KEYNOTE SPEECH: JACOB P. WALETZKY AWARD RECIPIENT
Terry Robinson, Ph.D., Director, NIDA Training Program in Neuroscience, University of Michigan
Established in 2003, the Society for Neuroscience Jacob. P. Waletzky Memorial Award is given for innovative research in drug addiction and alcoholism. This year's award recipient was Yavin M. Shaham, Ph.D.
Incubation of Cocaine Craving: Behavioral and Neuronal Mechanisms
Yavin M. Shaham, Ph.D.
Using a rat model of drug relapse and craving, we previously found time-dependent increases in cocaine seeking induced by exposure to drug cues after withdrawal from the drug, suggesting that cocaine craving incubates over time. In subsequent studies, we found that the time-dependent increases in cocaine seeking are associated with increases in the peptide levels of the plasticity-related growth factor BDNF in the nucleus accumbens, amygdala and ventral tegmental area (VTA), and that a single VTA infusion of BDNF induces long-lasting increases (up to 30 days) in cocaine seeking after withdrawal. I will discuss these findings and also present results from a series of experiments that led us to conclude that the central, but not the basolateral, amygdala ERK signaling pathway mediates the incubation of cocaine craving.