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. 2010 Jan;15(1):81-7.
doi: 10.1111/j.1369-1600.2009.00178.x.

Mifepristone and Spironolactone Differently Alter Cocaine Intravenous Self-Administration and Cocaine-Induced Locomotion in C57BL/6J Mice

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Mifepristone and Spironolactone Differently Alter Cocaine Intravenous Self-Administration and Cocaine-Induced Locomotion in C57BL/6J Mice

Jean-François Fiancette et al. Addict Biol. .

Abstract

Corticosterone, the main glucorticoid hormone in rodents, facilitates behavioral responses to cocaine. Corticosterone is proposed to modulate cocaine intravenous self-administration (SA) and cocaine-induced locomotion through distinct receptors, the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), respectively. However, this remains debatable. On one hand, modulation of both responses by the GR was tested in different experimental conditions, i.e. light versus dark nycthemeral phase and naïve versus cocaine-experienced animals. On the other hand, modulation of both responses by the MR was never tested directly but only inferred based on the ability of low plasma corticosterone levels (those for which corticosterone almost exclusively binds the MR) to compensate the effects of adrenalectomy. Our goal here was to test the involvement of the GR and the MR in cocaine-induced locomotor and reinforcing effects in the same experimental conditions. C57Bl/6J mice were trained for cocaine (1 mg/kg/infusion) intravenous SA over 40 SA sessions. The animals were then administered with mifepristone (30 mg/kg i.p.), a GR antagonist, or with spironolactone (20 mg/kg/i.p.), an MR antagonist, 2 hours before either cocaine intravenous SA or cocaine-induced locomotion. In a comparable nycthemeral period and in similarly cocaine-experienced animals, a blockade of the GR decreased cocaine-induced reinforcing effects but not cocaine-induced locomotion. A blockade of the MR decreased both cocaine-induced reinforcing (but to a much lesser extent than the GR blockade) and locomotor effects. Altogether, our results comforted the hypothesis that the GR modulates cocaine-related operant conditioning, while the MR would modulate cocaine-related unconditioned effects. The present data also reveal mifepristone as an interesting tool for manipulating the impact of corticosterone on cocaine-induced reinforcing effects in mice.

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