The effect of nicotine pre-exposure on demand for cocaine and sucrose in male rats

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to determine how nicotine pre-exposure affects the elasticity of demand for intravenous cocaine and for sucrose pellets in adult male rats. In Experiment 1, demand for cocaine was assessed in rats that had nicotine in their drinking water. Nicotine pre-exposure significantly decreased rats’ willingness to defend cocaine consumption as the price (measured as the number of responses per cocaine infusion) increased compared with a control group with no nicotine pre-exposure. That is, nicotine increased the elasticity of demand for cocaine infusions. Experiment 2 repeated the first experiment, but with rats working for sucrose pellets instead of cocaine. Nicotine pre-exposure had no effect on the elasticity of demand for sucrose. This pattern of results suggests that nicotine pre-exposure can reduce the reinforcing effects of cocaine, but not sucrose, in adult male rats.

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