Behavioral Sensitization to Cocaine: Modulation by the Cyclic AMP System in the Nucleus Accumbens

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Examined the involvement of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) system at the level of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in cocaine-induced locomotor activity and sensitization. 36 male rats were pretreated on 3 consecutive days with cocaine concurrently with intraaccumbens infusion of saline, 8-bromo-cAMP, or RP-CPT-cAMP. Ss and controls were tested for locomotor activity on pretreatment days and following an additional cocaine challenge on a subsequent day. Over pretreatment days, Ss given 8-bromo-cAMP showed greater cocaine-induced activity, while Ss given RP-CPT-cAMP tended to be less active. When subsequently challenged with cocaine, Ss pretreated with 8-bromo-cAMP showed greater locomotor activity. Data suggest that protein kinase activation at the level of the NAc may have a facilitative role with respect to acute and long-term stimulant-induced locomotor activity.