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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Aug 15;31(6):1224-9. Epub 2007 May 3.

Influence of chronic cocaine treatment and sleep deprivation on sexual behavior and neurogenesis of the male rat.

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Psychobiology Department, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


The present study investigated the influence of chronic cocaine treatment on genital reflexes associated with paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD), and possible alterations in hippocampus neurogenesis of the male rat. At 21 days of age, the rats were distributed into two groups and injected with saline or cocaine (7 mg/kg, three times a week for 12 weeks). At age 90 days, they were submitted to a four-day period of PSD (PSD groups) or maintained in home-cages (control groups), challenged with saline or cocaine administration, and placed in observation cages to assess genital reflexes. Two additional groups were used to quantify neurogenesis. PSD rats treated chronically with cocaine and challenged with saline did not differ from their respective control groups. The association of PSD with cocaine potentiated penile erection (PE) when compared to PSD-saline (saline challenged) rats, and these effects were similar to those observed in long-term cocaine treated rats. The bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) assay indicated a reduction in BrdU-positive cells in the adult hippocampus after chronic cocaine treatment. These findings show that long-term cocaine treatment from brain development through adulthood had a marked effect on sexual responses and neuronal proliferation.

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