The glucocorticoid receptor is a ubiquitous transcription factor mediating adaptation to environmental challenges and stress. Selective Nr3c1 (the glucocorticoid receptor gene) ablation in mouse dopaminoceptive neurons expressing dopamine receptor 1a, but not in dopamine-releasing neurons, markedly decreased the motivation of mice to self-administer cocaine, dopamine cell firing and the control exerted by dopaminoceptive neurons on dopamine cell firing activity. In contrast, anxiety was unaffected, indicating that glucocorticoid receptors modify a number of behavioral disorders through different neuronal populations.
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