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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Response to novelty as a predictor of cocaine sensitization and conditioning in rats: a correlational analysis.

RATIONALE: An animal's response to novelty has been suggested to be a predictor of its response to drugs of abuse. The possible relationship between an individual's behavioral response to novelty and its subsequent behavioral response to cocaine has not been subjected to a detailed correlational analysis. OBJECTIVE: To use a repeated cocaine treatment protocol to induce cocaine sensitization and conditioned cocaine locomotor stimulant effects and to assess the relationship of these effects to pre-cocaine locomotor behavior in a novel environment. METHODS: In two separate experiments, rats were given a 20-min test in a novel open-field environment. Subsequently, the rats were given a series of additional tests in conjunction with either saline or cocaine (10 mg/kg) treatments to induce cocaine sensitization and conditioned effects. RESULTS: The repeated cocaine treatments induced cocaine behavioral sensitization and conditioned effects. Correlational analyses showed that the initial 20-min novel environment test proved to be a strong predictor of an animal's subsequent saline activity level but did not predict the rats' behavioral acute and sensitized response to cocaine. When change in activity was used as the dependent variable, initial activity level was reliably negatively correlated with activity changes on cocaine tests as well as cocaine conditioning tests. CONCLUSIONS: The negative correlation between initial activity in a novel environment and the change in activity induced by cocaine indicates that low responders to environmental novelty tend to have the strongest response to cocaine. These results appear consistent with the classic initial value and response rate dependent analyses of stimulant drug effects.[1]


  1. Response to novelty as a predictor of cocaine sensitization and conditioning in rats: a correlational analysis. Carey, R.J., DePalma, G., Damianopoulos, E. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) (2003) [Pubmed]
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