Microdialysis studies in animals have shown that addictive drugs preferentially increase extracellular dopamine (DA) in the n. accumbens (NAc). Brain imaging studies, while extending these finding to humans, have shown a correlation between psychostimulant-induced increase of extracellular DA in the striatum and self-reported measures of liking and 'high' (euphoria). Although a correlate of drug reward independent from associative learning and performance is difficult to obtain in animals, conditioned taste avoidance (CTA) might meet these requirements. Addictive drugs induce CTA to saccharin most likely as a result of anticipatory contrast of saccharin over drug reward. Consistently with a role of DA in drug reward, D2 or combined D1/D2 receptor blockade abolishes cocaine, amphetamine and nicotine CTA. Intracranial self-administration studies with mixtures of D1 and D2 receptor agonists point to the NAc shell as the critical site of DA reward. NAc shell DA acting on D1 receptors is also involved in Pavlovian learning through pre-trial and post-trial consolidation mechanisms and in the utilization of spatial short-term memory for goal-directed behavior. Stimulation of NAc shell DA transmission by addictive drugs is shared by a natural reward like food but lacks its adaptive properties (habituation and inhibition by predictive stimuli). These peculiarities of drug-induced stimulation of DA transmission in the NAc shell result in striking differences in the impact of drug-conditioned stimuli on DA transmission. It is speculated that drug addiction results from the impact exerted on behavior by the abnormal DA stimulant properties acquired by drug-conditioned stimuli as a result of their association with addictive drugs.

Dopamine and drug addiction: the nucleus accumbens shell connection

DI CHIARA, GAETANO;BASSAREO, VALENTINA;FENU, SANDRO;DE LUCA, MARIA ANTONIETTA;SPINA, LILIANA;ACQUAS, ELIO MARIA GIOACHINO;CARBONI, EZIO;VALENTINI, VALENTINA;LECCA, DANIELE
2004-01-01

Abstract

Microdialysis studies in animals have shown that addictive drugs preferentially increase extracellular dopamine (DA) in the n. accumbens (NAc). Brain imaging studies, while extending these finding to humans, have shown a correlation between psychostimulant-induced increase of extracellular DA in the striatum and self-reported measures of liking and 'high' (euphoria). Although a correlate of drug reward independent from associative learning and performance is difficult to obtain in animals, conditioned taste avoidance (CTA) might meet these requirements. Addictive drugs induce CTA to saccharin most likely as a result of anticipatory contrast of saccharin over drug reward. Consistently with a role of DA in drug reward, D2 or combined D1/D2 receptor blockade abolishes cocaine, amphetamine and nicotine CTA. Intracranial self-administration studies with mixtures of D1 and D2 receptor agonists point to the NAc shell as the critical site of DA reward. NAc shell DA acting on D1 receptors is also involved in Pavlovian learning through pre-trial and post-trial consolidation mechanisms and in the utilization of spatial short-term memory for goal-directed behavior. Stimulation of NAc shell DA transmission by addictive drugs is shared by a natural reward like food but lacks its adaptive properties (habituation and inhibition by predictive stimuli). These peculiarities of drug-induced stimulation of DA transmission in the NAc shell result in striking differences in the impact of drug-conditioned stimuli on DA transmission. It is speculated that drug addiction results from the impact exerted on behavior by the abnormal DA stimulant properties acquired by drug-conditioned stimuli as a result of their association with addictive drugs.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Di Chiara et al Neuropharmacol 2004.pdf

Solo gestori archivio

Tipologia: versione editoriale
Dimensione 383.41 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
383.41 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/91212
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 305
  • Scopus 728
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 672
social impact