Sex and menstrual cycle effects on chronic oral cocaine self-administration in rhesus monkeys: Effects of a nondrug alternative reward

Marilyn E Carroll, Molly Collins, Emily A. Kohl, Seth Johnson, Ben Dougen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In previous studies, female monkeys self-administered more oral phencyclidine (PCP) than males, and PCP intake differed by phase of menstrual cycle. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine sex and hormonal influences on oral cocaine self-administration in male and female rhesus monkeys in the follicular vs. luteal phases of the menstrual cycle, with concurrent access to an alternative nondrug reward, saccharin (SACC) vs. water. Materials and methods: Concurrent access to cocaine (0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 mg/ml) and SACC or water was available from two drinking spouts under concurrent fixed-ratio (FR) 2, 4, and 8 schedules during daily 3-h sessions. Results: Cocaine deliveries were similar in males and females in the females’ luteal phase, but cocaine deliveries were higher in females during the follicular phase than the luteal phase and compared to males. When SACC was available, cocaine deliveries were reduced in females in the follicular phase of the cycle, and cocaine intake (mg/kg) was reduced in males and in females’ follicular and luteal phases. Conclusions: Access to concurrent SACC (vs. water) reduced cocaine intake (mg/kg) in males and in females during both menstrual phases, and the magnitude of the reduction in cocaine intake was greatest during the females’ follicular phase. Thus, a nondrug alternative reward, SACC, is a viable alternative treatment for reducing cocaine’s rewarding effects on male and female monkeys, and reductions in cocaine seeking were optimal in the females’ luteal phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2973-2984
Number of pages12
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume233
Issue number15-16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Keywords

  • Cocaine
  • Environmental enrichment
  • Follicular phase
  • Luteal phase
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Oral drug intake
  • Rhesus monkeys
  • Saccharin (SACC)
  • Self-administration
  • Sex

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