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Addict Biol. 2018 Jan 2. doi: 10.1111/adb.12596. [Epub ahead of print]

Appetitive to aversive counter-conditioning as intervention to reduce reinstatement of reward-seeking behavior: the role of the serotonin transporter.

Author information

1
Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Centre for Neuroscience, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, The Netherlands.
2
Addiction, Development, and Psychopathology (ADAPT) lab, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
5
Amsterdam Brain and Cognition, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Counter-conditioning can be a valid strategy to reduce reinstatement of reward-seeking behavior. However, this has not been tested in laboratory animals with extended cocaine-taking backgrounds nor is it well understood, which individual differences may contribute to its effects. Here, we set out to investigate the influence of serotonin transporter (5-HTT) genotype on the effectiveness of counter-conditioning after extended access to cocaine self-administration. To this end, 5-HTT+/+ and 5-HTT-/- rats underwent a touch screen-based approach to test if reward-induced reinstatement of responding to a previously counter-conditioned cue is reduced, compared with a non-counter-conditioned cue, in a within-subject manner. We observed an overall extinction deficit of cocaine-seeking behavior in 5-HTT-/- rats and a resistance to punishment during the counter-conditioning session. Furthermore, we observed a significant decrease in reinstatement to cocaine and sucrose associated cues after counter-conditioning but only in 5-HTT+/+ rats. In short, we conclude that the paradigm we used was able to produce effects of counter-conditioning of sucrose seeking behavior in line with what is described in literature, and we demonstrate that it can be effective even after long-term exposure to cocaine, in a genotype-dependent manner.

KEYWORDS:

cocaine; counter-conditioning; reinstatement; serotonin transporter; touch-screen

PMID:
29292566
DOI:
10.1111/adb.12596

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