Higher sensitivity to the conditioned rewarding effects of cocaine and MDMA in High-Novelty-Seekers mice exposed to a cocaine binge during adolescence
Exposure to drugs during adolescence can induce alterations in the central nervous system. The novelty-seeking personality trait influences differences observed among individuals exposed to drugs of abuse.
Long-term effects of intensive pre-treatment with cocaine during adolescence or adulthood were evaluated in High- and Low-Novelty Seeker (HNS and LNS) mice. It was hypothesized that a cocaine binge during adolescence would increase sensitivity to the rewarding effects of cocaine and MDMA, especially in HNS animals, and modify the spontaneous behaviour of adult animals.
Adolescent (PND 33) and adult (PND 60) mice were identified as HNS or LNS according to their performance in the hole-board test. Subsequently, they received pre-treatment with cocaine (three injections per day of an increasing dose for 10 days) or saline. Three weeks later, the mice performed the hole-board, elevated plus maze, spontaneous locomotor activity and cocaine- (1 mg/kg) or MDMA- (1.25 mg/kg) induced conditioning place preference (CPP) tests. In another set of mice, the effects of pre-treatment of cocaine during adulthood on MDMA- or cocaine-induced CPP were also evaluated 3 weeks later.
Only HNS mice treated with cocaine during adolescence acquired MDMA- or cocaine-induced CPP in adulthood. Moreover, pre-exposure to cocaine during adolescence caused subsequent behavioural alterations, including reduced exploratory behaviour and increased locomotor reactivity.
Cocaine binge administration during adolescence induces a higher sensitivity to the rewarding effects of MDMA and cocaine in HNS mice in adulthood. This may explain the greater vulnerability often seen among individuals exposed early in life to drugs of abuse.
KeywordsCocaine MDMA Novelty-seeking CPP Adolescence Mice
We wish to thank Mr. Brian Normanly for his editing of the manuscript. This work was supported by the following research grants: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Dirección General de Investigación (PSI2011-24762), Instituto de Salud ‘Carlos III’ (FIS), RETICS, Red de Trastornos Adictivos (RD06/001/0016) and Generalitat Valenciana, Conselleria de Educación (PROMETEO/2009/072), Spain.
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