Dopamine D4 receptors in psychostimulant addiction

Patricia Di Ciano, David K. Grandy, Bernard Le Foll

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

46 Scopus citations


Since the cloning of the D4 receptor in the 1990s, interest has been building in the role of this receptor in drug addiction, given the importance of dopamine in addiction. Like the D3 receptor, the D4 receptor has limited distribution within the brain, suggesting it may have a unique role in drug abuse. However, compared to the D3 receptor, few studies have evaluated the importance of the D4 receptor. This may be due, in part, to the relative lack of compounds selective for the D4 receptor; the early studies were mainly conducted in mice lacking the D4 receptor. In this review, we summarize the literature on the structure and localization of the D4 receptor before reviewing the data from D4 knockout mice that used behavioral models relevant to the understanding of stimulant use. We also present evidence from more recent pharmacological studies using selective D4 agonists and antagonists and animal models of drug-seeking and drug-taking. The data summarized here suggest a role for D4 receptors in relapse to stimulant use. Therefore, treatments based on antagonism of the D4 receptor may be useful treatments for relapse to nicotine, cocaine, and amphetamine use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Pharmacology
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Pharmacology
ISSN (Print)1054-3589
ISSN (Electronic)1557-8925


  • Amphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • D4
  • Dopamine
  • Nicotine
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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