Rationale and objective: Since brain proteins such as protein kinase C (PKC), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) are involved in the establishment and maintenance of psychostimulant memory, we sought to determine if systemic treatment with rottlerin, a natural compound affecting all these proteins, may modulate stimulant-supported memory. Materials and methods: Stimulant-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) was used in modeling stimulant-supported memory. Results: Three cocaine (10 mg/kg; COC) or three methamphetamine (1 mg/kg; MA) conditioning trials reliably established the drug-induced CPP in male C57BL/6 mice. An intra-peritoneal rottlerin injection (5 mg/kg) at least 24 h prior to the first COC or first MA conditioning trial prevented the establishment of CPP. Following the establishment of the COC- or MA-induced CPP, saline conditioning trial was used to extinguish the CPP. Rottlerin (5 mg/kg, intra-peritoneal (i.p.)) administered 20 h prior to the first saline conditioning trial diminished subsequent drug- and stressor-primed reinstatement of the extinguished CPP. Rottlerin (5 mg/kg, i.p.) produced a fast-onset and long-lasting increase in hippocampal BDNF levels. However, treatment with a BDNF tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) receptor antagonist, K252a (5 μg/kg), did not affect rottlerin's suppressing effect on COC-induced CPP and treatment with 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (10 mg/kg x 6, 7,8-DHF), a selective TrkB agonist, prior to each conditioning trial did not affect COC-induced CPP. Conclusion: These results suggest that systemic rottlerin treatment may impair the formation of COC- and MA-supported memory. Importantly, such a treatment may advance our understanding of the underlying mechanism through which extinction training resulted in the "forgetting" of the COC- and MA-supported memory.
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