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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2019 Apr;179:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2019.01.005. Epub 2019 Jan 19.

Effects of nicotine conditioning history on alcohol and methamphetamine self-administration in rats.

Author information

1
Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.
4
Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA; Curriculum in Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA; Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Electronic address: jbesheer@med.unc.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Smoking constitutes a significant public health risk. Alcohol and methamphetamine use disorders are also highly co-morbid with smoking, further increasing negative health outcomes. An important question in determining the underlying neurobiology of nicotine poly-drug use is understanding whether having a positive history with nicotine effects alters later drug-taking behavior.

METHODS:

The current experiments sought to elucidate whether having an appetitive nicotine conditioning history would affect later alcohol or methamphetamine self-administration. Adult male and female Long-Evans rats were first trained on a discriminated goal-tracking task in which the interoceptive effects of nicotine predicted sucrose reinforcement. As a control, pseudo-conditioned groups were included that had equated nicotine and sucrose experience. Rats were then shifted to either alcohol self-administration or methamphetamine self-administration.

RESULTS:

Nicotine conditioning history had no effect on acquisition or maintenance of alcohol self-administration in males or females. In contrast, an appetitive nicotine conditioning history decreased methamphetamine self-administration in female rats, but not males.

CONCLUSIONS:

In female, but not male, rats, an appetitive conditioning history with nicotine decreases methamphetamine, but not alcohol, self-administration. This dissociation suggests that the effects may be due to a specific increase in the reinforcing value of methamphetamine. This may have implications for better understanding the progression of drug use from nicotine to methamphetamine.

PMID:
30664897
PMCID:
PMC6435414
[Available on 2020-04-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.pbb.2019.01.005

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