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BACKGROUND Rats given extended access to cocaine develop several symptoms of addiction, including a gradual escalation of drug intake, whereas rats given limited access do not. We asked here whether extended access to cocaine also produces drug-induced sensitization, a form of neurobehavioral plasticity implicated in addiction. METHODS Rats were given(More)
Repeated exposure to cocaine increases the density of dendritic spines on medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens (Acb) and pyramidal cells in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). To determine if this is associated with the development of psychomotor sensitization, rats were given daily i.p. injections of 15 mg/kg of cocaine (or saline) for 8 days,(More)
Drugs of abuse and many other kinds of experiences share the ability to alter the morphology of neuronal dendrites and spines, the primary site of excitatory synapses in the brain. We hypothesized, therefore, that exposure to psychostimulant drugs might influence later experience-dependent structural plasticity. We tested this hypothesis by treating rats(More)
The potential for addiction is thought to be greatest when drugs of abuse reach the brain rapidly, because this produces intense subjective pleasurable effects. However, the ability of drugs to induce forms of cellular plasticity related to behavioral sensitization may also contribute to addiction. Therefore, we studied the influence of rate of intravenous(More)
We examined whether early maternal separation influenced the susceptibility to behavioural sensitization produced by repeated intravenous (i.v.) injections of cocaine in adult female rats. For the first 21 days of life litters were separated from their mother for either 15 min (MS-15) or 180 min/day (MS-180). Control animals were subjected only to regular(More)
We studied the long-term effects of amphetamine self-administration experience (or sucrose reward training) on dendritic morphology (spine density) in nucleus accumbens (Nacc), medial (MPC) and orbital prefrontal cortex (OFC), and hippocampus (CA1 and dentate). Independent groups of rats were trained under a continuous schedule of reinforcement to nose-poke(More)
Repeated intermittent treatment with amphetamine increases the density of dendritic spines on medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to determine whether amphetamine has similar effects on MSNs in the caudate-putamen (CPu) and (2) to determine if this effect is localized to distal dendrites,(More)
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) receives input from all other cortical regions and functions to plan and direct motor, cognitive, affective, and social behavior across time. It has a prolonged development, which allows the acquisition of complex cognitive abilities through experience but makes it susceptible to factors that can lead to abnormal functioning,(More)
BACKGROUND Systemic exposure to amphetamine (AMPH) leads to a number of long-lasting neuroadaptations including changes in dendritic morphology in rat forebrain. It remains unknown whether these changes relate to associative drug conditioning or to nonassociative drug sensitization, two forms of plasticity produced by systemic exposure to AMPH. METHODS We(More)
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