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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011 Sep;99(3):301-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2011.05.005. Epub 2011 May 11.

Rapid delivery of cocaine facilitates acquisition of self-administration in rats: an effect masked by paired stimuli.

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  • 1Preclinical Pharmacology Section, Behavioral Neuroscience Branch, DHHS/NIH/NIDA Intramural Research Program, 251 Bayview Blvd., Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA. cschindl@helix.nih.gov

Abstract

In general, faster infusions of cocaine are more likely to support behavior related to abuse than are slower infusions. However, some studies of cocaine self-administration in rats have failed to support this finding, possibly because the effect was masked by other factors. One such factor may be the pairing of a stimulus with the infusion, a procedure that is known to facilitate acquisition of drug self-administration. We compared fast and slow infusions by allowing groups of rats to acquire cocaine self-administration at a dose of 1mg/kg/infusion, delivered over different durations (1.8 or 100 s). Two groups were trained with either short or long infusions paired with a visual stimulus change (lights off), and two other groups were trained with short or long durations but with no stimulus change. Both groups trained with a paired stimulus acquired cocaine self-administration. With no stimulus change, the rats trained with the 1.8-s infusion acquired cocaine self-administration at a rate comparable to the two groups that were trained with a paired stimulus. However, most rats in the group trained with the 100-s infusion that was not accompanied by a stimulus change failed to acquire cocaine self-administration. The stimulus itself did not support responding. These results indicate that infusing a given dose of cocaine over a longer duration reduces its ability to support self-administration, but drug-paired stimuli can partially mask this effect by enhancing the effectiveness of slow infusions.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

PMID:
21600912
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3129474
Free PMC Article
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