The role of fosB in the medial preoptic area: Differential effects of mating and cocaine history. Academic Article uri icon


  • The transcription factor deltaFosB (FosB) is induced in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) by repeated exposure to drugs of abuse and natural rewards. Less is known about its role in other brain areas. Here, we compared the effects of mating versus cocaine history on induction of FosB in the medial preoptic area (MPOA), an integral site for reproductive behavior, and in the NAc. FosB immunoreactivity (ir) was increased in the MPOA of previously nave and experienced male rats that mated the day before euthanasia, compared to unmated controls and experienced males with recent mating abstinence. Western immunoblots confirmed that the 35-37-kDa isoform of FosB was increased more in recently mated males. Conversely, previous plus recent cocaine did not increase FosB-ir in the MPOA, despite an increase in the NAc. Next, a viral vector expressing FosB, its dominant negative antagonist JunD, or green fluorescent protein (GFP) control, were microinjected bilaterally into the MPOA. FosB overexpression impaired copulation and promoted female-directed aggression, compared to JunD and control males. These data suggest that FosB in the mPOA is expressed in an experience-dependent manner and affects systems that coordinate mating and aggression. (PsycINFO Database Record

published proceedings

  • Behav Neurosci

author list (cited authors)

  • McHenry, J. A., Robison, C. L., Bell, G. A., Vialou, V. V., Bolaos-Guzmn, C. A., Nestler, E. J., & Hull, E. M.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • McHenry, Jenna A||Robison, Christopher L||Bell, Genevieve A||Vialou, Vincent V||Bolaños-Guzmán, Carlos A||Nestler, Eric J||Hull, Elaine M

publication date

  • January 2016