Midbrain dopamine neurons are important mediators of reward and movement and are sensitive to cocaine-induced plasticity. After even a single injection of cocaine, there is an increase in AMPA-dependent synaptic transmission. The present study examines cocaine-induced plasticity of mGluR-dependent currents in dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra. Activation of mGluR1 and mGluR5 resulted in a mixture of inward and outward currents mediated by a nonselective cation conductance and a calcium-activated potassium conductance (SK), respectively. A single injection of cocaine decreased the current activated by mGluR1 in dopamine neurons, and it had no effect on the size of the mGluR5-mediated current. When the injection of cocaine was preceded by treatment of the animals with a blocker of mGluR5 receptors (MPEP), cocaine no longer decreased the mGluR1 current. Thus, the activation of mGluR5 was required for the cocaine-mediated suppression of mGluR1-mediated currents in dopamine neurons. The results support the hypothesis that mGluR5 coordinates a reduction in mGluR1 functional activity after cocaine treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health