The Dorsal Agranular Insular Cortex Regulates the Cued Reinstatement of Cocaine-Seeking, but not Food-Seeking, Behavior in Rats.Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015 Sep; 40(10):2425-33.N
Prior studies suggest that the insular cortex (IC), and particularly its posterior region (the PIc), is involved in nicotine craving and relapse in humans and rodents. The present experiments were conducted to determine whether the IC and its different subregions regulate relapse to cocaine-seeking behavior in rats. To address this issue, male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent cocaine self-administration followed by extinction training and reinstatement tests. Before each reinstatement, the PIc or the more anterior dorsal agranular IC (AId) was inactivated to determine their roles in the reinstatement to cocaine seeking. In contrast to the nicotine findings, PIc inactivation had no effect on cue-induced reinstatement for cocaine seeking. However, AId inactivation reduced cued reinstatement while having no effect on cocaine-prime reinstatement. AId inactivation had no effect on reinstatement of food-seeking behavior induced by cues, a food-prime, or cues+food-prime. Based on previous work hypothesizing a role for corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in the IC during craving and relapse, a subsequent experiment found that CRF receptor-1 (CRF1) blockade in the AId similarly reduced cued reinstatement. Our results suggest that the AId, along with CRF1 receptors in this region, regulates reinstatement to cocaine seeking, but not food seeking, depending on the type of reinstatement, whereas PIc activity does not influence cue-induced reinstatement.