Varenicline effects on cocaine self administration and reinstatement behavior.

Karine Guillem, Laura L. Peoples
Behavioural Pharmacology. 2010-03-01; 21(2): 96-103
DOI: 10.1097/fbp.0b013e328336e9c5

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1. Behav Pharmacol. 2010 Mar;21(2):96-103. doi: 10.1097/FBP.0b013e328336e9c5.

Varenicline effects on cocaine self administration and reinstatement behavior.

Guillem K(1), Peoples LL.

Author information:
(1)Department of Integrative Neurophysiology, CNCR, VU University, Amsterdam, The
Netherlands.

This study tested the effects of the nicotine addiction treatment varenicline on
cocaine self administration (SA) and reinstatement. In one SA experiment, rats
were trained to self-administer cocaine (0.75 mg/kg/infusion). Thereafter, daily
SA sessions continued as before except that every fourth session was preceded by
a presession injection of varenicline (0.0, 0.3, 1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg, SC, 50-min
presession). In three reinstatement experiments, animals were exposed
sequentially to SA training, extinction training, and several reinstatement test
sessions. In two of the reinstatement experiments, cocaine-seeking was reinstated
by presentation of cocaine-predictive cues at the onset of the test session (cue
reinstatement). In a third reinstatement experiment, cocaine-seeking was
reinstated by a presession injection of cocaine (drug reinstatement). Each
reinstatement session was preceded by an injection of either vehicle or
varenicline (dose range of 0.1-2.0 mg/kg). The SA and reinstatement experiments
showed that low-dose varenicline decreases reinstatement behavior, without
significantly affecting cocaine SA. In contrast, high-dose varenicline increases
reinstatement of cocaine-directed behavior and decreases cocaine SA. A control
study showed that sucrose-directed behavior is unaltered by varenicline. On the
basis of these findings, low-varenicline doses might decrease relapse in
cocaine-addicted individuals, but high doses of varenicline might have the
opposite effect.

DOI: 10.1097/FBP.0b013e328336e9c5
PMID: 20093928 [Indexed for MEDLINE]


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