While glutamate in the nucleus accumbens (NAS) contributes to the promotion of drug-seeking by drug-predictive cues, it also appears to play a role in the inhibition of drug-seeking following extinction procedures. Thus we measured extracellular fluctuations of NAS glutamate in response to discriminative stimuli that signaled either cocaine availability or cocaine omission. We trained rats to self-administer intravenous cocaine and then to recognize discriminative odor cues that predicted either sessions where cocaine was available or alternating sessions where it was not (saline substituted for cocaine). Whereas responding in cocaine availability sessions remained stable, responding in cocaine omission sessions progressively declined to chance levels. We then determined the effects of each odor cue on extracellular glutamate in the core and shell subregions of NAS preceding and accompanying lever pressing under an extinction condition. Glutamate levels were elevated in both core and shell by the availability odor and depressed in the core but not the shell by the omission odor. Infusion of kynurenic acid (an antagonist for ionotropic glutamate receptors) into core but not shell suppressed responding associated with the availability odor, but had no effect on the suppression associated with the omission odor. Thus cocaine-predictive cues appear to promote cocaine seeking in part by elevating glutamatergic neurotransmission in the core of NAS, whereas cocaine-omission cues appear to suppress cocaine seeking in part by depressing glutamatergic receptor activation in the same region.