Cocaine does not produce reward in absence of dopamine transporter inhibition

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We have previously reported that knockin mice with a cocaine-insensitive dopamine transporter (DAT-CI mice) do not experience cocaine reward, as measured by conditioned place preference. This conclusion has come under scrutiny because some genetically modified mice show cocaine-induced conditioned place preference in a narrow dose range, that is, responding at doses around 10 mg/kg, but not at 5 and 20 mg/kg, the doses we tested in DAT-CI mice. These results raise the possibility that we have missed the optimal dose for cocaine response. Here we report that cocaine does not produce reward in DAT-CI mice at low, moderate, and high doses, including 10 mg/kg. This study strengthens our conclusion that DAT inhibition is required for cocaine reward in mice with a functional dopaminergic system.

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