Cunningham CL, Gremel CM, Groblewski PA. Drug-induced conditioned place preference and aversion in mice. Nat Protoc 1: 1662-1670

Department of Behavioral Neuroscience and Portland Alcohol Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon 97239-3098, USA.
Nature Protocol (Impact Factor: 9.67). 02/2006; 1(4):1662-70. DOI: 10.1038/nprot.2006.279
Source: PubMed


This protocol describes the equipment and methods used to establish conditioned place preference (CPP) or aversion (CPA). Place conditioning is a form of Pavlovian conditioning routinely used to measure the rewarding or aversive motivational effects of objects or experiences (e.g., abused drugs). Here, we present a place conditioning procedure that has been used extensively to study the motivational effects of ethanol and other abused drugs in mice. This protocol involves three phases: (i) habituation (or a pretest), (ii) conditioning of an association between the drug and a tactile or visual stimulus and (iii) a test that offers a choice between the drug-associated cue and a neutral cue. If the drug has motivational significance, mice will spend significantly more time (CPP) or less time (CPA) in proximity to the drug-associated cue. Potential problems in the design and interpretation of place conditioning studies are discussed. A typical experiment lasts 2 weeks.

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    • "We used the same procedure as previously published by our laboratory (Johnson et al., 2010; Mustroph et al., 2011), based on Cunningham's apparatus and experimental design (Cunningham et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggests that wheel running can abolish conditioned place preference (CPP) for cocaine in mice. Running significantly increases the number of new neurons in the hippocampus, and new neurons have been hypothesised to enhance plasticity and behavioral flexibility. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that increased neurogenesis was necessary for exercise to abolish cocaine CPP. Male nestin-thymidine kinase transgenic mice were conditioned with cocaine, and then housed with or without running wheels for 32 days. Half of the mice were fed chow containing valganciclovir to induce apoptosis in newly divided neurons, and the other half were fed standard chow. For the first 10 days, mice received daily injections of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) to label dividing cells. On the last 4 days, mice were tested for CPP, and then euthanized for measurement of adult hippocampal neurogenesis by counting the number of BrdU-positive neurons in the dentate gyrus. Levels of running were similar in mice fed valganciclovir-containing chow and normal chow. Valganciclovir significantly reduced the numbers of neurons (BrdU-positive/NeuN-positive) in the dentate gyrus of both sedentary mice and runner mice. Valganciclovir-fed runner mice showed similar levels of neurogenesis as sedentary, normal-fed controls. However, valganciclovir-fed runner mice showed the same abolishment of CPP as runner mice with intact neurogenesis. The results demonstrate that elevated adult hippocampal neurogenesis resulting from running is not necessary for running to abolish cocaine CPP in mice.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · European Journal of Neuroscience
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    • "Our general protocol differed in a few ways from those typically employed by researchers studying place conditioning (Cunningham et al., 2006). In addition to the spaced, singleexposure conditioning of otherwise naïve subjects, all subjects "
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    ABSTRACT: Most adults consume alcohol with relative impunity, but about 10-20% of users persist (or progress) in their consumption, despite mounting and serious repercussions. Identifying at-risk individuals before neuroadaptative changes associated with chronic use become well ingrained is thus a key step in mitigating and preventing the end stage disease and its devastating impacts. Explaining liability has been impeded, in part, by the absence of animal models for assessing initial sensitivity to the drug's reinforcing properties, an important endophenotype in the trajectory toward excessive drinking. Here we assess the initial rewarding effects of the drug in a novel application of the conditioned place preference paradigm. In contrast to previous studies that have all employed repeated drug administration, we demonstrated a robust preference for a context paired with a single exposure to 1.5 g/kg EtOH in male and female subjects of three strains. This model validates an assay of initial sensitivity to the subjective rewarding effects of alcohol, a widely used drug with multifarious impacts on both brain and society, and provides a new tool for theory-driven endophenotypic pharmacogenetic approaches to understanding and treating addiction.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Frontiers in Neuroscience
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    • "The CPP paradigm was used as described earlier (Nuutinen et al. 2010) and it followed the principles of an unbiased, counterbalanced conditioning (Cunningham et al. 2006). The conditioning apparatus consisted of eight individual transparent plastic cages (42×26×15 cm) covered with plexiglass lids that had ventilation holes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale Brain histaminergic system is involved in the regulation of the dopaminergic circuitry. The role of histamine H3 receptor (H3R) in behaviors linked to amphetamine addiction and other behaviors induced by dopaminergic compounds has remained unclear. Objective Our aim was to study whether H3R antagonist JNJ-39220675 inhibits amphetamine-induced stimulation and reward. The effects of JNJ-39220675 on dopamine D2-like receptor (D2R-like) agonist quinpirole-induced behaviors were also investigated in order to clarify whether the possible effects of H3R antagonists are D2R-like dependent. Methods The effects of JNJ-39220675 on amphetamine and quinpirole-induced behavioral responses in mice were studied assessing the locomotor activation after both acute and repeated administrations of amphetamine and quinpirole. The place conditioning paradigm was also used as a measure of reward or aversion. Results JNJ-39220675 inhibited amphetamine-induced stimulation acutely but not after repeated administrations. Amphetamine (2 mg/kg) induced conditioned place preference that was not affected by either of the tested doses of JNJ-39220675 (1 and 10 mg/kg). Quinpirole (0.5 mg/kg) induced conditioned place aversion to which the pretreatment by JNJ-39220675 (10 mg/kg) had no effect. In repeated administration, JNJ-39220675 did, however, inhibit quinpirole-induced tolerance to hypokinesia. Conclusions Our results show that although H3R antagonists inhibit ethanol reward, they may not possess the same ability on psychostimulants, such as amphetamine. However, if H3R antagonists will become clinically available, it is of importance that these compounds potentiate neither the rewarding nor aversive effects of other drugs.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Psychopharmacology
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