The neurobiological consequences of cocaine self-administration vary according to the experimental protocol used and are highly dependent upon the dose and frequency of administration. We have recently found that high-dose """"""""binge"""""""" cocaine self-administration and deprivation in rats produces dramatic decreases in the potency of cocaine to alter dopamine (DA) neurotransmission. Using microdialysis to get an overall view of DA levels, we found that an i.v. administered dose of cocaine (1.5 mg/kg) no longer significantly elevated extracellular DA levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). To examine cocaine effects on the DA transporter, we used voltammetry in brain slices to measure DA uptake directly. The ability of cocaine to inhibit DA uptake was severely limited in rats that had self-administered cocaine compared to drug naive animals. In addition, the maximal rate of DA uptake was either increased or decreased, depending on the protocol, but the potency of cocaine was consistently decreased. This suggested a dissociation between DA uptake and inhibition of uptake by cocaine, although binding studies show that cocaine still binds to the transporter with unaltered affinity. This is a unique situation, caused by self-administration of high doses of cocaine. The implication of these findings is that cocaine effects can be manipulated independently of DA uptake, which may ultimately have relevance for the design of pharmacotherapies for cocaine addiction which would block cocaine inhibition but leave DA uptake intact. These are early days, however, in the documentaion of the dissociation between DA uptake and cocaine effects. The goal of this proposal is to provide a thorough investigation of the reduction in the potency of cocaine following self-administration. Relevance: The overall aim of this proposal is to understand how the dopamine transporter, the main target of cocaine in the brain, becomes insensitive to cocaine after several days of high-dose treatment with cocaine. The results will provide a new direction in the design of drugs to treat cocaine addiction. Potentially, the new drugs could change the dopamine transporter so that cocaine has no addictive effects and would not be abused.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Neurobiology of Motivated Behavior Study Section (NMB)
Program Officer
Pilotte, Nancy S
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Brodnik, Zachary D; Ferris, Mark J; Jones, Sara R et al. (2017) Reinforcing Doses of Intravenous Cocaine Produce Only Modest Dopamine Uptake Inhibition. ACS Chem Neurosci 8:281-289
Fordahl, Steve C; Jones, Sara R (2017) High-Fat-Diet-Induced Deficits in Dopamine Terminal Function Are Reversed by Restoring Insulin Signaling. ACS Chem Neurosci 8:290-299
Salvatore, Michael F; Calipari, Erin S; Jones, Sara R (2016) Regulation of Tyrosine Hydroxylase Expression and Phosphorylation in Dopamine Transporter-Deficient Mice. ACS Chem Neurosci 7:941-51
McGinnis, Molly M; Siciliano, Cody A; Jones, Sara R (2016) Dopamine D3 autoreceptor inhibition enhances cocaine potency at the dopamine transporter. J Neurochem 138:821-9
Siciliano, Cody A; Fordahl, Steve C; Jones, Sara R (2016) Cocaine Self-Administration Produces Long-Lasting Alterations in Dopamine Transporter Responses to Cocaine. J Neurosci 36:7807-16
Brust, Tarsis F; Morgenweck, Jenny; Kim, Susy A et al. (2016) Biased agonists of the kappa opioid receptor suppress pain and itch without causing sedation or dysphoria. Sci Signal 9:ra117
Karkhanis, Anushree N; Beveridge, Thomas J R; Blough, Bruce E et al. (2016) The individual and combined effects of phenmetrazine and mgluR2/3 agonist LY379268 on the motivation to self-administer cocaine. Drug Alcohol Depend 166:51-60
Calipari, Erin S; Ferris, Mark J; Siciliano, Cody A et al. (2015) Differential influence of dopamine transport rate on the potencies of cocaine, amphetamine, and methylphenidate. ACS Chem Neurosci 6:155-62
Ferris, Mark J; Calipari, Erin S; Rose, Jamie H et al. (2015) A Single Amphetamine Infusion Reverses Deficits in Dopamine Nerve-Terminal Function Caused by a History of Cocaine Self-Administration. Neuropsychopharmacology 40:1826-36
Richardson, Jason R; Taylor, Michele M; Shalat, Stuart L et al. (2015) Developmental pesticide exposure reproduces features of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. FASEB J 29:1960-72

Showing the most recent 10 out of 42 publications