Impulsive Choice As a Predictor of Acquisition of IV Cocaine Self-Administration and Reinstatement of Cocaine-Seeking Behavior in Male and Female Rats

Jennifer L. Perry, Sarah E. Nelson, Marilyn E Carroll

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135 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drug abuse and impulsive choice are related in humans. In female rats, impulsive choice predicted the rate of acquisition of IV cocaine self-administration. The objectives of the present experiments were to: (a) compare impulsive choice in males and females, (b) extend previous research on impulsive choice and acquisition of cocaine self-administration to males, and (c) compare males and females during maintenance, extinction, and reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. Male and female rats were trained on an adjusting delay task in which a response on one of two levers yielded one food pellet immediately, and a response on the other resulted in three pellets after an adjusting delay that decreased after responses on the immediate lever and increased after responses on the delay lever. A mean adjusted delay (MAD) was used as the quantitative measure of impulsivity. In Experiment 1, MADs were analyzed for sex differences. In Experiment 2, acquisition of cocaine self-administration was examined in rats selected for high (HiI; MADs ≤9 seconds) or low (LoI; MADs ≥13 seconds) impulsivity. In Experiment 3, HiI and LoI groups were compared on maintenance and extinction of cocaine self-administration and cocaine-primed reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior. There were no sex differences in impulsive choice; however, HiI male and female rats acquired cocaine self-administration faster than their LoI counterparts. LoI females responded more on a cocaine-associated lever during maintenance and extinction than HiI females, but HiI females showed greater reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior than all other groups at the highest dose tested (15 mg/kg). Thus, individual differences in impulsive choice were associated with differences in cocaine-seeking behavior. Impulsive choice and sex may be additive vulnerability factors in certain phases of drug abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-177
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2008

Keywords

  • cocaine
  • delay discounting
  • impulsive choice
  • self-administration
  • sex differences

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