Dopaminergic and peptidergic mRNA levels in juvenile rat brain after prenatal cocaine treatment

A. de Bartolomeis, M. C. Austin, G. A. Goodwin, L. P. Spear, D. Pickar, J. N. Crawley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The effects of prenatal cocaine treatment on gene expression in dopaminergic pathways of juvenile rats were investigated by in situ hybridization histochemistry. Pregnant rats from gestational day 8 to 20 were administered one of the following treatments: (A) 40 mg/kg cocaine hydrochloride/3 ml/day s.c.; (B) 0.9% saline/3 ml/day s.c. and pair fed to cocaine-exposed dams; (C) 0.9% saline/3 ml/day s.c. and placement on cellulose-diluted diet to match the caloric intake of the cocaine-treated group without explicit food restriction; (D) no injection and lab chow diet. Levels of mRNA for the dopamine transporter, tyrosine hydroxylase, cholecystokinin, D1 and D2 dopamine receptors and enkephalin were quantitated in relevant dopaminergic regions of forebrain and midbrain of offspring that were sacrificed on postnatal day 21. Quantitative analysis revealed no significant changes in mRNA levels in any of the brain regions examined. In the present animal model, cocaine exposure in utero had no significant effect on mRNA levels of the dopamine transporter, D1 or D2 dopamine receptors, enkephalin, tyrosine hydroxylase, or cholecystokinin in juvenile rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-332
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Cholecystokinin
  • Dopamine receptor
  • Dopamine transporter
  • Enkephalin
  • Gene regulation
  • In situ hybridization
  • Stimulant
  • Tyrosine hydroxylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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