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The effects of chronic food restriction on cue-induced heroin seeking in abstinent male rats

Title:

The effects of chronic food restriction on cue-induced heroin seeking in abstinent male rats

D’Cunha, Tracey M. and Sedki, Firas and Macri, Josie and Casola, Cristina and Shalev, Uri (2012) The effects of chronic food restriction on cue-induced heroin seeking in abstinent male rats. Psychopharmacology . ISSN 0033-3158

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-012-2810-1

Abstract

Rationale and objectives
Previous research with an animal model of relapse has shown that acute food deprivation will reinstate extinguished drug seeking. Recent evidence with humans, however, suggests that chronic food restriction rather than acute food deprivation is related to increases in drug taking and relapse, emphasizing a need for an animal model to elucidate the neural mechanisms mediating the effects of chronic food restriction on drug seeking. Here we studied the effects of chronic food restriction during a period of abstinence on heroin seeking in rats.

Methods
Rats were trained to self-administer heroin over 10 days (0.1 mg/kg/infusion; i.v.). Rats were then removed from the operant conditioning chambers and exposed to a mild food restriction (resulting in 10–15 % decrease in body weight) or given unrestricted access to food for 14 days while abstinent. The abstinence period was followed by a drug-seeking test under extinction conditions. Subsequent experiments manipulated the length of restriction and test conditions.

Results
Rats that were food restricted throughout the abstinence period demonstrated a robust increase in cue-induced heroin seeking compared to sated rats. Re-feeding prior to testing or decreasing the length of the food restriction period prevented the augmentation of drug seeking.

Conclusions
A combination of chronic food restriction and a concurrent state of hunger appears to be necessary for an increase in cue-induced heroin seeking following abstinence. The procedure presented here may serve as a useful model to study the increased risk for relapse following dietary manipulations in abstinent subjects.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Concordia University > Research Units > Centre for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:D’Cunha, Tracey M. and Sedki, Firas and Macri, Josie and Casola, Cristina and Shalev, Uri
Journal or Publication:Psychopharmacology
Date:2012
Keywords:Heroin, Self-administration, Food restriction, Relapse, Drug seeking, Abstinence
ID Code:974635
Deposited By:ANDREA MURRAY
Deposited On:04 Sep 2012 13:30
Last Modified:04 Sep 2012 13:30
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