Immunohistochemical Fos staining has proven to be a method to identify the neurons that are activated by stimulation. Although methamphetamine (MA)-conditioned place preference (CPP) memory was long-lasting, how this memory was established and retrieved remained unknown. We used the vehicle- and MA-conditioned environment (including cues and context) to reactivate the MA-CPP memory in mice. In the limbic system, Fos-positive neurons were examined following retrieval of the MA-CPP memory. We demonstrated that the current conditioning procedure produced reliable MA-CPP performance. Moreover, enhanced Fos expressions were found in the medial prefrontal cortex and the core of the nucleus accumbens after reactivation of the MA-CPP memory. Furthermore, familiarity with the environmental cues/context was found to significantly enhance Fos expressions in dorsal striatum and dentate gyrus. Nucleus accumbens shell, basolateral or lateral amygdala, in this regard, did not seem to be involved in retrieval of the MA-CPP memory. These results, taken together, suggest that the medial prefrontal cortex and the core of the nucleus accumbens are anatomical substrates responsible for reactivation of the MA-CPP memory.
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