Psychopharmacology

, Volume 187, Issue 1, pp 13–21

A method for single-session cocaine self-administration in the mouse

Authors

    • Department of Molecular Physiology and BiophysicsVanderbilt University Medical Center
    • Center for Molecular NeuroscienceVanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Danny G. Winder
    • Department of Molecular Physiology and BiophysicsVanderbilt University Medical Center
    • Center for Molecular NeuroscienceVanderbilt University Medical Center
    • John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Human DevelopmentVanderbilt University Medical Center
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-006-0388-1

Cite this article as:
Olsen, C.M. & Winder, D.G. Psychopharmacology (2006) 187: 13. doi:10.1007/s00213-006-0388-1

Abstract

Rationale

Drug self-administration is a powerful method to measure the reinforcing effects of a drug, as well as to investigate behavioral, biochemical, and physiological effects of a drug specific to contingent delivery. With the spectrum of genetically modified mice available, there is a need for well-designed drug self-administration studies tailored for rapid completion of studies in mice.

Objectives

We set out to develop a methodology in mice for obtaining high levels of cocaine self-administration during the first exposure to the drug.

Materials and methods

C57Bl/6J mice were trained to lever press for liquid reinforcer on a fixed ratio 1, then a progressive ratio (PR) schedule of reinforcement before intravenous self-administration of cocaine on a PR schedule.

Results

Within a single 16-h session, each mouse self-administered either saline or 0.1, 0.3, 0.6, or 1.2 mg kg−1 infusion−1 of cocaine during four distinct 4-h subsessions. Mice showed a strong preference for cocaine vs saline, as demonstrated by higher breakpoints and greater preference for the active lever. Likewise, there was a dose-dependent increase in breakpoints obtained and in drug intake. Finally, animals receiving noncontingent cocaine pressed significantly less than mice self-administering the same dose of cocaine, indicating that a significant amount of active lever pressing is driven by drug-seeking and not the psychomotor-activating effects of cocaine alone.

Conclusions

Mice will reach high breakpoints and cocaine intake during an initial exposure to cocaine. This method is well-suited to rapidly obtain progressive ratio cocaine self-administration in mice.

Keywords

Cocaine Self-administration Mouse

Abbreviations

FR

Fixed ratio

NC

Noncontingent

PR

Progressive ratio

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006