Brain serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] systems substantially influence the effects of cocaine; however, the contributions of individual 5-HT receptor subtypes to the regulation of cocaine responses are unclear. A line of mutant mice devoid of 5-HT2C receptors was used to examine the contribution of this receptor subtype to the serotonergic modulation of cocaine responses. Mutants display enhanced exploration of a novel environment and increased sensitivity to the locomotor stimulant effects of cocaine. In an operant intravenous self-administration model under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement, mutants display elevated levels of lever pressing for cocaine injections, indicating that the drug is more reinforcing in these mice. Moreover, mutants exhibit enhanced cocaine-induced elevations of dopamine (DA) levels in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region implicated in the stimulant and rewarding properties of cocaine. In contrast, phenotypic differences in dorsal striatal DA levels were not produced by cocaine treatment. These findings strongly implicate 5-HT2C receptors in the serotonergic suppression of DA-mediated behavioral responses to cocaine and as a potential therapeutic target for cocaine abuse.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Nov 15 2002|
- Serotonin 2c receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas