Biological Psychiatry, In Press Corrected Proof, Available online 14 June 2007
There has been a recent upsurge of interest in the role of hypothalamic feeding peptides, in particular, orexin (hypocretin), in drug-seeking behavior. However, the potential role of other hypothalamic feeding peptides, such as cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), in conditioned reinstatement has yet to be explored.
Significantly larger numbers of Fos-positive arcuate nucleus CART and hypothalamic orexin neurons were seen in animals exposed to the EtOH S+ compared with nonreward S− animals. Presentation of the EtOH S+ also increased numbers of Fos-positive PVT neurons. Fos-positive PVT neurons were observed to be closely associated with orexin and CART terminal fields.
Taken together, these findings suggest that activation of hypothalamic neuropeptide systems may be a common mechanism underlying drug-seeking behavior.
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