Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 by SB 216763 affects acquisition at lower doses than expression of amphetamine-conditioned place preference in rats

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Dopamine (DA) drives incentive learning, whereby neutral stimuli acquire the ability to elicit responses. DA influences the signaling molecule glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3). Inhibition of GSK3 attenuates the development of behavioral sensitization to stimulant drugs and conditioned place preference (CPP), a measure of incentive learning. We examined the role of GSK3 in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of rats in CPP produced by amphetamine (1.5 mg/kg, i.p. or 20.0 μg/0.5 μl/side intra-NAc) by administering the inhibitor SB 216763 (1.0, 2.0, and 2.5 mg/kg, i.p. or 0.03, 0.30, 3.00, and 5.00 μg/0.5 μl/side intra-NAc) during acquisition or expression. We hypothesized a dose-dependent effect of SB 216763 and that acquisition would be affected by smaller doses than expression. For the systemic groups, 1.0 mg/kg of SB 216763 did not block CPP; 2.0 mg/kg administered in acquisition but not expression blocked CPP; and 2.5 mg/kg administered in either phase blocked CPP. For the central groups, 0.03 μg/0.5 μl/side of SB 216763 prevented acquisition but not expression, whereas larger doses administered in either phase blocked CPP. Thus, systemic or NAc inhibition of GSK3 by SB 216763 during acquisition or expression blocks amphetamine-produced CPP and acquisition is sensitive to lower doses than expression.

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