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Involvement of cAMP-Dependent Protein Kinase in the Nucleus Accumbens in Cocaine Versus Social Interaction Reward

1
Division of Psychiatry I, Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical University Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
2
Institute for Neuroscience, Medical University Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(1), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010345
Received: 7 December 2020 / Revised: 24 December 2020 / Accepted: 28 December 2020 / Published: 31 December 2020
Evidence suggests that PKA activity in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays an essential role in reward-related learning. In this study, we investigated whether PKA is differentially involved in the expression of learning produced by either natural reinforcers or psychostimulants. For that purpose, we inhibited PKA through a bilateral infusion of Rp-cAMPS, a specific PKA inhibitor, directly into the NAc. The effects of PKA inhibition in the NAc on the expression of concurrent conditioned place preference (CPP) for cocaine (drug) and social interaction (natural reward) in rats were evaluated. We found that PKA inhibition increased the expression of cocaine preference. This effect was not due to altered stress levels or decreased social reward. PKA inhibition did not affect the expression of natural reward as intra-NAc Rp-cAMPS infusion did not affect expression of social preference. When rats were trained to express cocaine or social interaction CPP and tested for eventual persisting preference 7 and 14 days after CPP expression, cocaine preference was persistent, but social preference was abolished after the first test. These results suggest that PKA in the NAc is involved in drug reward learning that might lead to addiction and that only drug, but not natural, reward is persistent. View Full-Text
Keywords: PKA; nucleus accumbens; cocaine; social interaction; reward; conditioned place preference; drugs; addiction; natural reinforcers; learning PKA; nucleus accumbens; cocaine; social interaction; reward; conditioned place preference; drugs; addiction; natural reinforcers; learning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Amaral, I.M.; Lemos, C.; Cera, I.; Dechant, G.; Hofer, A.; El Rawas, R. Involvement of cAMP-Dependent Protein Kinase in the Nucleus Accumbens in Cocaine Versus Social Interaction Reward. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 345. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010345

AMA Style

Amaral IM, Lemos C, Cera I, Dechant G, Hofer A, El Rawas R. Involvement of cAMP-Dependent Protein Kinase in the Nucleus Accumbens in Cocaine Versus Social Interaction Reward. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(1):345. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010345

Chicago/Turabian Style

Amaral, Inês M.; Lemos, Cristina; Cera, Isabella; Dechant, Georg; Hofer, Alex; El Rawas, Rana. 2021. "Involvement of cAMP-Dependent Protein Kinase in the Nucleus Accumbens in Cocaine Versus Social Interaction Reward" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 22, no. 1: 345. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010345

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