Article

Persistent Increases in Cocaine-Seeking Behavior After Acute Exposure to Cold Swim Stress

Department of Neuroscience, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, The Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Biological psychiatry (Impact Factor: 9.47). 08/2010; 68(3):303-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.03.030
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Acute and chronic stress reinstates drug-seeking behavior. Current animal models show that these effects are contingent (temporally, contextually, or both) on the drug-conditioning environment. To date, no paradigm exists to model the common human situation in which stressors that are distinct from the experience of drugs can lead to relapse.
Rats were allowed to self-administer cocaine or saline over 8 days. They then underwent extinction training, during which responding was not reinforced with drug infusions. After 16 days of extinction, rats were submitted to a brief cold swim stress and then tested for seeking behavior (responding not reinforced with drug infusions) for 4 days.
All rats developed self-administration behavior. Following extinction, cold swim stress induced reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior in cocaine-trained rats, an effect that was still present 3 days after stress exposure.
This study indicates that cold swim stress can have long-term effects on drug-seeking behavior and may provide us with a suitable model to study the latent effects of stress on relapse to drug abuse.

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