Drugs, Dopamine, and Disposition

Science's STKE  06 Mar 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 376, pp. tw79
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3762007tw79

Individual differences in drug abuse reflect distinct behavioral and physiological traits. Dalley et al. found that, compared with controls, spontaneously impulsive rats had decreased dopamine D2/3 receptors in the nucleus accumbens even before exposure to cocaine. Trait impulsivity in rats was predictive of subsequent high rates of intravenous cocaine self-administration. Impulsivity is thus an important mediator of drug abuse vulnerability and not a consequence of chronic drug exposure.

J. W. Dalley, T. D. Fryer, L. Brichard, E. S. J. Robinson, D. E. H. Theobald, K. Lääne, Y. Peña, E. R. Murphy, Y. Shah, K. Probst, I. Abakumova, F. I. Aigbirhio, H. K. Richards, Y. Hong, J.-C. Baron, B. J. Everitt, T. W. Robbins, Nucleus accumbens D2/3 receptors predict trait impulsivity and cocaine reinforcement. Science 315, 1267-1270 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]