Dose-Dependent Effects of Multiple Acute Cocaine Injections on Maternal Behavior and Aggression in Sprague-Dawley RatsJohns J.M. · Nelson C.J. · Meter K.E. · Lubin D.A. · Couch C.D. · Ayers A. · Walker C.H.
Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C., USA
Rat dams, which had no prior drug treatment, were either nontreated controls or were injected subcutaneously 4 times during a 10-day period with a single dose of 30, 15 or 7.5 mg/kg of cocaine hydrochloride HCl, or normal saline. Injections were given immediately postpartum following delivery of their final pup (PPD 1), and again on postpartum day 3 (PPD 3), postpartum day 6 (PPD 6) and postpartum day 10 (PPD 10). Dams were observed 30 min following injections for maternal behavior (MB) towards 8 surrogate male pups on PPD 1 and PPD 3 and for aggression towards a male or female intruder in the presence of their litter on PPD 6 and PPD 10. Compared to saline and untreated controls, cocaine-treated dams exhibited more disruptions in MB on both PPD 1 and PPD 3 and were less aggressive towards an intruder, regardless of intruder sex, on PPD 6 and PPD 10. In most cases MB was altered in a dose-dependent manner with the higher doses of cocaine resulting in a greater disruption of behavior.
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