WAVE1 in neurons expressing the D1 dopamine receptor regulates cellular and behavioral actions of cocaine

Ilaria Ceglia, Ko Woon Lee, Michael E. Cahill, Steven M Graves, David Dietz, Dalton J. Surmeier, Eric J. Nestler, Angus C. Nairn, Paul Greengard, Yong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) family verprolin homologous protein 1 (WAVE1) regulates actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex-mediated actin polymerization. Our previous studies have found WAVE1 to be inhibited by Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation in brain and to play a role in the regulation of dendritic spine morphology. Herewe report thatmice inwhich WAVE1was knocked out (KO) in neurons expressing the D1 dopamine receptor (D1-KO), but not mice where WAVE1 was knocked out in neurons expressing the D2 dopamine receptor (D2-KO), exhibited a significant decrease in place preference associated with cocaine. In contrast to wild-Type (WT) and WAVE1 D2-KO mice, cocaine-induced sensitized locomotor behavior was not maintained in WAVE1 D1-KO mice. After chronic cocaine administration and following withdrawal, an acute cocaine challenge induced WAVE1 activation in striatum, which was assessed by dephosphorylation. The cocaine-induced WAVE1 dephosphorylation was attenuated by coadministration of either a D1 dopamine receptor or NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist. Upon an acute challenge of cocaine following chronic cocaine exposure and withdrawal, we also observed in WT, but not in WAVE1 D1-KO mice, a decrease in dendritic spine density and a decrease in the frequency of excitatory postsynaptic AMPA receptor currents in medium spiny projection neurons expressing the D1 dopamine receptor (D1-MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens. These results suggest that WAVE1 is involved selectively in D1-MSNs in cocaine-evoked neuronal activitymediated feedback regulation of glutamatergic synapses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1395-1400
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 7 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Department of Defense US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity Grants W81XWH-09-1-0392 (to Y.K.) and W81XWH-09-1-0402 (to P.G.); National Institutes of Health Grants DA010044 and MH090963 (to P.G.), R01DA014133 (to E.J.N.), and NS34696 (to D.J.S.); and grants from the JPB Foundation (to P.G. and D.J.S.)


  • Cdk5
  • Cocaine
  • Medium spiny projection neurons
  • Striatum
  • Wave1


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