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Effects of nicotine and d-amphetamine on intracranial self-stimulation in a shuttle box test in rats

, : Effects of nicotine and d-amphetamine on intracranial self-stimulation in a shuttle box test in rats. Psychopharmacology 84(1): 109-114

Rats were permitted to turn on and off electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle, by alternating between two photobeams running along opposite walls of a shuttle box. Entry into one beam (the "ON" beam) triggered the delivery of a succession of short, regularly occurring (1 Hz) pulse trains, which could be terminated by breaking the other ("OFF" beam). The two beams were frequently reversed. When this occurred, the rat was given a free period of 10 s in which to reorient, and brain stimulation reward was then assessed by the amount of time spent receiving brain stimulation (SST) within a fixed interval of time. SST increased with increasing current intensity. After training, subjects were tested for 10 consecutive days, alternately with saline and nicotine bitartrate (0.4 mg/kg SC base), and received a constant daily dose of the drug (0.4 mg/kg). Initially, nicotine visibly impaired motor performance for several minutes after injection, which may at least partly explain the observed reduction of SST; both effects waned across successive nicotine tests. Later in each 78 min session, nicotine consistently increased SST over a range of current, and drugged subjects entered the photobeams more frequently even when electrical stimulation was unavailable. d-Amphetamine sulphate (0.25, 0.75 mg/kg SC salt), given 15 min before testing, also increased SST and stimulated responding. The possible effects of motor impairment or activation on SST are discussed, and it is concluded that nicotine and d-amphetamine may have enhanced the rewarding properties of medial forebrain bundle stimulation.


PMID: 6436877

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