The HIV-1 transgenic (Tg) rat model is valuable for understanding HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) and accompanying substance use and misuse. Tg and F344/NHsd wildtype (WT) rats were allowed to self-administer intrajugular cocaine. For the first 7 sessions, neither genotype self-administered cocaine (0.1 mg/kg/infusion) on a fixed ratio 1 schedule. We thus implemented a lever–cocaine “autoshaping” session followed by a series of manipulations changing dose and reinforcement schedule. Tg rats self-administered much less cocaine than WT rats throughout the study. Of 8 Tg rats, 5 modestly increased self-administration from sessions 36–50. Of those, only 3 showed a lever discrimination. Of 10 WT rats, 8 acquired robust self-administration by session 19; all WT rats self-administered cocaine by the end of the study. WT and Tg rats had similar baseline locomotor activity in the self-administration chamber suggesting that the low levels of cocaine intake in the Tg rats did not reflect a nonspecific motor impairment in this rat strain. Concomitant measurement of activity with self-administration revealed activity increases that followed increased cocaine intake. That relation held in Tg rats. Therefore, the present study provides evidence that HIV-1 Tg rats are less sensitive to the reinforcing effects of cocaine than their F344 WT counterparts.
- transgenic rat
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience