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Single prolonged stress effects on sensitization to cocaine and cocaine self-administration in rats.

ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often comorbid with substance use disorders (SUD). Single prolonged stress (SPS) is a well-validated rat model of PTSD that provides a framework to investigate drug-induced behaviors as a preclinical model of the comorbidity. We hypothesized that cocaine sensitization and self-administration would be increased following exposure to SPS. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to SPS or control treatment. After SPS, cocaine (0, 10 or 20 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered for 5 consecutive days and locomotor activity was measured. Another cohort was assessed for cocaine self-administration (0.1 or 0.32 mg/kg/i.v.) after SPS. Rats were tested for acquisition, extinction and cue-induced reinstatement behaviors. Control animals showed a dose-dependent increase in cocaine-induced locomotor activity after acute cocaine whereas SPS rats did not. Using a sub-threshold sensitization paradigm, control rats did not exhibit enhanced locomotor activity at Day 5 and therefore did not develop behavioral sensitization, as expected. However, compared to control rats on Day 5 the locomotor response to 20mg/kg repeated cocaine was greatly enhanced in SPS-treated rats, which exhibited enhanced cocaine locomotor sensitization. The effect of SPS on locomotor activity was unique in that SPS did not modify cocaine self-administration behaviors under a simple schedule of reinforcement. These data show that SPS differentially affects cocaine-mediated behaviors causing no effect to cocaine self-administration, under a simple schedule of reinforcement, but significantly augmenting cocaine locomotor sensitization. These results suggest that SPS shares common neurocircuitry with stimulant-induced plasticity, but dissociable from that underlying psychostimulant-induced reinforcement.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5370568 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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