Apr 26, 2016

Persistent vulnerability to relapse despite complete extinction of cocaine craving

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Paul GirardeauSerge H Ahmed


Craving often precedes relapse into cocaine addiction. This explains why considerable research effort is being expended to try to develop anti-craving strategies for relapse prevention. Recently, we discovered using the classic reinstatement model of cocaine craving that the reinstating or priming effect of cocaine can be extinguished with repeated priming in rats, a phenomenon dubbed extinction of cocaine priming. Here we sought to measure the potential beneficial effect of this novel extinction strategy on subsequent relapse (i.e., return to the pre-extinction pattern of cocaine self-administration once the drug is made again available after extinction). Overall and contrary to our initial hope, extensive and complete extinction of cocaine priming had no major impact on relapse. This lack of effect occurred despite evidence for post-extinction loss of neuronal responses to cocaine priming in brain regions critically involved in cocaine-induced reinstatement (i.e., the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and the core of the nucleus accumbens). An effect of extinction of cocaine priming on relapse was only observed when cocaine was available for self-administration under more demanding conditions. However, this effect was modest and ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biological Markers
Prefrontal Cortex
Cocaine Dependence
Pharmacologic Substance

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