The Open UniversitySkip to content

Stimuli associated with the presence or absence of amphetamine regulate cytoskeletal signaling and behavior

Singer, Bryan F.; Bubula, Nancy; Przybycien-Szymanska, Magdalena M.; Li, Dongdong and Vezina, Paul (2016). Stimuli associated with the presence or absence of amphetamine regulate cytoskeletal signaling and behavior. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 26(11) pp. 1836–1842.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Drug-paired stimuli rapidly enlarge dendritic spines in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). While increases in spine size and shape are supported by rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton and facilitate the synaptic expression of AMPA-type glutamate receptors, it remains unclear whether drug-related stimuli can influence signaling pathways known to regulate these changes in spine morphology. These pathways were studied in rats trained on a discrimination learning paradigm using subcellular fractionation and protein immunoblotting to isolate proteins within dendritic spine compartments in the NAcc shell. An open field chamber was repeatedly associated with amphetamine in one group (Paired) and explicitly unpaired with amphetamine in another (Unpaired). Rats in a third group were exposed to the open field but never administered amphetamine (Control). When administered saline and returned to the open field one week later, Paired rats as expected displayed a conditioned locomotor response relative to rats in the other two groups. NAcc shell tissues were harvested immediately after this 30-minute test. Re-exposing Paired rats to the drug-paired excitatory context significantly decreased p-GluA2(S880), an effect consistent with reduced internalization of this subunit and increased spine proliferation in these rats. In contrast, re-exposing Unpaired rats to the drug-unpaired context, capable of inhibiting conditioned responding in these animals, significantly decreased levels of both actin binding protein Arp2/3 and p-cofilin, consistent with spine volatility, shrinkage, and inhibition of spine proliferation in these rats. These findings show that contextual stimuli previously associated with either the presence or absence of amphetamine differentially regulate cytoskeletal signaling pathways in the NAcc.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 Elsevier
ISSN: 0924-977X
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetT32 DA07255National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Not SetF31 DA030021-01A1National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Not SetNot SetChicago Biomedical Consortium with support from The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust
Keywords: Conditioning; Nucleus accumbens; AMPA; Arp2/3; Cofilin; Actin
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Life, Health and Chemical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 50826
Depositing User: Bryan Singer
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2017 13:54
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 11:39
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU