Psychobiology of cocaine addiction: Contribution of a multi-symptomatic animal model of loss of control

Neuropharmacology. 2014 Jan;76 Pt B:437-49. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2013.07.014. Epub 2013 Aug 2.


Transition to addiction is the shift from controlled to uncontrolled drug use that occurs after prolonged drug intake in a limited number of drug users. A major challenge of addiction research in recent years has been to develop models for studying this pathological transition. Toward this goal, a DSM-IV/5-based multi-symptomatic model of cocaine addiction has been developed in the rat. It is based on an operational translation of the main features of the disease. 1. Addiction is not just taking drug; it is a non-adaptive drug use: The procedure models addiction in relation to its clinical definition. 2. All drug users do not face the same individual risk of developing addiction: The model includes an individual-based approach. 3. Addiction develops after protracted periods of controlled drug use: This procedure allows for the study of the long-term shift from controlled drug use to addiction. We describe this model in detail and show how it can contribute to our understanding of the pathophysiology of cocaine addiction. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'NIDA 40th Anniversary Issue'.

Keywords: Addiction; Animal model; Cocaine.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Addictive / etiology*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders / etiology
  • Rats