Investigations of the neurobiological and behavioural actions of cocaine release_mk4hwqqb6vgefj5n7b6iua7t6y

by Erin E. Brown

Published by The University of British Columbia.

(1993)

Abstract

Although once considered a benign recreational stimulant, cocaine is now recognized to possess substantial abuse potential with considerable medical and social consequences. Accordingly, these experiments examined the behavioural and neurobiological effects of cocaine in the rat. The behavioural and neurochemical interactions between cocaine and buprenorphine were examined using a conditioned place preference (CPP) procedure and in vivo microdialysis. Cocaine and buprenorphine both elicited CPP; moreover, these drugs interacted to produce significantly larger CPPs when given in combination. Both cocaine and buprenorphine increased interstitial concentrations of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens; the effect of cocaine was potentiated by the coadministration of buprenorphine. Taken as a whole, these results indicate that buprenorphine can interact with cocaine in as ynergistic manner. The ability of stimuli previously paired with cocaine to elicit similar neurochemical changes as cocaine was assessed by in vivo microdialysis. Although acutely administered cocaine produced a significant increase in interstitial dopamine concentrations in the nucleus accumbens, the presentation of a cocaine-paired environment did not. Despite the absence of a conditional neurochemical effect, significant conditioned locomotion was observed. These data do not support the hypothesis that stimuli paired with cocaine produce their behavioural effects by eliciting similar neurochemical effects as cocaine. To understand better the neurobiology of cocaine-induced environment-specific conditioning, expression of c-Fos, a putative marker of neuronal activity, was examined in the forebrain of rats exposed to an environment in which they had previously received cocaine. Compared to saline-treated controls, cocaine produced an increase in locomotor behaviour that was accompanied by an increase in c-Fos expression within specific limbic regions, as well as the basal ganglia. Exposure of rats to the cocaine-paired environment also produced an incr [...]
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Year   1993
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