Effects of the 5-HT2C receptor agonist CP809101 in the amygdala on reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior and anxiety-like behavior

Lara A. Pockros-Burgess, Nathan S. Pentkowski, Taleen Der-Ghazarian, Janet Neisewander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Serotonin 2C receptor (5-HT2CR) agonists attenuate reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. These receptors are found throughout the limbic system, including the basolateral amygdala (BlA), which is involved in forming associations between emotional stimuli and environmental cues, and the central amygdala (CeA), which is implicated in the expression of conditioned responding to emotional stimuli. This study investigated whether 5-HT2CRs in the amygdala are involved in cue and cocaine-primed reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. Rats were trained to self-administer cocaine (0.75 mg/kg, i.v.) which that was paired with light and tone cues, and then subsequently they underwent daily extinction training. Rats then received bilateral microinfusions of the 5-HT2CR agonist CP809101 (0.01-1.0 μg/0.2 μl/side) into either the BlA or CeA prior to tests for cue or cocaine-primed (10 mg/kg, i.p.) reinstatement. Rats were also tested for CP809101 effects on anxiety-like behavior on the elevated plus-maze (EPM). Surprisingly, intra-BlA CP809101 had no effect on cue reinstatement, though it did increase anxiety-like behavior on the EPM. Intra-CeA infusions of CP809101 attenuated cocaine-primed reinstatement, an effect that was prevented with concurrent administration of the 5-HT2CR antagonist SB242084 (0.1 μg/0.2 μl/side). CP809101 had no effect on cue reinstatement or anxiety-like behavior on the EPM. These findings suggest that 5-HT2CRs in the BlA modulate anxiety, whereas those in the CeA modulate incentive motivational effects induced by cocaine priming injections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1751-1762
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 29 2014


  • Addiction
  • elevated plus-maze
  • incentive motivation
  • relapse
  • serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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