Individual differences in cocaine conditioned taste aversion are developmentally stable and independent of locomotor effects of cocaine.
Drugs of abuse induce complex motivational states in their users which have been shown to vary developmentally. In addition to developmental variation, interindividual variation in the rewarding and aversive effects of drugs of abuse is an important consideration. A rat model was used to assess whether the conditioned rewarding/aversive effects of cocaine were maintained as individuals matured from adolescence into adulthood. We tested rats in the cocaine conditioned taste aversion task as adolescents and again in adulthood. We observed a wide range of approach/avoidance behaviors in this task, and also observed that the relative interindividual differences in approach/avoidance are remarkably stable across the two developmental stages. Furthermore, we observed that these interindividual differences are not attributable to individual differences in cocaine-induced locomotor effects or individual differences in blood or brain cocaine levels. Taken together, these findings indicate that sensitivity to cocaine’s motivational effects is stable across development and part of a unique neurological process.
Drescher, C; Foscue, EP; Kuhn, CM; Schramm-Sapyta, NL
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