, Volume 204, Issue 2, pp 313–325

Caffeine and a selective adenosine A2A receptor antagonist induce reward and sensitization behavior associated with increased phospho-Thr75-DARPP-32 in mice

Original Investigation



Caffeine, an antagonist of adenosine A1 and A2A receptor, is the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world. Evidence indicates that caffeine interacts with the neuronal systems involved in drug reinforcing. Although adenosine A1 and/or A2A receptor have been found to play important roles in the locomotor stimulation and probably reinforcing effect of caffeine, the relative contribution of the A1 and/or A2A receptors to the acute and chronic motor activation and reinforcing effects of caffeine has not been completely investigated.


The roles of adenosine A1 and/or A2A receptor and the association of phospho-Thr75-dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein of molecular weight 32 kDa (DARPP-32) in the motor activation and reinforcing effects of caffeine, 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine (DPCPX), a selective A1 antagonist, and 5-amino-7-(β-phenylethyl)-2-(8-furyl) pyrazolol [4,3-e]-1,2,4-triazolol [1,5-c] pyrimidine (SCH58261), a selective A2A receptor antagonist were examined.


Locomotor stimulation and behavioral sensitization of caffeine, DPCPX, and SCH58261 were studied in C57BL/6 male mice following acute and chronic administration. Conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm was used to evaluate the drug-seeking potential of these compounds. Furthermore, the expression of phospho-Thr75-DARPP-32 in striatal membrane from behaviorally sensitized mice was analyzed by Western blot.


Caffeine and SCH58261 but not DPCPX induced CPP and locomotor sensitization in C57BL/6 mice. The locomotor sensitization after chronic treatment was associated with increased DARPP-32 phosphorylation at Thr75 in the striatum.


Caffeine-induced reinforcing effect and behavioral sensitization are mediated by antagonism at adenosine A2A receptor. These effects are associated with phosphorylation of DARPP-32 at Thr75 in the striatum.


Caffeine SCH58261 Locomotor activity Conditioned place preference Behavioral sensitization DARPP-32 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineTzu Chi General HospitalHualienTaiwan
  2. 2.Institute of Medical SciencesTzu Chi UniversityHualienTaiwan
  3. 3.Institute of Pharmacology and ToxicologyTzu Chi UniversityHualienTaiwan
  4. 4.School of MedicineTzu Chi UniversityHualienTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of PharmacologyTzu Chi UniversityHualienTaiwan

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