Acquisition and Maintenace of Intravenous Cocaine Self-Administration in Lewis and Fischer Inbred Rat Strains

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Tested whether Lewis and Fischer rat strains differ in acquisition or maintenance of intravenous cocaine self-administration. Acquisition of cocaine self-administration was examined in separate groups that were allowed 15 days to acquire the operant at one of three cocaine doses (0.25, 0.5, or 1.0 mg/kg/infusion). Compared to Fischer rats, Lewis rats acquired cocaine self-administration after fewer training trials and at lower doses. After maintenance, both strains showed characteristic extinction responding with saline substitution and dose-related responding to cocaine, although Fischer rats tended to show higher response rates. Finally, cocaine plasma levels, obtained after an intravenous cocaine infusion (1.0 mg/kg), showed no strain differences suggesting that the strain difference in acquisition was not due to cocaine pharmacokinetics.