Behavioral sensitization is induced by intravenous self-administration of cocaine by rats

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1996 Apr;124(3):279-81. doi: 10.1007/BF02246669.


Rats were prepared with jugular catheters and assigned randomly to one of three groups: intravenous (IV) self-administration of cocaine, yoked administration of cocaine or vehicle. Rats experienced intermittent administration of cocaine (0.75 mg/kg per injection) or vehicle (0.1 ml/injection) for six test sessions, in accordance with the pattern of injections made by the self-administration group. Sensitization of motor activity between pre-and post-treatment challenges of cocaine (3 mg/kg, IV) was observed after both self- and yoked administration of cocaine but not in the yoked-vehicle group. These data indicate that sensitization as a consequence of drug self-administration may be an important factor in the etiology of addiction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cocaine / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Narcotics / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Self Administration


  • Narcotics
  • Cocaine