CD81, a tetraspanin transmembrane protein involved in cell adhesion, was found by differential display to be up-regulated in the nucleus accumbens of rat brain following acute cocaine treatment (four injections of 30 mg/kg every 2 h followed by 24 h withdrawal). Cocaine-induced expression of CD81 in adult rat brain was confirmed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Its expression in neurons and its function in the brain are unknown. In situ hybridization shows a neuron-specific expression pattern in brain regions functionally related to the regulation of cardiovascular function and fluid homeostasis. CD81 displays codistribution to galanin and, to a lesser extent, to vasopressin. These findings add to data that suggest a connection between the brain reward pathway and the centers regulating endocrine and autonomic functions, in relation to neurochemical, behavioral, and somatic consequences of drug abuse.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology