Involvement of the dorsal hippocampus in expression and extinction of cocaine-induced conditioned place preference

Leah N. Hitchcock, K. Matthew Lattal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A key aspect of substance abuse is that drug taking often occurs in a specific context. As a consequence, exposure to drug-associated contexts can trigger cravings and relapse, even after long periods of abstinence. Although many studies have demonstrated that the hippocampus is critical for developing and retrieving contextual and spatial memories, comparatively little is known about the role of the hippocampus in acquiring and inhibiting memories involving contexts and drugs of abuse. We examined the effects of hippocampal inactivation on expression of cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) after initial acquisition or extinction of CPP in C57BL/6 mice. During acquisition of CPP, distinct tactile cues were paired with cocaine (20 mg kg −1 , intraperitoneal, CS+) and different tactile cues were paired with saline (CS−) on alternate days. Groups differed in whether the CS+ and CS− cues were presented in the same large space (one-compartment procedure) or distinct small spaces (two-compartment procedure), as previous findings demonstrate that a two-compartment configuration facilitates acquisition and attenuates extinction of a cocaine-induced CPP. Microinjection of the GABA A agonist, muscimol, into the dorsal hippocampus impaired (1) retrieval of a place preference after acquisition, (2) extinction of a place preference, and (3) retrieval of extinction. These effects differed depending on the spatial configuration during acquisition or extinction, suggesting that the dorsal hippocampus may differentially modulate drug seeking during retrieval and extinction of CPP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-238
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • cocaine
  • conditioned place preference
  • extinction
  • hippocampus
  • muscimol
  • retrieval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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