, Volume 168, Issue 1, pp 132–138

Administration of the D1-like dopamine receptor antagonist SCH-23390 into the medial nucleus accumbens shell attenuates cocaine priming-induced reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior in rats

  • Sharon M. Anderson
  • Ausaf A. Bari
  • R. Christopher Pierce
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-002-1298-5

Cite this article as:
Anderson, S.M., Bari, A.A. & Pierce, R.C. Psychopharmacology (2003) 168: 132. doi:10.1007/s00213-002-1298-5



A growing literature indicates that increased dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens contributes to priming-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior.


The present experiments were designed to assess the role of D1-like dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens core and shell subregions in cocaine priming-induced reinstatement of drug seeking.


Rats were trained to lever press for cocaine using a fixed ratio (FR) 5 schedule of reinforcement. Drug-seeking was measured by active lever presses during daily 2-h sessions. After approximately 30 days of cocaine self-administration, the animals underwent an extinction phase during which cocaine was replaced with saline. Daily extinction sessions were conducted until responding was consistently less than 10% of the response rate maintained by cocaine self-administration. After the extinction phase, priming-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior was assessed.


Cocaine dose-dependently reinstated cocaine seeking, with robust drug seeking at 10 mg/kg cocaine. Administration of the D1-like dopamine receptor antagonist, SCH-23390 (0.1–1.0 µg), directly into the medial nucleus accumbens shell dose-dependently attenuated drug seeking induced by 10 mg/kg cocaine. Microinjection of 1.0 µg SCH-23390 into either the nucleus accumbens core or lateral septum had no influence on cocaine-seeking behavior.


These results indicate that stimulation of D1-like dopamine receptors in the medial nucleus accumbens shell contributes to drug-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior.


ReinstatementNucleus accumbensCocaineDopamineSCH-23390

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag  2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon M. Anderson
    • 1
  • Ausaf A. Bari
    • 1
  • R. Christopher Pierce
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry, Laboratory of Neuropsychopharmacology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USAUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology, R-612, Boston University School of Medicine, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118, USAUSA