Cocaine sensitization and craving

Differing roles for dopamine and glutamate in the nucleus accumbens

Jennifer L. Cornish*, Peter W. Kalivas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Citations (Scopus)


The repeated administration of cocaine produces enduring neuroadaptations that are associated with enhanced behavioral responsiveness to cocaine administration and lead to cocaine addiction and the manifestation of paranoid psychosis. This review describes the effect of chronic cocaine administration on dopamine and glutamate transmission in the nucleus accumbens, and discusses the relevance of these changes in the initiation of drug craving and relapse to drug abuse. Recent findings suggest that glutamate transmission in the nucleus accumbens is a dominant precipitator of relapse to drug-seeking activity, whereas both dopamine and glutamate transmission are important for sustaining drug-taking behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-54
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Accumbens
  • Craving
  • Dopamine
  • Glutamate
  • Relapse

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