PloS one

Role of the dopaminergic system in the acquisition, expression and reinstatement of MDMA-induced conditioned place preference in adolescent mice.

PMID 22916213


The rewarding effects of 3,4-methylenedioxy-metamphetamine (MDMA) have been demonstrated in conditioned place preference (CPP) procedures, but the involvement of the dopaminergic system in MDMA-induced CPP and reinstatement is poorly understood. In this study, the effects of the DA D1 antagonist SCH 23390 (0.125 and 0.250 mg/kg), the DA D2 antagonist Haloperidol (0.1 and 0.2 mg/kg), the D2 antagonist Raclopride (0.3 and 0.6 mg/kg) and the dopamine release inhibitor CGS 10746B (3 and 10 mg/kg) on the acquisition, expression and reinstatement of a CPP induced by 10 mg/kg of MDMA were evaluated in adolescent mice. As expected, MDMA significantly increased the time spent in the drug-paired compartment during the post-conditioning (Post-C) test, and a priming dose of 5 mg/kg reinstated the extinguished preference. The higher doses of Haloperidol, Raclopride and CGS 10746B and both doses of SCH 23390 blocked acquisition of the MDMA-induced CPP. However, only Haloperidol blocked expression of the CPP. Reinstatement of the extinguished preference was not affected by any of the drugs studied. Analysis of brain monoamines revealed that the blockade of CPP acquisition was accompanied by an increase in DA concentration in the striatum, with a concomitant decrease in DOPAC and HVA levels. Administration of haloperidol during the Post-C test produced increases in striatal serotonin, DOPAC and HVA concentrations. In mice treated with the higher doses of haloperidol and CGS an increase in SERT concentration in the striatum was detected during acquisition of the CPP, but no changes in DAT were observed. These results demonstrate that, in adolescent mice, the dopaminergic system is involved in the acquisition and expression of MDMA-induced CPP, but not in its reinstatement.

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