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Pharmaceuticals 2011, 4(10), 1315-1327;

Neural Changes Developed during the Extinction of Cocaine Self-Administration Behavior

Department of Psychobiology, School of Psychology, UNED, C/Juan del Rosal 10, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Department of Basic Psychology I, School of Psychology, UNED, C/Juan del Rosal 10, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Department of Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Sciences, School of Pharmacy, San Pablo-CEU University, Urb. Montepríncipe, Boadilla del Monte, Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 September 2011 / Accepted: 20 September 2011 / Published: 13 October 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Abuse Targets)
Full-Text   |   PDF [300 KB, uploaded 13 October 2011]


The high rate of recidivism in cocaine addiction after prolonged periods of abstinence poses a significant problem for the effective treatment of this condition. Moreover, the neurobiological basis of this relapse phenomenon remains poorly understood. In this review, we will discuss the evidence currently available regarding the neurobiological changes during the extinction of cocaine self-administration. Specifically, we will focus on alterations in the dopaminergic, opioidergic, glutamatergic, cholinergic, serotoninergic and CRF systems described in self-administration experiments and extinction studies after chronic cocaine administration. We will also discuss the differences related to contingent versus non-contingent cocaine administration, which highlights the importance of environmental cues on drug effects and extinction. The findings discussed in this review may aid the development of more effective therapeutic approaches to treat cocaine relapse. View Full-Text
Keywords: cocaine self-administration; extinction; neuroadaptive changes cocaine self-administration; extinction; neuroadaptive changes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Higuera-Matas, A.; Miguens, M.; Olmo, N.; García-Lecumberri, C.; Ambrosio, E. Neural Changes Developed during the Extinction of Cocaine Self-Administration Behavior. Pharmaceuticals 2011, 4, 1315-1327.

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