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Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior

3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)-induced conditioned taste avoidance in the F344/N and LEW rat strains.


PMID 25284129

Abstract

The inbred Fischer (F344) and Lewis (LEW) rats, while originally developed as animal models for cancer and tissue transplantation research, have since been used to study genetic differences in a variety of physiological and behavioral endpoints. In this context, LEW rats show greater sensitivity to the aversive effects of cocaine as compared to F344 rats in a conditioned taste avoidance procedure. Like cocaine, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV; "bath salts") acts as a dopamine transport blocker and possesses aversive properties, making it a good candidate for assessing whether the aforementioned strain differences with cocaine would generalize to drugs with similar biochemical action. Accordingly, male F344 and LEW rats were exposed to a novel saccharin solution followed by injections of one of four doses of MDPV in a taste avoidance procedure. Over the four saccharin/MDPV pairings during conditioning, core body temperatures were also assessed. Similar to previous research, MDPV induced robust dose-dependent taste avoidance, although no effect of strain was observed. MDPV also produced hyperthermia that was independent of strain and unrelated to the conditioned taste avoidance. These findings argue for a complex influence of multiple (and likely interacting) monoaminergic systems mediating MDPV-induced taste avoidance in the two strains and suggest different mechanisms of avoidance learning for cocaine and MDPV.