Orexins are associated with drug relapse in rodents. Here, we show that acute restraint stress in mice activates lateral hypothalamic (LH) orexin neurons, increases levels of orexin A and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and reinstates extinguished cocaine-conditioned place preference (CPP). This stress-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP depends on type 1 orexin receptors (OX1Rs), type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) and diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL) in the VTA. In dopaminergic neurons of VTA slices, orexin A presynaptically inhibits GABAergic transmission. This effect is prevented by internal GDP-β-S or inhibiting OX1Rs, CB1Rs, phospholipase C or DAGL, and potentiated by inhibiting 2-AG degradation. These results suggest that restraint stress activates LH orexin neurons, releasing orexins into the VTA to activate postsynaptic OX1Rs of dopaminergic neurons and generate 2-AG through a Gq-protein-phospholipase C-DAGL cascade. 2-AG retrogradely inhibits GABA release through presynaptic CB1Rs, leading to VTA dopaminergic disinhibition and reinstatement of cocaine CPP.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)