Escalation of intravenous cocaine self-administration, progressive-ratio performance, and reinstatement in rats selectively bred for high (HiS) and low (LoS) saccharin intake

Andrew D. Morgan, Nancy K. Dess, Marilyn E Carroll

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9 Scopus citations


Rationale: Rats selectively bred for high saccharin (HiS) intake consume more alcohol and acquire intravenous (IV) cocaine self-administration more rapidly than their low saccharin (LoS) consuming counterparts. Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to determine whether HiS and LoS rats also differ in the escalation, maintenance, and reinstatement of IV cocaine self-administration. Methods: LoS and HiS female rats were allowed to self-administer cocaine [0.4 mg/kg; fixed ratio (FR) 1] under short (ShA, 2 h per day) or long (LgA, 12 h per day) access conditions for 21 days. Session lengths were subsequently equated (2 h) and (1) FR1-maintained cocaine (0.4 mg/kg) self-administration, (2) progressive ratio (PR)-maintained cocaine (0.2-1.6 mg/ kg) self-administration, and (3) saline-induced and cocaine (10 mg/kg, IP)-induced reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior were examined. Results: HiS LgA rats escalated their cocaine intake more rapidly and self-administered more cocaine (mg/kg) than LoS LgA rats; however, there was no LoS versus HiS phenotype difference in the number of infusions self-administered by Day 21. Post-escalation cocaine self-administration under an FR1 schedule did not differ as a function of phenotype (LoS versus HiS) or access condition (ShA versus LgA); however, LoS rats responded more for cocaine under the PR schedule than HiS rats, and they showed a greater reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior than HiS rats. In contrast, ShA versus LgA did not affect PR or reinstatement performance in the LoS and HiS groups. Conclusions: These results suggest that LoS and HiS rats have distinct drug-seeking and drug-taking profiles that differ as a function of the experimental phase and access condition. The LoS and HiS rats differ along a wide range of behavioral dimensions and represent an important model to study the interactions of feeding, emotionality, and other factors related to vulnerability to drug abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank Jennifer L. Perry and Erin B. Larson for careful reading of this manuscript, and Annemarie K. Loth, Justin Anker, and Marissa M. Anderson for their technical assistance. This work was supported by NIH grants T32 DA07097 (A.D.M.), RO1 DA03240, and K05 DA15267 (M.E. C.).


  • Acquisition
  • Cocaine self-administration
  • Escalation
  • Extinction
  • Genetic
  • Intravenous
  • Maintenance
  • Progressive ratio
  • Reinstatement
  • Selective breeding


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