Cocaine is a powerful psychomotor stimulant that can affect serotonin (5HT), dopamine, and norepinephrine systems in the brain. Previous studies with 5HT1B receptor agonist, CP94253, have shown dose-dependent decreases in cocaine-self administration in male rats during maintenance. However, these studies do not take into consideration sex differences between male rats and female rats. Female rats introduce a new complexity because they constantly undergo an estrous cycle that consists of four phases, metestrus, diestrus, proestrus, and estrus. It was hypothesized that cocaine infusions and active lever response rates would greatly decrease during proestrus and estrus in comparison to metestrus and diestrus due to hormonal level differences of LH, FSH, progesterone, and estradiol. In this study, female rats were trained to self-administer a training dose of 0.75 mg/kg/infusion on a fixed progressive ratio (FR5). Rats were then pretreated with CP94253 to test the effects of this 5HT1B agonist on female rat cocaine self-administration during the estrous cycle. Results showed there was no three-way interaction between cycle phase, pretreatment, and cocaine dose on infusions or active lever responses. However, pretreatment with CP94253 decreased cocaine intake and active lever responses at high cocaine doses, regardless of cycle phase. Lastly, there was a two-way interaction between pretreatment and cycle phase in which active lever responses decreased during diestrus and proestrus. These results imply that CP94253 enhances cocaine's effect regardless of cycle phase. Future work can work with ovariectomized (OVX) female rats to observe cocaine self-administration during controlled cycle phases.
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