Chronic cocaine reduces RGS4 mRNA in rat prefrontal cortex and dorsal striatum

Marek Schwendt, Matthew C. Hearing, Ronald E. See, Jacqueline F. McGinty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Neuroadaptations affecting dopamine transmission within the prefrontal cortex and striatum are thought to underlie relapse to cocaine seeking after extended periods of abstinence. Regulator of G-protein signaling 4 (RGS4) is a forebrain-enriched protein known to be dynamically regulated by dopamine receptors in response to acute psychostimulant administration. In this report, chronic noncontingent (cocaine binge) or response-contingent (self-administration) delivery of cocaine followed by 2-3 weeks of abstinence resulted in a decrease of RGS4 mRNA in the dorsal striatum and prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, re-exposure to the cocaine-associated context after abstinence renewed the drug seeking and restored the levels of RGS4 mRNA to control values. Changes in RGS4 mRNA levels might signal abnormal receptor G-protein coupling that impacts cocaine seeking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1261-1265
Number of pages5
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Abstinence
  • Addiction
  • Cocaine
  • G-protein
  • In-situ hybridization
  • Relapse


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