Neurotrophic factors, such as glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), may play a role in drug-induced biochemical and behavioural adaptations that characterize addiction. We found that GDNF mRNA levels are lower in the striatum of rats that chronically self-administered cocaine. Therefore, we examined the effect of transplanted cells used as a biodelivery system for GDNF on cocaine self-administration in rats. A human astrocyte-like cell line, which produces and excretes GDNF, was transplanted into the striatum and nucleus accumbens of rats. These rats showed a significantly lower number of active lever presses in the cocaine self-administration paradigm compared with control rats. Moreover, rats that received a chronic infusion of GDNF via a micro-osmotic pump also exhibited weak cocaine self-administration. Therefore, we conclude that exogenous augmentation of GDNF repositories may be useful in suppressing cocaine self-administration.
- Neurotrophic factors
- Simian virus-40 glia (SVG) cells