Chronic access to a sucrose solution enhances the development of conditioned place preferences for fentanyl and amphetamine in male Long-Evans rats

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Feb;74(3):529-39. doi: 10.1016/s0091-3057(02)01034-1.


Consumption of palatable food and fluids alters the behavioral consequences of psychoactive drugs. To further investigate the effects of intake of palatable nutrients on the rewarding properties of these drugs, the effects of chronic intake of a sweet sucrose solution on the development of conditioned place preferences (CPP) to a mu-opioid agonist, fentanyl, and to a stimulant drug, amphetamine, were examined. Male Long-Evans rats consumed laboratory chow and water or chow, water, and a 32% sucrose solution. CPP testing was conducted in a three-chamber apparatus. In Experiment 1 (over four conditioning days), rats received saline, 0.004, or 0.016 mg/kg sc fentanyl citrate before being placed on the nonpreferred side of the apparatus and saline (subcutaneously) before being placed on the preferred side during a separate session on the same day. When given access to all three chambers, rats injected with 0.016 mg/kg fentanyl spent significantly more time on the drug-paired side than rats injected with saline. Furthermore, sucrose-fed rats displayed a significantly greater CPP than chow-fed rats. After conditioning, rats were tested for fentanyl-induced antinociception using the tail-flick test. Using a cumulative dose procedure, fentanyl (0.003, 0.010, 0.030, and 0.100 mg/kg sc) led to dose-dependent increases in tail-flick latencies. Rats fed with sucrose displayed significantly greater responses to fentanyl than those in the chow group. In Experiment 2, rats spent significantly more time on the drug-paired side of the CPP apparatus following injections of 0.33 or 1.0 mg/kg amphetamine than after saline injections. Additionally, following injection of 0.33 mg/kg amphetamine, sucrose-fed rats spent significantly more time on the drug-paired side of the chamber than chow-fed rats.

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Conditioning, Psychological / drug effects*
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Synergism
  • Fentanyl / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Sucrose / administration & dosage*


  • Sucrose
  • Amphetamine
  • Fentanyl