Exercise to reduce the escalation of cocaine self-administration in adolescent and adult rats

Natalie E. Zlebnik, Justin J. Anker, Marilyn E. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rationale Concurrent access to an exercise wheel decreases cocaine self-administration under short access (5 h/day for 5 days) conditions and suppresses cocaine-primed reinstatement in adult rats. Objective The effect of exercise (wheel running) on the escalation of cocaine intake during long access (LgA, 6 h/day for 26 days) conditions was evaluated. Methods Adolescent and adult female rats acquired wheel running, and behavior was allowed to stabilize for 3 days. They were then implanted with an iv catheter and allowed to self-administer cocaine (0.4 mg/kg, iv) during 6-h daily sessions for 16 days with concurrent access to either an unlocked or a locked running wheel. Subsequently, for ten additional sessions, wheel access conditions during cocaine self-administration sessions were reversed (i.e., locked wheels became unlocked and vice versa). Results In the adolescents, concurrent access to the unlocked exercise wheel decreased responding for cocaine and attenuated escalation of cocaine intake irrespective of whether the locked or unlocked condition came first. However, cocaine intake increased when the wheel was subsequently locked for the adolescents that had initial access to an unlocked wheel. Concurrent wheel access either before or after the locked wheel access did not reduce cocaine intake in adults. Conclusions Wheel running reduced cocaine intake during LgA conditions in adolescent but not adult rats, and concurrent access to the running wheel was necessary. These results suggest that exercise prevents cocaine seeking and that this effect is more pronounced in adolescents than adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-400
Number of pages14
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume224
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, R01 DA003240-28 and K05 DA015267-10 (MEC). N.E.Zlebnik(*).J.J.Anker.M.E.Carroll Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, MMC 392, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA e-mail: zleb0002@umn.edu

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank Thomas Baron, Alex Claxton, Olivia Guayasamin, Nathan Holtz, Seth Johnson, Brandon Knight, Sean Navin, Kinner Patel, Aneal Rege, Paul Regier, Tyler Rehbein, Amy Saykao, Rachael Turner, and Troy Velie for their technical assistance and also Krista Walkowiak, DVM, and Diana Freeman for veterinary care. This research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, R01 DA003240-28 and K05 DA015267-10 (MEC).

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Cocaine
  • Escalation
  • Exercise
  • Individual differences
  • Self-administration
  • Wheel running

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