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Erdtmann-Vourliotis M, Mayer P, Riechert U, Hollt V. 
“Acute injection of drugs with low addictive potential (delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, lysergic acid diamide) causes a much higher c-fos expression in limbic brain areas than highly addicting drugs (cocaine and morphine)”. 
Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1999 Aug 25;71(2):313-24.
It is regarded as a common pharmacological property responsible for the addictive potential of drugs of abuse that they are able to activate brain areas involved in the sensation of pleasure, especially the nucleus accumbens. To investigate the connection between addictive potential and stimulation of critical brain areas in more detail, we studied c-fos accumulation in response to various addicting drugs in direct comparison. The substances were injected into drug-naive rats, and c-fos mRNA levels were measured throughout the brain by in situ hybridization. Cocaine in a high dose of 50 mg/kg yielded only a discrete c-fos expression in the medial and central striatum. Morphine (50 mg/kg) caused a weak c-fos synthesis in the lateral septum. THC (delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol), 25 mg/kg, induced c-fos mRNA again in the lateral septum and furthermore in large parts of the striatum including the nucleus accumbens. LSD (lysergic acid diamide), 1 mg/kg, elicited a similar c-fos expression pattern as THC, but there was additionally a very strong hybridization signal in the cerebral cortex, especially in the upper layers, and in the ventral part of the periaqueductal gray. The widest range of brain areas was activated by MDMA (3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, 'ecstasy'), 6 mg/kg. In addition to the regions that responded to LSD, there was a very pronounced c-fos signal in the nucleus accumbens core and shell and in the mammillary nuclei. Taken together, our study revealed that the drugs with the highest addictive potential, cocaine and morphine, yielded a very low c-fos synthesis throughout the brain whereas the brain regions closely linked to pleasure (especially the nucleus accumbens) responded strongly to drugs with an apparently lower addictive potential (THC, LSD, MDMA).
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