Author(s): van Haaren F, Meyer ME
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Abstract Adult, intact and gonadectomized male and female Wistar rats (n = 9) were exposed to an automated open field to assess the behavioral effects of acute cocaine administration (saline, 1.0 and 10.0 mg/kg subcutaneous). The subjects were exposed to the open field for 10 min, removed to be injected and returned to the open field for another 30 min. Three saline and two drug sessions were run in counterbalanced order. Locomotor activity in intact and castrated male rats and ovariectomized female rats decreased following injection, irrespective of the dose of cocaine. The locomotor activity of intact female rats was higher than that of any other group of subjects. It decreased during the session after saline and 1.0 mg/kg cocaine, but increased towards the end of the 30 min session after 10.0 mg/kg. Rearing measures paralleled the observations on locomotor activity. To determine the effects of chronic, home-cage, cocaine administration, five of the subjects in each group were injected with 10.0 mg/kg cocaine for 9 consecutive days. The remaining four subjects received saline injections. On day 10, all subjects were re-exposed to the open-field for 10 min, removed, injected with 10.0 mg/kg cocaine and returned to the open field for another 30 min. Chronic home cage cocaine administration produced an increase in cocaine's effects on locomotor activity and rearing in intact female rats only. However, behavioral sensitization was also observed in intact female rats who had been treated with saline for 9 consecutive days, suggesting that behavioral sensitization to cocaine in intact female rats may develop very rapidly and independent of environmental context.
This article was published in Pharmacol Biochem Behav
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy