Stress seems to serve as a potent trigger for drug use. For this reason, understanding the receptor mechanisms through which stressors evoke drug-seeking behavior is likely to be important for the identification of better pharmacotherapeutic strategies for relapse prevention. Vranjkovic et al. evaluated the role of β-adrenergic receptor subtypes in the stressor-induced reinstatement of extinguished cocaine-induced conditioned place preference in wild-type and β-adrenergic receptor-deficient mice. This study confirmed the role of β-adrenergic receptors in stress-induced reinstatement by demonstrating that reinstatement by forced swim or 2-[(4,5-dihydro-1H-imidazol-2-yl)methyl]-2,3-dihydro-1-methyl-1H-isoindole (BRL-44,408) is not observed in β-adrenergic receptor-deficient Adrb1/Adrb2 double-knockout mice and that β-adrenergic receptor activation using isoproterenol, a nonselective agonist, is sufficient to induce reinstatement in wild-type mice. The data presented suggest that activation of β2-adrenergic receptors is both necessary for stress-induced cocaine seeking and sufficient for reinstatement, whereas the precise role of β1-adrenergic receptors remains unclear; however, the data also suggest that stress-induced cocaine seeking may involve coordination between the two receptor subtypes. Overall, these findings suggest that targeting β-adrenergic receptors may represent a promising pharmacotherapeutic strategy for preventing drug relapse, particularly in cocaine addicts whose drug use is stress-related.
See article at J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2012, 342:541–551.
- Copyright © 2012 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics