Reference : Neonatal and Preweanling Rats Are Able to Express Short-Term Behavioral Sensitization...
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Neurosciences & behavior
Neonatal and Preweanling Rats Are Able to Express Short-Term Behavioral Sensitization to Cocaine
Tirelli, Ezio mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences cognitives > Neuroscience comportementale et psychopharmacologie expér. >]
Ferrara, Marie-Antoinette [Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège - CHU > > Imagerie médicale >]
European Journal of Pharmacology
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] The present study assessed the ability of suckling rats to express short-term behavioral sensitization to cocaine prior to weaning. Rat pups, aged either 3, 5, 10, 12, 17 or 19 days at the beginning of the experiment, were placed in a chamber after daily injection with cocaine (7.5 or 15 mg/kg. i.p.) for either 2 or 4 consecutive days, and were tested for behavioral responsiveness to cocaine in the same chamber 24 h later (at either 7, 14 or 21 days of age). Such a short post-treatment interval was adopted, along with a consistent pairing of the testing context with the drug effect and a sensitive technique of behavioral measurement (video recording), in order to maximize the possibility of detecting any cocaine sensitization. Locomotion was sensitized at all ages, after both regimens in 14-day-old pups, but solely after 2 injections in 21- and 4 injections in 7-day-old pups. Sensitization was also expressed via behaviors specific to each age. Four cocaine injections augmented cocaine-induced uncoordinated movements of head, paws and body (horizontal activity) in 7-day-old pups, and mouth movements in 14-day-old pups. In 21-day-old pups, sensitization was dose- and regimen-dependently expressed via adult-like stereotyped head movements. In neonatal 7-day-old pups, cocaine sensitization was also visible as reductions in immobility (both injection regimens). Contrary to previous studies, these results indicate that, given the use of an appropriate methodology, short-term sensitization to the motoric effects of cocaine can be expressed by suckling rats prior to weaning, even after relatively short regimens of daily injections.
Centre de Neurosciences Cognitives et Comportementales

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