Increased context-dependent conditioning to amphetamine in mice lacking TAAR1

Ilya Sukhanov, Lucia Caffino, Evgeniya V. Efimova, Stefano Espinoza, Tatiana D. Sotnikova, Luigi Cervo, Fabio Fumagalli, Raul R. Gainetdinov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Given the recent evidence indicating that amphetamine derivatives may also act as direct agonists of the G protein-coupled trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1), we hypothesized that TAAR1 could contribute to the reinforcing and addictive properties of amphetamines. Accordingly, the present study aimed to investigate the role of TAAR1 in the effects of psychostimulants by analyzing context-dependent sensitization and conditioned place preference (CPP) to d-amphetamine (AMPH) in TAAR1-KO mice. In context-dependent sensitization experiment, TAAR1-KO mice showed higher conditioned locomotor responses compared to wild-type mice. In the CPP test, TAAR1-KO animals were also more sensitive to priming-induced reinstatement of AMPH-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) than wild type mice. Importantly, saline-treated and AMPH-treated mice lacking TAAR1 demonstrated significant alterations in the total levels and phosphorylation of the critical subunit of NMDA glutamate receptors, GluN1, in the striatum, suggesting a role of TAAR1 in the modulation of frontostriatal glutamate transmission; this effect could underlie the observed alterations in conditioning processes. In conclusion, our data suggest that TAAR1 receptors play an inhibitory role with respect to conditioned responses to AMPH by modulating, at least in part, corticostriatal glutamate transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacological Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Amphetamine
  • Conditioning
  • NMDA glutamate receptors
  • Trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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