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Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1996 Apr;353(5):545-51.

Effects of cocaine on the EEG power spectrum of rats are significantly altered after its repeated administration: do they reflect sensitization phenomena?

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Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Marburg, Germany.


It was previously shown that a moderate dose of cocaine (10 mg/kg i.p.) produces a pattern in the EEG power spectrum which indicates a preferential activation of dopamine D1-like receptors, namely a decrease of power in most of the frequency bands. In contrast, a large dose of cocaine (30 mg/kg i.p.) produces a decrease of power in most of the frequency bands as well, but a selective increase in the alpha-1 band, characteristic for an additional activation of dopamine D2-like receptors. In the present experiments, it was studied in rats, if in the course of sensitization, a shift from D1-like to additional D2-like receptor activation will occur or not. For this study, the animals were treated 10 times with cocaine (either 10 or 20 mg/kg) and, after a drug free interval of 4 days, tested with the same dose administered previously. Acute administration of 10 mg/kg of cocaine increased the locomotor activity slightly and its effect tended to be enhanced after repeated administration. Twenty mg/kg cocaine increased the locomotor activity more than the 10 mg/kg dose and its effect was significantly enhanced after repeated treatment. In addition, it was shown that the dose of 10 mg/kg of cocaine which activates D1- but not D2-like receptors is sufficient to elicit conditioned place preference. Ten mg/kg of cocaine produced a decrease of power in most of the frequency bands and this effect was slightly more pronounced after repeated treatment. Twenty mg/kg of cocaine acutely also produced a decrease in power in most of the frequency bands, but did not decrease the power in the alpha-1 band, being just at the threshold of activating D2-like receptors as well. Repeated administration led to a significant increase in power in the alpha-1 band and a less pronounced one in the alpha-2 band. This observation demonstrates that sensitization to cocaine can be manifest in the EEG and that after a certain dosage, a shift from an activation of D1-like dopamine receptors to an additional activation of D2-like receptors becomes obvious.

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