Effects of Stress on the Behavioral Response to Psychostimulants

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Stressful conditions have been shown to increase the psychomotor stimulant effects of drugs of abuse (48-51), a phenomenon often referred to as stress-induced sensitization. Mild food restriction (10-20% of body-weight loss) increases locomotor activa-

Fig 3. Stress-induced corticosterone secretion mediates stress-induced sensitization to cocaine. (A) Stress (food restriction) increases the locomotor response to an injection of cocaine (10 mg/kg). Blockade of stress-induced secretion of corticosterone by treatment with metyrapone (100 mg/kg) prevents this stress-induced effect. (B) Food restriction increases dopamine levels in response to cocaine (10 mg/kg). Blockade of stress-induced secretion of corticosterone by treatment with metyrapone (100 mg/kg) prevents this stress-induced effect. (Modified from Marinelli et al. [13] and Rougé-Pont et al. [71]).

Fig 3. Stress-induced corticosterone secretion mediates stress-induced sensitization to cocaine. (A) Stress (food restriction) increases the locomotor response to an injection of cocaine (10 mg/kg). Blockade of stress-induced secretion of corticosterone by treatment with metyrapone (100 mg/kg) prevents this stress-induced effect. (B) Food restriction increases dopamine levels in response to cocaine (10 mg/kg). Blockade of stress-induced secretion of corticosterone by treatment with metyrapone (100 mg/kg) prevents this stress-induced effect. (Modified from Marinelli et al. [13] and Rougé-Pont et al. [71]).

tion induced by cocaine and amphetamine (52,53), and other stressors such as mild tail pressure, foot shock, restraint/immobilization, handling, social isolation, or social defeat also have similar effects (48,49,51,54-56).

The enhancing effects of stress on drug self-administration have been described for decades. Again, different stressors such as tail pinch (50), foot shock (57), social isolation (58,59), social stress (60-62), and food restriction (63-67) all increase intravenous self-administration of amphetamine and cocaine. These effects have been observed for different doses of the drugs, during the acquisition phase, the retention one, as well as in progressive ratio schedules.

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