Nicotine enhances the value of environmental stimuli and rewards, and reward enhancement can maintain nicotine consumption. Stimulants such as d-amphetamine are misused more by women and are commonly co-used with nicotine. d-Amphetamine potentiates nicotine's effects in human and animal research. To date, there are no published studies examining this interaction in a reward-enhancement task. The current study sought to investigate the reward-enhancing effects of nicotine alongside and coadministered with d-amphetamine. Further, we evaluated the persistence of reward enhancement across ratio and temporal schedules of reinforcement. We used 10 male and 10 female Sprague-Dawley rats. Enhancement was assessed within subjects by examining active lever pressing for a visual stimulus reinforcer on variable ratio 3, variable interval 30 s and variable time 30 s - variable ratio 3 schedules. Before 1-h sessions, rats received one injection of saline, 0.1 or 0.3 mg/kg d-amphetamine and one of saline or 0.4 mg/kg nicotine, making six possible drug combinations (saline + saline, saline + nicotine, 0.1 d-amphetamine + aline, 0.1 d-amphetamine + nicotine, 0.3 d-amphetamine + saline and 0.3 d-amphetamine + nicotine) experienced in a randomized order by each rat. When d-amphetamine was coadministered with nicotine, we found an interaction effect on reward enhancement that persisted across schedules of reinforcement. Males and females exhibited reward enhancement by 0.3 d-amphetamine, while only females showed reward enhancement by 0.1 d-amphetamine. Further, females responded more for the visual stimulus than males in all d-amphetamine conditions. Future studies should assess how reward enhancement is involved in high nicotine-amphetamine comorbidity rates and enhanced amphetamine misuse in women.
- prescription psychostimulants
- reward enhancement
- sex differences
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health