Psychopharmacology

, Volume 182, Issue 2, pp 245–252

Potentiation of cocaine-primed reinstatement of drug seeking in female rats during estrus

  • Tod E. Kippin
  • Rita A. Fuchs
  • Ritu H. Mehta
  • Jordan M. Case
  • Macon P. Parker
  • Heather A. Bimonte-Nelson
  • Ronald E. See
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-005-0071-y

Cite this article as:
Kippin, T.E., Fuchs, R.A., Mehta, R.H. et al. Psychopharmacology (2005) 182: 245. doi:10.1007/s00213-005-0071-y

Abstract

Rationale

Gender differences exist in the patterns of drug taking in cocaine addiction, suggesting that the propensity to relapse varies between men and women. Previous reports have shown sex differences in both cocaine-primed and conditioned-cued reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior, including recent evidence that the estrous cycle influences the level of conditioned-cued reinstatement. However, the influence of the estrous cycle on cocaine-primed reinstatement has not been examined.

Objective

Accordingly, we assessed the influence of sex and estrous cycle status on cocaine-primed reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior in Sprague–Dawley rats.

Methods

Intact male and female rats were trained to lever press to self-administer intravenous cocaine (0.5 mg/kg every infusion; fixed ratio 1, 20-s time-out following each infusion), followed by prolonged extinction training, and subsequently tested for the ability of a cocaine-priming injection (0, 5, or 10 mg/kg i.p.) to reinstate extinguished cocaine seeking (i.e., nonreinforced lever responding).

Results

Despite no differences in cocaine intake between male and female rats, females responded more on the cocaine-paired lever during self-administration and extinction relative to males. Subsequently, both males and females exhibited a dose-dependent cocaine-primed reinstatement of extinguished drug-seeking behavior. Moreover, females in estrus exhibited significantly higher reinstatement than either males or non-estrus females, following a high-dose (10 mg/kg) cocaine prime.

Conclusions

Estrus females display heightened sensitivity to the motivational and/or stimulant effects of cocaine, suggesting that hormonal state modulates drug craving and propensity for drug relapse in cocaine addicts.

Keywords

Sex differences Estrous cycle Cocaine Self-administration Extinction Reinstatement Relapse 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tod E. Kippin
    • 1
  • Rita A. Fuchs
    • 1
  • Ritu H. Mehta
    • 1
  • Jordan M. Case
    • 1
  • Macon P. Parker
    • 1
  • Heather A. Bimonte-Nelson
    • 1
  • Ronald E. See
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeuroscienceMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA

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