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Front Genet. 2012 Jul 11;3:126. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2012.00126. eCollection 2012.

Methamphetamine-induced conditioned place preference in LG/J and SM/J mouse strains and an F45/F46 advanced intercross line.

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Department of Human Genetics, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.


The conditioned place preference (CPP) test is frequently used to evaluate the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse in mice. Despite its widespread use in transgenic and knockout experiments, there are few forward genetic studies using CPP to identify novel genes contributing to drug reward. In this study, we tested LG/J and SM/J inbred strains and the parents/offspring of 10 families of an F(45)/F(46) advanced intercross line (AIL) for methamphetamine-induced CPP (MA-CPP) once per week over 2 weeks. Both LG/J and SM/J mice exhibited significant MA-CPP that was not significantly different between the two strains. Furthermore, LG/J mice showed significantly less acute MA-induced locomotor activity as well as locomotor sensitization following subsequent MA injections. AIL mice (N = 105) segregating LG/J and SM/J alleles also demonstrated significant MA-CPP that was equal in magnitude between the first and second week of training. Importantly, MA-CPP in AIL mice did not correlate with drug-free or MA-induced locomotor activity, indicating that MA-CPP was not confounded by test session activity and implying that MA-CPP is genetically distinct from acute psychomotor sensitivity. We estimated the heritability of MA-CPP and locomotor phenotypes using midparent-offspring regression and maximum likelihood estimates derived from the kinship coefficients of the AIL pedigree. Heritability estimates of MA-CPP were low (0-0.21) and variable (SE = 0-0.33) which reflected our poor power to estimate heritability using only 10 midparent-offspring observations. In sum, we established a short-term protocol for MA-CPP in AIL mice that could reveal LG/J and SM/J alleles important for MA reward. The use of highly recombinant genetic populations like AIL should facilitate the identification of these genes and may have implications for understanding psychostimulant abuse in humans.


addiction; amphetamine; cue-associated craving; drug abuse; locomotion; pavlovian conditioning; psychostimulants; reinforcement

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