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Psychopharmacology

, Volume 234, Issue 18, pp 2813–2821 | Cite as

Prevention and reversal of social stress-escalated cocaine self-administration in mice by intra-VTA CRFR1 antagonism

  • Xiao Han
  • Joseph F. DeBold
  • Klaus A. Miczek
Original Investigation

Abstract

Background

A history of brief intermittent social defeat stress can escalate cocaine self-administration and induce long-term adaptations in the mesolimbic dopamine system. Extra-hypothalamic corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF) has been shown to be closely associated with stress-induced escalation of drug use. How repeated stress modulates CRF release in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the roles of CRF receptors during different phases of stress-induced cocaine self-administration remain to be defined.

Objective

The current study examines the roles of CRF and CRF receptor 1 (CRFR1) in escalated intravenous cocaine self-administration after exposure to social defeat stress in mice.

Methods and results

First, CRFR1 antagonist (CP 376,395, 15 mg/kg, i.p.) given 30 min prior to each social defeat episode prevented later escalated cocaine self-administration. When CP 376,395 (5 and 15 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered 10 days after the last episode of social stress, the escalation of cocaine intake was dose-dependently reversed. Moreover, socially defeated mice showed increased CRF release in the VTA compared to controls. To further explore the role of CRFR1, CP 376,395 (0.5 and 1 μg/0.2 μl) was infused directly into the VTA before the cocaine self-administration session. Intra-VTA antagonism of CRFR1 was sufficient to reverse social defeat stress-escalated cocaine self-administration.

Conclusion

These findings suggest that CRF and CRFR1 exert multiple roles in the response to social stress that are relevant to escalated cocaine self-administration.

Keywords

Social defeat stress CRF microdialysis CRFR1 Intravenous cocaine self-administration Microinjection VTA Mice 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant DA031734, KAM, PI.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiao Han
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joseph F. DeBold
    • 1
  • Klaus A. Miczek
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTufts UniversityMedfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeneticsHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and PsychiatryTufts UniversityBostonUSA

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