Egr2 induction in SPNs of the ventrolateral striatum contributes to cocaine place preference in mice

Diptendu Mukherjee, Ben Jerry Gonzales, Reut Ashwal-Fluss, Hagit Turm, Maya Groysman, Ami Citri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Drug addiction develops due to brain-wide plasticity within neuronal ensembles, mediated by dynamic gene expression. Though the most common approach to identify such ensembles relies on immediate early gene expression, little is known of how the activity of these genes is linked to modified behavior observed following repeated drug exposure. To address this gap, we present a broad-to-specific approach, beginning with a comprehensive investigation of brain-wide cocaine-driven gene expression, through the description of dynamic spatial patterns of gene induction in subregions of the striatum, and finally address functionality of region-specific gene induction in the development of cocaine preference. Our findings reveal differential cell-type specific dynamic transcriptional recruitment patterns within two subdomains of the dorsal striatum following repeated cocaine exposure. Furthermore, we demonstrate that induction of the IEG Egr2 in the ventrolateral striatum, as well as the cells within which it is expressed, are required for the development of cocaine seeking.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere65228
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

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  • Cocaine sensitization
  • Conditioned-place preference
  • Ensembles
  • IEG
  • RNAseq
  • Reward
  • Reward circuit
  • Spatial transcriptomics
  • Spiny projection neurons
  • Striatum
  • Ventrolateral striatum


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