A Brief Review of Dopaminergic Mechanisms of Reconsolidation of Cocaine-Seeking Behaviors
Author(s): Qingyao Kong and Ming Xu
Reconsolidation is a process in which memory undergoes a transiently labile stage after its retrieval and needs to be consolidated again in order to be maintained. Disruption of reconsolidation of drug memories dampens previous memories and therefore may provide a useful way to treat drug abuse. Based on the importance of the dopamine D1 and D3 receptors in mediating the acquisition of cocaine-induced behaviors, we studied the effects of manipulating these two receptors on reconsolidation of cocaine memories in mouse models of cocaine conditioned place preference and intravenous self-administration. Pharmacological blockade of D1 or D3 receptors attenuated reconsolidation of cocaine memories, and such attenuation lasted for at least one week. A genetic mutation of D3 receptors attenuated reconsolidation that lasted for at least one week after the memory retrieval. In contrast, with no memory retrieval, pharmacological antagonism of D1 or D3 receptors or the D3 receptor gene mutation did not significantly affect cocaine memories. Here we review our studies on D1 or D3 receptors in reconsolidation of cocaine reward memory and discuss the implications of such studies.