The Dopamine Receptors

Part of the series The Receptors pp 479-524


Dopamine Receptor Subtypes in Reward and Relapse

  • David W. SelfAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, The Seay Center for Basic and Applied Research in Psychiatric Illness, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Email author 

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With the advent of subtype-selective ligands and dopamine receptor knockout mice, the last two decades have seen an explosion in research on the role of dopamine receptor subtypes in reward and relapse to drug-seeking behavior. This chapter represents a relatively comprehensive review of this literature, beginning with the ability of D1-like and D2-like receptor agonists to support self-administration behavior and produce conditioned preference, and followed by the modulation of natural reward, brain stimulation reward, and conditioned reward with subtype-selective ligands and dopamine receptor knockout mice. Subsequent sections describe the modulation of drug and alcohol self-administration by dopamine receptor subtypes, and role of dopamine receptor subtypes in relapse to drug and alcohol seeking in animal models. Finally, down-regulation in dopamine receptors following chronic drug self-administration is discussed in reference to differential changes in dopamine receptor-mediated behavior, suggesting that better integration between biological and behavioral data is needed in future studies.


D1 D2 D1-like D2-like D3 D4 D5 Reinforcement Reinstatement Cocaine Amphetamine Heroin Nicotine Alcohol