Altered responses to novelty and drug reinforcement ...

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Title Altered responses to novelty and drug reinforcement in adult rats treated neonatally with domoic acid
Author(s) M. A. Burt, Catherine L. Ryan, Tracy A. Doucette
Journal Physiology & Behavior
Date 2008
Volume 93
Issue 1-2
Start page 327
End page 336
Abstract Activity in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system is linked to responses to novelty, reward, and drug-seeking behaviours. Glutamate signaling, through kainate receptors, has been shown to modulate dopamine release in this pathway. In the present study, a low, overtly non-convulsive dose of the kainate receptor agonist, domoic acid (DOM), was administered to rat pups over PND 8-14. As juveniles and adolescents, rats were assessed in the open field. During adulthood, rats were tested in an open field, a sucrose consumption task, the playground maze and in a nicotine-induced conditioned place preference paradigm. Domoic acid related effects were found in open field behavior at each time point assessed. Male rats treated neonatally with DOM displayed altered novelty-related behaviour in a novelty trial, as indicated by an increase in time spent exploring familiar objects during the novelty trial of the playground maze. In nicotine-induced conditioned place preference, DOM-treated females developed a conditioned place preference for the nicotine-paired compartment of the test arena, an effect that was maintained for at least a month following the final drug-compartment pairing. The results of this study underscore the importance of the glutamate system in the ontogeny of behaviors that rely on the functional integrity of the midbrain dopamine system.

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