rGβ1: A psychostimulant-regulated gene essential for establishing cocaine sensitization

Xiao Bing Wang, Masahiko Funada, Yasuo Imai, Randal S. Revay, Hiroshi Ujike, David J. Vandenbergh, George R. Uhl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Repeated doses of cocaine or amphetamine lead to long-lasting behavioral manifestations that include enhanced responses termed sensitization. Although biochemical mechanisms that underlie these manifestations currently remain largely unknown, new protein synthesis has been implicated in several of these neuroadaptive processes. To seek candidate biochemical mechanisms for these drug-induced neuroplastic behavioral responses, we have used an approach termed subtracted differential display (SDD) to identify genes whose expression is regulated by these psychostimulants. rGβ1 is one of the SDD products that encodes a rat G-protein β subunit. rGβ1 expression is upregulated by cocaine or amphetamine treatments in neurons of the nucleus accumbens shell region, a major center for psychostimulant effects in locomotor control and behavioral reward. Antisense oligonucleotide treatments that attenuate rGβ1 expression in regions including the nucleus accumbens abolish the development of behavioral sensitization when they are administrated during the repeated cocaine exposures that establish sensitization. These treatments fail to alter acute behavioral responses to cocaine, and they do not block the expression of cocaine sensitization when it is established before oligonucleotide administrations. Full, regulated rGβ1 expression is a biochemical component essential to the establishment of a key consequence of repeated cocaine administrations, sensitization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5993-6000
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 1997


  • Addiction
  • Amphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • G- protein
  • Gene regulation
  • PCR differential display
  • Sensitization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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