Synaptic plasticity mediating cocaine relapse requires matrix metalloproteinases

Alexander C.W. Smith, Yonatan M. Kupchik, Michael D. Scofield, Cassandra D. Gipson, Armina Wiggins, Charles A. Thomas, Peter W. Kalivas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Relapse to cocaine use necessitates remodeling excitatory synapses in the nucleus accumbens and synaptic reorganization requires matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) degradation of the extracellular matrix proteins. We found enduring increases in MMP-2 activity in rats after withdrawal from self-administered cocaine and transient increases in MMP-9 during cue-induced cocaine relapse. Cue-induced heroin and nicotine relapse increased MMP activity, and increased MMP activity was required for both cocaine relapse and relapse-associated synaptic plasticity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1655-1657
Number of pages3
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

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