The galanin receptor-3 antagonist, SNAP 37889, inhibits cue-induced reinstatement of alcohol-seeking and increases c-Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens shell of alcohol-preferring rats
INTRODUCTION:This study aimed to investigate the effects of the galanin-3 receptor antagonist, SNAP 37889, on c-Fos protein expression after cue-induced reinstatement of alcohol-seeking in the brains of alcohol-preferring rats. METHODS:Eighteen alcohol-preferring rats were trained to self-administer 10% v/v ethanol in the presence of response-contingent cues, which was followed by extinction. Rats were then treated with SNAP 37889 (30 mg/kg, i.p.) or vehicle, before being tested for cue-induced reinstatement. Administration of SNAP 37889 reduced cue-induced reinstatement of ethanol-seeking behaviour. To examine the effect of SNAP 37889 and cue-induced reinstatement on neuronal activation, c-Fos expression was measured in subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. RESULTS:SNAP 37889 administration increased c-Fos immunoreactivity in the nucleus accumbens shell, but was without effect in the nucleus accumbens core and the medial prefrontal cortex. Dual-label Fos/tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry was used to examine the effects of SNAP 37889 on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area; however, no differences between SNAP 37889 and vehicle-treated rats were found. CONCLUSIONS:These data support previous findings of galanin-3 receptor involvement in cue-induced reinstatement of alcohol-seeking behaviour, and provide novel evidence that the ability of galanin-3 receptor antagonism to attenuate cue-induced reinstatement relates to activation of the nucleus accumbens shell.