Common Neural Substrates for the Addictive Properties of Nicotine and Cocaine

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Science  03 Jan 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5296, pp. 83-86
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5296.83

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Regional brain activation was assessed by mapping of Fos-related protein expression in rats trained to self-administration of intravenous nicotine and cocaine. Both drugs produced specific overlapping patterns of activation in the shell and the core of the nucleus accumbens, medial prefrontal cortex, and medial caudate areas, but not in the amygdala. Thus, the reinforcing properties of cocaine and nicotine map on selected structures of the terminal fields of the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, supporting the idea that common substrates for these addictive drugs exist.

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