Diminished role of dopamine D1-receptor signaling with the development of an addicted phenotype in rats

Biological Psychiatry
Carolina P RamôaWendy J Lynch


Although considerable evidence implicates dopamine D1-receptor signaling in the nucleus accumbens in motivation for cocaine during early stages of addiction, less is known with regard to its role after the development of addiction. Here, we examined its role in the development of an addicted phenotype in intact male and female rats, and in female rats that were either resistant or vulnerable to developing this phenotype. Intact males, females, and ovariectomized (OVX) females with and without estradiol (vulnerable, OVX+E; resistant, OVX+Veh) were given either short access (ShA) (three fixed-ratio 1 sessions, maximum of 20 infusions) or 24-hour extended access (ExA) to cocaine for 10 days (4 trials/hour). Motivation for cocaine was assessed after a 14-day abstinence period with a progressive-ratio schedule. Once responding stabilized, the effects of intra-accumbens infusion of the D1-receptor antagonist, SCH-23390 (0, .3, 1.0, 3.0 µg), were examined. Motivation for cocaine was markedly higher after abstinence from ExA versus ShA self-administration in intact males and females, indicating the development of an addicted phenotype in these groups. Motivation for cocaine was also higher than ShA control subjects in OVX+E but not OVX...Continue Reading


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