Formation of a morphine-conditioned place preference does not change the size of evoked potentials in the ventral hippocampus–nucleus accumbens projection

Diana Yae Sakae, Stephen J. Martin (Lead / Corresponding author)

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

In opioid addiction, cues and contexts associated with drug reward can be powerful triggers for drug craving and relapse. The synapses linking ventral hippocampal outputs to medium spiny neurons of the accumbens may be key sites for the formation and storage of associations between place or context and reward, both drug-related and natural. To assess this, we implanted rats with electrodes in the accumbens shell to record synaptic potentials evoked by electrical stimulation of the ventral hippocampus, as well as continuous local-field-potential activity. Rats then underwent morphineinduced (10 mg/kg) conditioned-place-preference training, followed by extinction. Morphine caused an acute increase in the slope and amplitude of accumbens evoked responses, but no long-term changes were evident after conditioning or extinction of the place preference, suggesting that the formation of this type of memory does not lead to a net change in synaptic strength in the ventral hippocampal output to the accumbens. However, analysis of the local field potential revealed a marked sensitization of theta- and high-gamma-frequency activity with repeated morphine administration. This phenomenon may be linked to the behavioral changes—such as psychomotor sensitization and the development of drug craving—that are associated with chronic use of addictive drugs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5206
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • hippocampus
  • local field potential
  • evoked potential
  • long-term potentiation
  • shell
  • sensitization

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