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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014 Sep;231(17):3391-400. doi: 10.1007/s00213-013-3404-2. Epub 2014 Jan 8.

Effects of inhibitory GABA-active neurosteroids on cocaine seeking and cocaine taking in rats.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology & Neuroscience, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 1501 Kings Highway, Box 33932, Shreveport, LA, 71130, USA, cschm1@lsuhsc.edu.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Several compounds that potentiate GABA-induced inhibitory currents also decrease stress, anxiety and addiction-related behaviors. Because of the well-established connection between stress and addiction, compounds that reduce stress-induced responses might be efficacious in treating addiction. Since endogenous neurosteroids such as allopregnanolone may function in a manner similar to benzodiazepines to reduce HPA axis activation and anxiety following stressful stimuli, we hypothesized that exogenously applied neurosteroids would reduce cocaine reinforcement in two animal models.

METHODS:

Male Wistar rats were trained to self-administer cocaine and food under a concurrent alternating operant schedule of reinforcement. Two separate groups of rats were trained to self-administer cocaine or food pellets and were then exposed to similar cue-induced reinstatement paradigms. Both groups of rats were pretreated with various doses of neurosteroids.

RESULTS:

Allopregnanolone and 3α-hydroxy-3β-methyl-17β-nitro-5α-androstane (R6305-7, a synthetic neurosteroid) were ineffective in selectively decreasing cocaine relative to food self-administration. On the other hand, both allopregnanolone and R6305-7 significantly decreased the cue-induced reinstatement of extinguished cocaine seeking, confirmed by one-way ANOVA.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that neurosteroids may be effective in reducing the relapse to cocaine use without affecting ongoing cocaine self-administration.

PMID:
24398823
DOI:
10.1007/s00213-013-3404-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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