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Biol Psychiatry. 2004 Sep 1;56(5):308-16.

Animal modeling dual diagnosis schizophrenia: sensitization to cocaine in rats with neonatal ventral hippocampal lesions.

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1
Laboratory for Translational Neuroscience of Dual Diagnosis Disorders (RAC), Institute of Psychiatric Research, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. robchamb@iupui.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Increased substance disorder comorbidity in schizophrenia may reflect greater vulnerability to addictive processes because of inherent neurocircuit dysfunction in the schizophrenic brain.

METHODS:

To further explore this hypothesis, we used neonatal ventral hippocampal lesions (NVHL) as a rat model of schizophrenia and assessed locomotor sensitization to cocaine (15 mg/kg) in adulthood.

RESULTS:

The NVHL animals showed greater activity in response to an initial cocaine injection compared with sham and saline-treated groups. With daily cocaine injections over 7 days, NVHL rats showed elevated locomotor sensitization curves with greater fluctuations in the intersession changes in activity between days 4 and 7. In a single session 4 weeks later, NVHL compared with SHAM rats showed maintenance of cocaine-associated hyperactivity, as if superimposed on long-term sensitization effects present in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

In a neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia, the locomotor effects of cocaine were augmented on initial and repeated doses, with emergence of irregularity in sensitization-related changes in activity in the short term and perseverance of augmented effects in the long term. Altered patterns of behavioral sensitization, as a possible correlate of greater addiction vulnerability, can occur as a by-product of neural systems dysfunction responsible for major psychiatric syndromes.

PMID:
15336512
DOI:
10.1016/j.biopsych.2004.05.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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