Conditioned increases in behavioral activity and accumbens dopamine levels produced by intravenous cocaine

Behav Neurosci. 2000 Dec;114(6):1156-66. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.114.6.1156.


In vivo microdialysis, behavioral activity assessments, and a conditioned place preference (CPP) test were used to investigate dopaminergic correlates of cocaine-conditioned behaviors. Over 12 days, rats were given either intravenous cocaine (4.2 mg/kg) or saline (6 cocaine and 6 saline infusions) daily in distinctively different environments. The following day, rats were tested in the cocaine- and saline-paired environments; 48 hr later, CPP was determined. The cocaine-associated environment elicited greater nucleus accumbens dopamine (NAcc DA) levels, hyperactivity, and place preference, though the emergence of DA increases was not in synchrony with peak behavioral activation. Although conditioned behavioral effects after repeated cocaine are well documented, direct evidence of increased NAcc DA in response to a cocaine-paired environment has not been previously reported. Discrepancies with previous work are attributed to a number of methodological differences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / drug effects*
  • Choice Behavior / drug effects
  • Cocaine / pharmacology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / drug effects*
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Social Environment


  • Cocaine
  • Dopamine