The failure of some rats to acquire intravenous cocaine self-administration is attributable to conditioned place aversion
Rademacher DJ, Anders KA, Thompson KJ, Steinpreis RE
Department of Psychology,
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,
138 Garland Hall,
2441 East Hartford Avenue,
53211, Milwaukee, WI, USA
Behav Brain Res 2000 Dec 20; 117(1-2):13-19


Although cocaine administration in humans includes euphoric and anxiogenic effects, the latter are less well understood. Acute cocaine administration produces aversive effects including anxiogenic effects as well as appetitive effects in rats and mice. In the present study the self-administration and conditioned place preference paradigms were used to determine whether the failure of some rats to acquire intravenous cocaine self-administration is attributable to either an interference with learning or an aversion to cocaine. Rats were classified as self-administrators or non-self-administrators based on the mean number of cocaine self-infusions per session and whether or not rats exhibited either a stable high level of responding or a stable low level of responding. Intravenously administered cocaine produced place preference for the self-administrators, while intravenously administered cocaine produced place aversion for the non-self-administrators. The fact that the non-self-administrators showed place aversion is inconsistent with the interpretation that the failure of these rats to readily self-administer is attributable to cocaine-mediated interference of learning. This is the first study in which both the self-administration and the conditioned place preference paradigms have been used in the same animals to demonstrate that the effects of cocaine are appetitive for some rats and aversive for others, and are not an artifact of cocaine's interference with learning.

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