Evaluation of rat ultrasonic vocalizations as predictors of the conditioned aversive effects of drugs

J. Burgdorf, B. Knutson, J. Panksepp, T. S. Shippenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rationale: Since cues that predict aversive outcomes can elicit both avoidance and 20 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) in adult rats, 20 kHz USVs may also index the conditioned aversive effects of drugs. Objective: We evaluated whether exposure to compartments associated with drugs with aversive effects would selectively increase 20 but not 50 kHz USVs in rats. Method: Rats were injected with naloxone (NAL) or lithium chloride (LiCl) and placed in one compartment or with saline (VEH) and placed in another compartment for three 50-min conditioning sessions. 20 kHz USVs, 50 kHz USVs, and time spent in each chamber were recorded during subsequent 15-min testing sessions during which rats had access to both compartments (expt 1) or were confined to the drug- or VEH-paired compartment (expt 2). Results: In expt 1, animals conditioned either with NAL (0.3 and 3.0 mg/kg) or LiCl (10 and 30 mg/kg) emitted increased 20 kHz USVs in the drug-paired compartment, relative to VEH-conditioned controls. Conditioning with high doses of both drugs also increased conditioned place aversion and decreased emission of 50 kHz USVs. In expt 2, restriction of animals to the compartment paired with high doses of NAL and LiCl also increased emission of 20 kHz USVs and decreased 50 kHz USVs, relative to VEH-conditioned controls. Conclusions: In rats, cues associated with drugs with aversive effects increase 20 kHz USVs and decrease 50 kHz USVs, suggesting that USVs may provide a useful model for predicting the conditioned aversive effects of drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume155
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Conditioned place aversion
  • Lithium chloride
  • Morphine
  • Naloxone
  • Rat
  • Ultrasonic vocalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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