Poster Title

A potential animal model of drug vulnerability

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Institution

Morehead State University

KY House District #

3

KY Senate District #

2

Department

Dept. of Psychology

Abstract

Various methods predict whether an animal might be vulnerable to drug abuse. For example, rats that show high levels of exploration, that have a high initial response to a moderate dose of drug, or that show a highly sensitized response after repeated receipt of a drug, also tend to readily acquire and escalate drug use. Prior research using a small sample of rats showed large individual differences in the magnitude of acute withdrawal following amphetamine and morphine. Most animals had a substantial reduction in activity 13-24 hours following drug, whereas a smaller percentage of animals showed no evidence of acute withdrawal at all. Such “low withdrawal” animals could be vulnerable to rapidly acquiring and escalating drug intake, because they do not experience some of the major costs of drug receipt. The present research continued to assess whether the intensity of acute withdrawal from drug might be a predictor of drug-abuse vulnerability. Adult male Wistar rats were given a moderately-high dose of amphetamine at six-day intervals, for a total of six tests. Following amphetamine administration, animals were placed in individual open fields, and activity was monitored for the next 24 hours. Three days after receiving an amphetamine administration, animals received a saline administration and again were monitored for 24 hours. Animals showed a range of deficits in activity 13-24 hours following amphetamine. Before or after these tests, animals were assessed for exploration of a novel context, for their initial response to a moderate dose of drug, and for sensitization following repeated amphetamine. Scores on these predictors of drug vulnerability were not correlated with acute withdrawal scores. If future research showed that the magnitude of acute withdrawal was correlated with readiness to self-administer drug, the acute withdrawal measure would be disclosed to have unique predictive value.

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A potential animal model of drug vulnerability

Various methods predict whether an animal might be vulnerable to drug abuse. For example, rats that show high levels of exploration, that have a high initial response to a moderate dose of drug, or that show a highly sensitized response after repeated receipt of a drug, also tend to readily acquire and escalate drug use. Prior research using a small sample of rats showed large individual differences in the magnitude of acute withdrawal following amphetamine and morphine. Most animals had a substantial reduction in activity 13-24 hours following drug, whereas a smaller percentage of animals showed no evidence of acute withdrawal at all. Such “low withdrawal” animals could be vulnerable to rapidly acquiring and escalating drug intake, because they do not experience some of the major costs of drug receipt. The present research continued to assess whether the intensity of acute withdrawal from drug might be a predictor of drug-abuse vulnerability. Adult male Wistar rats were given a moderately-high dose of amphetamine at six-day intervals, for a total of six tests. Following amphetamine administration, animals were placed in individual open fields, and activity was monitored for the next 24 hours. Three days after receiving an amphetamine administration, animals received a saline administration and again were monitored for 24 hours. Animals showed a range of deficits in activity 13-24 hours following amphetamine. Before or after these tests, animals were assessed for exploration of a novel context, for their initial response to a moderate dose of drug, and for sensitization following repeated amphetamine. Scores on these predictors of drug vulnerability were not correlated with acute withdrawal scores. If future research showed that the magnitude of acute withdrawal was correlated with readiness to self-administer drug, the acute withdrawal measure would be disclosed to have unique predictive value.