The present study examined the effect of drug and reinforcement history on quinpirole-maintained responding in rats. Quinpirole (0.01, 0.032, or 0.1 mg/kg per injection) was assessed as a reinforcer in experimentally naive rats, as well as in rats trained to self-administer cocaine, remifentanil, ketamine, or food under a fixed ratio 1 schedule of reinforcement. Quinpirole failed to maintain responding in experimentally naive rats, or in ketamine- or food-trained rats. However, robust responding was maintained in rats with a history of cocaine reinforcement, and modest levels of responding were observed in rats with a history of responding for remifentanil. In a second set of studies, the effects of protracted drug histories on quinpirole-maintained responding in food-trained rats were assessed. Rats were maintained with food reinforcement, and different groups of rats were then allowed to respond for saline, quinpirole, and response-contingent cocaine or were administered noncontingent cocaine; all rats were subsequently allowed to respond for quinpirole. Only rats that previously responded for cocaine showed quinpirole-maintained responding; all other conditions failed to establish quinpirole-maintained responding. Although the high levels of quinpirole-maintained responding observed when quinpirole was substituted for cocaine are suggestive of positive reinforcing effects, these response-maintaining effects were highly dependent upon both drug and reinforcement history, suggesting that quinpirole may only function as a reinforcer under very specific conditions. The behavioral effects of quinpirole under these situations represent a novel constellation of actions relative to other drug reinforcers, and they suggest that the direct effects of self-administered quinpirole may be important in establishing the response-maintaining effects.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics|
|State||Published - Nov 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine