Addiction has been proposed to emerge from associations between the drug and the reward-associated contexts. This associative learning has a cellular correlate, as there are more cFos+ neurons in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) after psychostimulant conditioned place preference (CPP) versus saline controls. However, it is unknown whether morphine CPP leads to a similar DG activation, or whether DG activation is due to locomotion, handling, pharmacological effects, or-as data from contextual fear learning suggests-exposure to the drug-associated context. To explore this, we employed an unbiased, counterbalanced, and shortened CPP design that led to place preference and more DG cFos+ cells. Next, mice underwent morphine CPP but were then sequestered into the morphine-paired (conditioned stimulus+ [CS+]) or saline-paired (CS-) context on test day. Morphine-paired mice sequestered to CS+ had ∼30% more DG cFos+ cells than saline-paired mice. Furthermore, Bregma analysis revealed morphine-paired mice had more cFos+ cells in CS+ compared to CS- controls. Notably, there was no significant difference in DG cFos+ cell number after handling alone or after receiving morphine in home cage. Thus, retrieval of morphine-associated context is accompanied by activation of hippocampal DG granule cell neurons.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Apr 1 2015|
- Conditioned place preference
- Immediate early gene
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience