Sensitization to morphine induced by viral-mediated gene transfer

William A. Carlezon, Virginia A. Boundy, Colin N. Haile, Sarah B. Lane, Robert G. Kalb, Rachael L. Neve, Eric J. Nestler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

249 Scopus citations


Repeated administration of morphine sensitizes animals to the stimulant and rewarding properties of the drug. It also selectively increases expression of GluR1 (an AMPA glutamate receptor subunit) in the ventral tegmental area, a midbrain region implicated in morphine action. By viral- mediated gene transfer, a causal relation is shown between these behavioral and biochemical adaptations: Morphine's stimulant and rewarding properties are intensified after microinjections of a viral vector expressing GluR1 into the ventral tegmental area. These results confirm the importance of AMPA receptors in morphine action and demonstrate specific locomotor and motivational adaptations resulting from altered expression of a single localized gene product.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)812-814
Number of pages3
Issue number5327
StatePublished - 8 Aug 1997
Externally publishedYes


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