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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of chronic cocaine exposure on corticotropin-releasing hormone binding protein in the central nucleus of the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.

The neuropeptide, corticotropin-releasing hormone ( CRH), has been shown to play a role in behavioral and neurobiological effects of drugs of abuse. An important modulator of CRH, the CRH binding protein (CRH-BP), has not, on the other hand, been assessed for its role in drug-associated effects. The primary objective of the present experiment was to assess whether prior, chronic exposure to cocaine modulates expression of CRH-BP, and to compare expression of the BP with that of the peptide itself. We assessed CRH-BP and CRH mRNA expression in two brain regions where CRH is known to affect responses to drugs of abuse; namely, the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST). Male Long-Evans rats were given 14 daily injections of cocaine (30 mg/kg, i.p.) or saline. One, 3, 10, 28, or 42 days post-treatment, animals were killed and adjacent brain sections through the CeA and BNST were processed for CRH-BP and CRH by in situ hybridization. In the CeA, cocaine pre-exposure increased both CRH and CRH-BP mRNA expression 1 day post-treatment. In the dorsal BNST, cocaine pre-exposure elevated levels of CRH-BP, but not CRH, mRNA 3 days post-treatment. Taken together, the results suggest that withdrawal-induced changes in the expression of the CRH-BP, and CRH itself, are relatively short-lived and that a dysregulation in basal expression of either gene is not likely responsible for long-lasting behavioral effects noted with cocaine and other drugs of abuse.[1]


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