Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2015 Dec;13(3):227-238. 10.9758/cpn.2015.13.3.227.

Classic Studies on the Interaction of Cocaine and the Dopamine Transporter

  • 1Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


The dopamine transporter is responsible for recycling dopamine after release. Inhibitors of the dopamine transporter, such as cocaine, will stop the reuptake of dopamine and allow it to stay extracellularly, causing prominent changes at the molecular, cellular, and behavioral levels. There is much left to be known about the mechanism and site(s) of binding, as well as the effect that cocaine administration does to dopamine transporter-cocaine binding sites and gene expression which also plays a strong role in cocaine abusers and their behavioral characteristics. Thus, if more light is shed on the dopamine transporter-cocaine interaction, treatments for addiction and even other diseases of the dopaminergic system may not be too far ahead. As today's ongoing research expands on the shoulders of classic research done in the 1990s and 2000s, the foundation of core research done in that time period will be reviewed, which forms the basis of today's work and tomorrow's therapies.


Cocaine; Dopamine plasma membrane transport proteins; Dopamine; Substance addiction; Parkinson disease; Protein-protein interaction
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