Drugs, Dopamine, and Disposition

Science  02 Mar 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5816, pp. 1189i
DOI: 10.1126/science.315.5816.1189i
CREDIT: DALLEY ET AL.

Individual differences in drug abuse reflect distinct behavioral and physiological traits. Dalley et al. (p. 1267) found that, compared to 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.

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