Background: Preclinical evidence from male subjects indicates that exposure to psychotropic medications, during early development, results in long-lasting altered responses to reward-related stimuli. However, it is not known if exposure to the antidepressant fluoxetine, in female subjects specifically, changes sensitivity to natural and drug rewards, later in life.
Aims: The aim of this work was to investigate if exposure to fluoxetine mediates enduring changes in sensitivity to the rewarding properties of cocaine and sucrose, using female mice as a model system.
Methods: We exposed C57BL/6 female mice to fluoxetine (250 mg/L in their drinking water) for 15 consecutive days, either during adolescence (postnatal day 35-49) or adulthood (postnatal day 70-84). Twenty-one days later, mice were examined on their behavioral reactivity to cocaine (0, 2.5, 5, 7.5 mg/kg) using the conditioned place preference paradigm, or assessed on the two-bottle sucrose (1%) test.
Results: We found that regardless of age of antidepressant exposure, female mice pre-exposed to fluoxetine displayed reliable conditioning to the cocaine-paired compartment. However, when compared to respective age-matched controls, antidepressant pre-exposure decreased the magnitude of conditioning at the 5 and 7.5 mg/kg cocaine doses. Furthermore, fluoxetine pre-exposure reduced sucrose preference without altering total liquid intake.
Conclusions: The data suggest that pre-exposure to fluoxetine, during adolescence or adulthood, results in a prolonged decrease in sensitivity to the rewarding properties of both natural and drug rewards in female C57BL/6 mice.
Keywords: Anhedonia; C57BL/6; conditioned place preference; juvenile; reward; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.
Conflict of interest statement
Declaration of conflicting interest
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
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