Relapse to cocaine use persists following extinction of drug-primed craving.

08:00 EDT 2nd June 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Relapse to cocaine use persists following extinction of drug-primed craving."

Craving often precedes relapse into cocaine addiction. This explains why considerable research effort is being expended to try to develop anti-craving strategies for relapse prevention. Recently, we discovered using the classic reinstatement model of cocaine craving that the reinstating or priming effect of cocaine can be extinguished with repeated priming in rats - a phenomenon dubbed extinction of cocaine priming because it is thought to involve extinction of the conditioned interoceptive cues of the drug. Here we measured the effect of this extinction strategy on subsequent relapse-like behavior in rats (i.e., return to the pre-extinction pattern of cocaine self-administration once the drug is made again available after extinction). We found that extensive extinction of the conditioned priming effects of cocaine had no major impact on relapse-like behavior. This lack of effect occurred despite evidence for post-extinction loss of neuronal responses to cocaine priming in brain regions causally involved in cocaine reinstatement (i.e., the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and the core of the nucleus accumbens). These findings suggest that the conditioned priming effects of cocaine can be dissociated from and are thus not essential for relapse-like behavior, and that extinction of these effects is unlikely to represent a viable approach to relapse prevention. Overall, these findings are in general agreement with previous neurobiological dissociation studies and with research on extinction of exteroceptive drug cues.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Neuropharmacology
ISSN: 1873-7064


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

An alkaloid ester extracted from the leaves of plants including coca. It is a local anesthetic and vasoconstrictor and is clinically used for that purpose, particularly in the eye, ear, nose, and throat. It also has powerful central nervous system effects similar to the amphetamines and is a drug of abuse. Cocaine, like amphetamines, acts by multiple mechanisms on brain catecholaminergic neurons; the mechanism of its reinforcing effects is thought to involve inhibition of dopamine uptake.

The purified, alkaloidal, extra-potent form of cocaine. It is smoked (free-based), injected intravenously, and orally ingested. Use of crack results in alterations in function of the cardiovascular system, the autonomic nervous system, the central nervous system, and the gastrointestinal system. The slang term "crack" was derived from the crackling sound made upon igniting of this form of cocaine for smoking.


Treatment designed to help prevent a relapse of a disease following the successful primary treatments (INDUCTION CHEMOTHERAPY and CONSOLIDATION CHEMOTHERAPY) with a long-term low-dose drug therapy.

Disorders related or resulting from use of cocaine.

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