Preference for a cocaine-associated environment is attenuated by augmented accumbal serotonin in cocaine withdrawn rats

G. C. Harris, K. Altomare, Gary Aston Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rationale: Recent studies have found decreased serotonin (5-HT) transmission within the nucleus accumbens following withdrawal from chronic cocaine. Objective: We sought to investigate whether increasing brain 5-HT levels would decrease behavioral responses that occur following cocaine withdrawal, namely increased preference for a cocaine environment and anxiety. Methods: The conditioned place preference and the defensive burying paradigms were used to measure the behavioral responses that occur 1 week following cocaine withdrawal. Results: We show that pharmacological agents that increase 5-HT transmission (sertraline or 5-hydoxytryptophan, 5-HTP) abolish the preference of subchronically cocaine-treated, abstinent rats for a cocaine-associated environment. Similar results were seen when sertraline was microinjected into the nucleus accumbens. Conversely, rats acutely conditioned with cocaine showed an increased preference for a cocaine-associated environment when pretreated with these drugs. Sertraline also decreased the heightened anxiety-like behaviors found in subchronically treated cocaine rats. Conclusions: These results indicate that drugs that augment 5-HT function may reduce the desire for cocaine following cocaine withdrawal, and thus facilitate cocaine abstinence in dependent subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-22
Number of pages9
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume156
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

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Cocaine
Serotonin
Sertraline
Nucleus Accumbens
Anxiety
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Pharmacology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology

Cite this

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abstract = "Rationale: Recent studies have found decreased serotonin (5-HT) transmission within the nucleus accumbens following withdrawal from chronic cocaine. Objective: We sought to investigate whether increasing brain 5-HT levels would decrease behavioral responses that occur following cocaine withdrawal, namely increased preference for a cocaine environment and anxiety. Methods: The conditioned place preference and the defensive burying paradigms were used to measure the behavioral responses that occur 1 week following cocaine withdrawal. Results: We show that pharmacological agents that increase 5-HT transmission (sertraline or 5-hydoxytryptophan, 5-HTP) abolish the preference of subchronically cocaine-treated, abstinent rats for a cocaine-associated environment. Similar results were seen when sertraline was microinjected into the nucleus accumbens. Conversely, rats acutely conditioned with cocaine showed an increased preference for a cocaine-associated environment when pretreated with these drugs. Sertraline also decreased the heightened anxiety-like behaviors found in subchronically treated cocaine rats. Conclusions: These results indicate that drugs that augment 5-HT function may reduce the desire for cocaine following cocaine withdrawal, and thus facilitate cocaine abstinence in dependent subjects.",
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Preference for a cocaine-associated environment is attenuated by augmented accumbal serotonin in cocaine withdrawn rats. / Harris, G. C.; Altomare, K.; Aston Jones, Gary.

In: Psychopharmacology, Vol. 156, No. 1, 01.01.2001, p. 14-22.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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