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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2000 Nov;23(5):577-86.

Effects of the CRH receptor antagonist CP-154,526 on intravenous cocaine self-administration in rats.

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Departments of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA 71130-3932, USA.


The role for corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) receptors in the maintenance of intravenous cocaine self-administration in rats was investigated using the centrally active, small molecule CRH1 receptor antagonist CP-154,526. In these experiments, adult male Wistar rats were allowed alternating 15-min periods of access to food reinforcement and cocaine self-administration (0.125, 0.25 or 0. 5 mg/kg/infusion) during daily 2-h sessions. A 1-min timeout separated access to the two reinforcers. Pretreatment with CP-154, 526 produced dose-related decreases in cocaine self-administration without affecting food-reinforced responding, suggesting a specific effect of the antagonist on cocaine-maintained behavior. Drug intake was decreased across several doses of cocaine, with the dose-response curve for cocaine self-administration shifted downward and flattened, suggesting that CP-154,526 decreased cocaine reinforcement. Furthermore, responding on the cocaine lever following CP-154,526 pretreatment was significantly suppressed, even during the first 15 min of the session, a time when rats typically sample the cocaine lever during extinction, suggesting that CRH receptors may also be involved in some of the conditioned effects of cocaine as well. These data are discussed in terms of the role for CRH in the neurobehavioral effects of cocaine.

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