Calcium-permeable AMPA receptors are present in nucleus accumbens synapses after prolonged withdrawal from cocaine self-administration but not experimenter-administered cocaine
journal contributionposted on 17.09.2014, 14:52 by James E. McCutcheon, Xiaoting Wang, Kuei Y. Tseng, Marina E. Wolf, Michela Marinelli
Repeated noncontingent cocaine injections, which lead to behavioral sensitization, increase AMPA receptor (AMPAR) transmission in the rodent nucleus accumbens (NAc) in a withdrawal-dependent manner. On withdrawal days (WD) 10–21, this is attributable to upregulation of GluA1A2-containing AMPARs. However, synaptic incorporation of GluA2-lacking/Ca[superscript 2+]-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs) was observed after longer withdrawal (WD35) from repeated noncontingent cocaine injections in young mice (Mameli et al., 2009). CP-AMPARs had previously been observed in NAc synapses only after prolonged (WD30–WD47) withdrawal from extended-access cocaine self-administration. Our goal was to determine whether rats receiving repeated noncontingent cocaine injections during adulthood similarly exhibit CP-AMPARs in the NAc after prolonged withdrawal. For comparison, we began by evaluating CP-AMPARs on WD35–WD49 after extended-access cocaine self-administration. Confirming our previous results, whole-cell recordings revealed inwardly rectifying AMPAR EPSCs, a hallmark of CP-AMPARs. This was observed in both core and shell. Next, we conducted the same analysis in adult rats treated with eight daily noncontingent cocaine injections and recorded on WD35–WD49. AMPAR EPSCs in core and shell did not show inward rectification and were insensitive to 1-naphthylacetylspermine (a selective antagonist of CP-AMPARs). Locomotor sensitization could still be demonstrated after this long withdrawal period, although the upregulation of GluA1A2-containing AMPARs observed at earlier withdrawal times was no longer detected. In conclusion, in adult rats, accumulation of synaptic CP-AMPARs in the NAc occurs after prolonged withdrawal from extended-access cocaine self-administration but not after prolonged withdrawal from noncontingent cocaine injections.