Activation of G-protein coupled estradiol receptor 1 in the dorsolateral striatum attenuates preference for cocaine and saccharin in male but not female rats

Author: Quigley, Jacqueline A.; Becker, Jill B.

Description: There are sex differences in the response to psychomotor stimulants, where females exhibit a greater response than males, due to the presence of the gonadal hormone estradiol (E2). Extensive research has shown that E2 enhances drug-seeking and the rewarding properties of cocaine for females. The role of E2 in male drug-seeking, however, is not well understood. The current study investigated pharmacological manipulation of E2 receptors in the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) on preference for cocaine in gonad-intact male and female rats. In males, activation of G-protein coupled E2 receptor 1 (GPER1), via administration of ICI 182,780 or G1, attenuated conditioned place preference for 10 mg/kg cocaine, while inhibition of GPER1, via G15, enhanced preference at a 5 mg/kg cocaine dose. Similarly, GPER1 activation, via G1, prevented males from forming a preference for 0.1% saccharin (SACC) versus plain water. Surprisingly, activation of GPER1 did not alter preference for cocaine or SACC in females. These studies also examined the quantity of E2 receptor mRNA in the dorsal striatum, using qPCR. No sex differences in relative mRNA expression of ERa, ERB, and GPER1 were observed. However, there was greater GPER1 mRNA, relative to ERa and ERB, in both males and females. The results presented here indicate that E2, acting via GPER1, may be protective against drug preference in male rats.

Subject headings: Addiction; GPER1; Sex differences; Rats; E2; Brain; Cocaine; Saccharin

Publication year: 2021

Journal or book title: Hormones and Behavior

Volume: 130

Pages: 104949

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Serial number: 3334

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