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Cocaine abuse: hard knocks for the dopamine hypothesis?


The idea that cocaine's reinforcing effects are due to its action at the dopamine transporter is challenged by a new finding that mice lacking this protein self-administer cocaine.

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Figure 1: Dopamine synapse in wild-type and DAT-knockout mice.
Figure 2: Dopamine's role in cocaine's mechanism of action, and a possible alternative in DAT-knockout mice.
Figure 3: Actions of cocaine at neural transporters in normal rats and DAT-knockout mice.


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Correspondence to S. Barak Caine.

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Caine, S. Cocaine abuse: hard knocks for the dopamine hypothesis?. Nat Neurosci 1, 90–92 (1998).

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