, Volume 191, Issue 4, pp 899–907 | Cite as

The effects of a single session of inescapable tailshock on the subsequent locomotor response to brief footshock and cocaine administration in rats

  • Andre Der-AvakianEmail author
  • Robert R. Rozeske
  • Sondra T. Bland
  • Linda R. Watkins
  • Steven F. Maier
Original Investigation



We have previously shown that exposure to a single session of inescapable (IS), but not escapable (ES), tailshock can sensitize the subsequent conditioned place preference and locomotor responses to opioids, but not other drug classes. However, prior work suggests that IS might sensitize nonopioid drug responding if the drug were to be preceded by a mild stressor.


In the following experiments, we examined the effects of IS and ES on the subsequent locomotor response to brief footshock and/or cocaine administration.


First, we measured the locomotor response to cocaine (0, 1, 5, 10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) 48 h after a single session of IS in adult, male Sprague–Dawley rats. Then, this procedure was repeated with 10 mg/kg cocaine, except that half of the rats received two footshocks immediately before drug administration. Finally, we manipulated the escapability of the initial stressor, as rats received either ES or yoked IS 48 h prior to footshock and cocaine administration.


IS did not affect the subsequent locomotor response to cocaine, but did enhance this response when cocaine administration was immediately preceded by two footshocks. The footshocks alone were without effect. This sensitizing effect was dependent on the escapability of the initial stressor, as ES did not alter the locomotor response to footshock and cocaine administration.


These results indicate that acute exposure to IS, but not ES, can sensitize the locomotor response to cocaine 48 h later, but only when cocaine administration is immediately preceded by a brief stressor.


Reward Addiction Uncontrollable stress Inescapable shock Cocaine Psychostimulant Psychomotor Locomotor Sensitization Rat 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andre Der-Avakian
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert R. Rozeske
    • 1
  • Sondra T. Bland
    • 1
  • Linda R. Watkins
    • 1
  • Steven F. Maier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Center for NeuroscienceUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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