One of the characteristics of drug dependence is that a drug has to be administered repeatedly before withdrawal effects can be observed. We have previously shown that withdrawal after 14 days of cocaine treatment produces a supersensitivity of hypothalamic 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) 2A (5-HT 2A) receptors, which is accompanied by increases in the levels of Gαq and Gα11 proteins. Unfortunately, the exact duration of cocaine treatment necessary to induce alterations in G protein levels during cocaine withdrawal is unknown. The present study investigated the minimum cocaine treatment period required to produce changes in protein levels of membrane- and cytosol-associated Gαq and Gα11 proteins in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, amygdala, and frontal cortex. Rats were injected with cocaine (15 mg/kg i.p., b.i.d.) for 0, 1, 3, 5, and 7 days and tested after 2 days of withdrawal. The levels of Gαq and Gα11 proteins were increased in the paraventricular nucleus and the amygdala but not in the frontal cortex. Although 1 and 3 days of cocaine treatment were sufficient to maximally elevate the protein levels of Gα11, and Gαq proteins in the amygdala, 5 days of treatment were required to maximally increase the levels of Gα11 and Gαq proteins in the paraventricular nucleus. The data suggest that the amygdala shows a faster neuroadaptation to the effects of cocaine than the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus. These findings provide insight into the relative importance of individual components of 5-HT2A receptor signal transduction system in regulating the overall sensitivity of this signaling in cocaine-treated rats.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics|
|State||Published - Oct 2004|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine