Effects of dopamine receptor antagonism and amphetamine-induced psychomotor sensitization on sign- and goal-tracking after extended training
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofBehavioural brain research ; vol. 407.
The dopamine system is important for incentive salience attribution, where motivational value is assigned to conditioned cues that predict appetitive reinforcers. However, the role of dopamine in this process may change with extended training. We tested the effects of dopamine D1-like and D2-like receptor antagonism on the expression of sign-tracking and goal-tracking conditioned responses following extended Pavlovian conditioned approach (PCA) training. We also tested if amphetamine-induced psychomotor sensitization accelerates the enhanced acquisition of sign-tracking that is observed with extended training. In experiment 1, 24 male Long-Evans rats received 20 PCA sessions in which one lever (CS+, 10 s) predicted 0.2 ml sucrose (10 %, w/v) delivery and the other lever (CS–) did not. SCH-23390 (D1-like antagonist) or eticlopride (D2-like antagonist) were administered before non-reinforced behavioural tests at doses of 0, 0.01, and 0.1 mg/kg (s.c.). In experiment 2, rats received vehicle or 2 mg/kg amphetamine (i.p.) for 7 days (n = 12/group). Ten days later, they received 16 PCA training sessions. Both doses of SCH-23390 reduced sign- and goal-tracking, but also reduced locomotor behaviour. A low dose of eticlopride (0.01 mg/kg) selectively reduced goal-tracking, without affecting sign-tracking or locomotor behaviour. Amphetamine produced psychomotor sensitization, and this did not affect the acquisition of sign- or goal-tracking. Following extended PCA training, dopamine D2-like receptor activity is required for the expression of goal-tracking but not sign-tracking. Psychomotor sensitization to amphetamine did not impact incentive salience attribution; however, more selective manipulations of the dopamine system may be needed.