Neonatal isolation alters the estrous cycle interactions on the acute behavioral effects of cocaine.Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2005 Sep; 30(8):753-61.P
We demonstrated that neonatal isolation (ISO) increases acquisition of cocaine self-administration and alters psychostimulant-induced ventral striatal dopamine and serotonin levels in female rats. Both dopamine and serotonin modulate the behavioral effects of cocaine and these effects can vary across estrous stages. We now test whether ISO modifies the manner in which estrous stage affects the acute behavioral responses to cocaine. Litters were assigned to ISO (1 h/day isolation; post-natal days 2-9) or non-handled (NH) conditions. In Experiment 1, the ability of cocaine (0.3-30 mg/kg; IP) to disrupt schedule-controlled responding for food was assessed in proestrus, estrus, and diestrus stages. Diestrus and proestrus NH females showed increased response rates at low cocaine doses and decreased rates at higher doses relative to baseline. In contrast, estrus NH females showed decreased responding across all doses. ISO eliminated this estrous stage distinction; only decreased responding to high cocaine doses were seen. Yet, estrous cyclicity during food restriction (Experiment 2) did not differ by group. To confirm this ISO effect, proestrus or estrus rats were administered cocaine (0, 5, 10 mg/kg; IP) and activity monitored in Experiment 3. Locomotor activity differed by estrous stage in NH but not ISO rats. Cocaine plasma levels (Experiment 4) at the time of peak behavioral activity did not differ by group or estrous stage. Results extend prior studies to show estrous stage alters the behavioral effects of cocaine. Neonatal isolation eliminates these effects perhaps reflecting alterations in accumbens monoamine levels or the effects of estrogen on this system.