The Cocaine and Oxycodone Biobanks, Two Repositories from Genetically Diverse and Behaviorally Characterized Rats for the Study of Addiction

eNeuro. 2021 Jun 17;8(3):ENEURO.0033-21.2021. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0033-21.2021. Print 2021 May-Jun.


The rat oxycodone and cocaine biobanks contain samples that vary by genotypes (by using genetically diverse genotyped HS rats), phenotypes (by measuring addiction-like behaviors in an advanced SA model), timepoints (samples are collected longitudinally before, during, and after SA, and terminally at three different timepoints in the addiction cycle: intoxication, withdrawal, and abstinence or without exposure to drugs through age-matched naive rats), samples collected (organs, cells, biofluids, feces), preservation (paraformaldehyde-fixed, snap-frozen, or cryopreserved) and application (proteomics, transcriptomics, microbiomics, metabolomics, epigenetics, anatomy, circuitry analysis, biomarker discovery, etc.Substance use disorders (SUDs) are pervasive in our society and have substantial personal and socioeconomical costs. A critical hurdle in identifying biomarkers and novel targets for medication development is the lack of resources for obtaining biological samples with a detailed behavioral characterization of SUD. Moreover, it is nearly impossible to find longitudinal samples. As part of two ongoing large-scale behavioral genetic studies in heterogeneous stock (HS) rats, we have created two preclinical biobanks using well-validated long access (LgA) models of intravenous cocaine and oxycodone self-administration (SA) and comprehensive characterization of addiction-related behaviors. The genetic diversity in HS rats mimics diversity in the human population and includes individuals that are vulnerable or resilient to compulsive-like responding for cocaine or oxycodone. Longitudinal samples are collected throughout the experiment, before exposure to the drug, during intoxication, acute withdrawal, and protracted abstinence, and include naive, age-matched controls. Samples include, but are not limited to, blood plasma, feces and urine, whole brains, brain slices and punches, kidney, liver, spleen, ovary, testis, and adrenal glands. Three preservation methods (fixed in formaldehyde, snap-frozen, or cryopreserved) are used to facilitate diverse downstream applications such as proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics, microbiomics, neuroanatomy, biomarker discovery, and other cellular and molecular approaches. To date, >20,000 samples have been collected from over 1000 unique animals and made available free of charge to non-profit institutions through and

Keywords: biological specimen banks; opioid; outbred strains; psychostimulant; substance-related disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Addictive*
  • Biological Specimen Banks
  • Cocaine*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders*
  • Oxycodone / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Self Administration


  • Oxycodone
  • Cocaine