Long-term cocaine self-administration under fixed-ratio and second-order schedules in monkeys.
ABSTRACT Studies in rodents have demonstrated that increased access to cocaine can result in increases in drug intake per unit time.
The present studies characterized long-term changes in cocaine self-administration associated with quantitatively and qualitatively different conditions of cocaine availability in monkeys.
Separate groups of rhesus monkeys (n = 6/group) self-administered cocaine (0.2 mg/kg per injection) under a fixed ratio (FR) 30 schedule for 3 h twice daily for two consecutive days each week for 1 year, or responded under a second-order FR 10 (fixed interval 3-min:S) schedule of 0.2 mg/kg per injection cocaine during daily sessions. After 18 weeks, probe sessions were conducted once per week, in which responding was maintained under a fixed interval (FI) 30-min schedule in the presence of distinct stimuli.
Weekly cocaine intakes under the FR schedule were stable in three subjects, but increased progressively in three monkeys over 1 year. In contrast, response rates under the second-order schedule were low and stable over time. Responding under the FI 30-min schedule was higher for monkeys in the FR group and pattern of responding was not indicative of FI performance, perhaps due to experimental history.
These data suggest that increases in cocaine intake can be observed under ratio schedules in monkeys. The use of an FI 30-min "probe" to assess changes in "drug seeking" appeared to be influenced by experimental history. These data may aid in the development of behavioral models of cocaine abuse, which focus on the compulsive nature of drug taking.
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ABSTRACT: Chronic cocaine use is associated with neurobiological and cognitive deficits that persist into abstinence, hindering success of behavioral treatment strategies and perhaps increasing likelihood of relapse. The effects of current cocaine use and abstinence on neurobiology and cognition are not well characterized. Adult male rhesus monkeys with an extensive cocaine self-administration history (∼ 5 years) and age-matched control animals (n = 4/group) performed cognitive tasks in morning sessions and self-administered cocaine or food in afternoon sessions. Positron emission tomography and [(18)F]-fluorodeoxyglucose were employed to assess cerebral metabolic rates of glucose utilization during cognitive testing. Cocaine-experienced monkeys required significantly more trials and committed more errors on reversal learning and multidimensional discriminations, compared with control animals. Cocaine-naive, but not cocaine-experienced, monkeys showed greater metabolic rates of glucose utilization during a multidimensional discrimination task in the caudate nucleus, hippocampus, anterior and posterior cingulate, and regions associated with attention, error detection, memory, and reward. Using a delayed match-to-sample task, there were no differences in baseline working memory performance between groups. High-dose cocaine self-administration disrupted delayed match-to-sample performance but tolerance developed. Acute abstinence from cocaine did not affect performance, but by day 30 of abstinence, accuracy increased significantly, while performance of cocaine-naive monkeys was unchanged. These data document direct effects of cocaine self-administration on cognition and neurobiological sequelae underlying cognitive deficits. Improvements in working memory can occur in abstinence, albeit across an extended period critical for treatment seekers, suggesting pharmacotherapies designed to enhance cognition may improve success of current behavioral modification strategies.Biological psychiatry 06/2012; 72(10):856-63. · 8.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Positron emission tomography (PET) neuroimaging in nonhuman primates has led to significant advances in our current understanding of the neurobiology and treatment of stimulant addiction in humans. PET neuroimaging has defined the in vivo biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of abused drugs and related these findings to the time course of behavioral effects associated with their addictive properties. With novel radiotracers and enhanced resolution, PET neuroimaging techniques have also characterized in vivo drug interactions with specific protein targets in the brain, including neurotransmitter receptors and transporters. In vivo determinations of cerebral blood flow and metabolism have localized brain circuits implicated in the effects of abused drugs and drug-associated stimuli. Moreover, determinations of the predisposing factors to chronic drug use and long-term neurobiological consequences of chronic drug use, such as potential neurotoxicity, have led to novel insights regarding the pathology and treatment of drug addiction. However, similar approaches clearly need to be extended to drug classes other than stimulants. Although dopaminergic systems have been extensively studied, other neurotransmitter systems known to play a critical role in the pharmacological effects of abused drugs have been largely ignored in nonhuman primate PET neuroimaging. Finally, the study of brain activation with PET neuroimaging has been replaced in humans mostly by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). There has been some success in implementing pharmacological fMRI in awake nonhuman primates. Nevertheless, the unique versatility of PET imaging will continue to complement the systems-level strengths of fMRI, especially in the context of nonhuman primate drug abuse research.Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 02/2011; 337(2):324-34. · 3.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cocaine use is associated with impaired cognitive function, which may negatively impact treatment outcomes. One pharmacological strategy to improve cognition involves nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) stimulation. However, the effects of chronic cocaine exposure on nAChR distribution and function have not been characterized. Thus, one goal of this study was to examine nAChR availability in rhesus monkeys with an extensive cocaine self-administration history (n = 4; ∼6 years, mean intake, 1463 mg/kg) compared to age-matched cocaine-naive control monkeys (n = 5). Using [(11)C]-nicotine and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, cocaine-experienced monkeys showed significantly higher receptor availability in the hippocampus compared to cocaine-naive monkeys. A second goal was to examine the effects of nAChR agonists on multiple domains of cognitive performance in these same monkeys. For these studies, working memory was assessed using a delayed match-to-sample (DMS) task, associative learning and behavioral flexibility using stimulus discrimination and reversal learning tasks. When administered acutely, the nonselective high-efficacy agonist nicotine, the low-efficacy α4β2* subtype-selective agonist varenicline and the high-efficacy α7 subtype-selective agonist, PNU-282987 significantly improved DMS performance in both cocaine-naive and cocaine-experienced monkeys. Individual doses of nicotine and varenicline that engendered maximum cognitive enhancing effects on working memory did not affect discrimination or reversal learning, while PNU-282987 disrupted reversal learning in the cocaine-naive monkeys. These findings indicate that a cocaine self-administration history influenced nAChR distribution and the effects of nAChR agonists on cognitive performance, including a reduced sensitivity to the disrupting effects on reversal learning. The cognitive enhancing effects of nAChR agonists may be beneficial in combination with behavioral treatments for cocaine addiction. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Cognitive Enhancers'.Neuropharmacology 08/2012; 64(1):479-88. · 4.11 Impact Factor