Locomotor sensitization to cocaine in adolescent and adult female Wistar rats

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HighlightsAdolescent but not adult female Wistar rats sensitize to 15 mg/kg cocaine.Chronic adolescent stress attenuates the initial locomotor response to novelty.Chronic adolescent stress does not impact locomotor sensitization to cocaine.Adolescent stress exposure is a risk factor for drug abuse, and sex differences contribute to psychostimulant responses. Although many studies have utilized the Wistar rat strain in adolescent stress paradigms, the impact of adolescent stress exposure on addiction-like outcomes has not been rigorously tested in female Wistar rats. In this study, locomotor sensitization was assessed in adolescent and adult female Wistar rats following either chronic stress during adolescence (CAS) or no stress (NS). Adolescent, but not adult, female Wistar rats developed locomotor sensitization to 15 mg/kg cocaine over 5 days of treatment, regardless of stress history. CAS reduced the initial locomotor response to novelty in both adolescent and adult rats compared to NS controls but had no effect on locomotor sensitization to cocaine in adolescents or adult female rats. These studies expand our understanding of age and adolescent stress on cocaine-induced behavioral plasticity in female Wistar rats.

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