, Volume 141, Issue 1, pp 99-106

Withdrawal following repeated exposure to d-amphetamine decreases responding for a sucrose solution as measured by a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement

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Abstract

Numerous studies have shown that withdrawal from sustained high doses of psychostimulant drugs such as cocaine or d-amphetamine produces depressive-like symptoms in both rats and humans. The majority of experiments with rodents have assessed the effects of amphetamine withdrawal on reinforcing electrical self-stimulation in different brain regions, but relatively few have examined effects on responding for natural reinforcers. In the present study, two groups of mildly food and water deprived male rats were trained to respond on a lever for a 4% sucrose solution under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. One group was subsequently administered a 4-day regimen of injections of increasing doses of d-amphetamine based on a schedule shown previously to reduce self-stimulation behaviour. Break points were significantly reduced for up to 4 days after the termination of drug administration, suggesting a decreased motivation to obtain the natural reward. A further experiment demonstrated that the identical drug regimen produced no effect upon consumption of the 4% sucrose solution when it was freely available. These results demonstrate that the progressive ratio procedure may be a useful technique for evaluating changes in motivation for natural reinforcing stimuli following withdrawal from psychostimulant drugs.

Received: 2 April 1998/Final version: 2 June 1998