application of actin polymerization inhibitor outside the reconsolidation window has no effect on morphine-associated contextual memory. Taken together, our findings first demonstrate that inhibiting actin polymerization erases morphine-induced CPP by disrupting its reconsolidation. Our study suggests that inhibition of actin polymerization during drug memory reconsolidation may be a potential approach to prevent drug relapse.

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