Role of serotonin on cocaine-mediated effects on prodynorphin gene expression in the rat brain

Manuela Di Benedetto, Claudio D'Addario, Stephanie Collins, Sari Izenwasser, Sanzio Candeletti, Patrizia Romualdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The effect of the selective serotonin uptake inhibitor fluoxetine was examined on prodynorphin gene expression. Fluoxetine or vehicle was infused continuously for 7 d via osmotic minipumps into male rats. Northern blot analysis showed significant increases in prodynorphin gene expression in the hypothalamus (171% of controls) and significant decreases in the caudate putamen and nucleus accumbens (62% and 70% of controls, respectively). There were no significant changes in the hippocampus. Thus, chronic inhibition of serotonin uptake can regulate prodynorphin gene expression in the hypothalamus, caudate putamen, and nucleus accumbens. Fluoxetine effects were also evaluated in rats treated with p-chloroamphetamine (PCA), a neurotoxin that depletes serotonin. Because we previously reported that continuous infusion of cocaine for 7 d (which inhibits dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine uptake), or GBR12909 (a selective dopamine uptake inhibitor), produced significant decreases in the hypothalamus and cocaine also produced a significant increase in prodynorphin gene expression in caudate putamen, regulation of prodynorphin gene expression by fluoxetine is suggested to be different from that by cocaine. Because neither a selective dopamine uptake inhibitor nor a selective serotonin uptake inhibitor produced the same effect as cocaine in the caudate putamen, this effect is likely regulated by the inhibition of norepinephrine uptake, by a combination of effects on two or three neurotransmitter transporters, or by a mechanism unrelated to transporter inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-222
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Fluoxetine
  • Opioid
  • P-chloroamphetamine
  • Prodynorphin gene expression
  • Rat
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics


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