Scopolamine inhibits cocaine-conditioned but not unconditioned stimulant effects in mice

Y. Itzhak, J. L. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


In animal models, cocaine cues contribute to the development of conditioned responses to the psychomotor stimulating and rewarding effects of the drug. Objectives: In the present study we investigated the effect of scopolamine, known to impair learning and memory, on cocaine-induced conditioned and unconditioned responses in Swiss Webster mice. Methods: In the first experiment, mice were treated with saline/saline, saline/cocaine (20 mg/kg), scopolamine (1.0 mg/kg)/cocaine, or scopolamine/saline for 5 days. The treatments were paired with the locomotor activity test cage twice, on days 1 and 5. This allowed to determine: (a) the induction and expression of place-dependent sensitization (PDS) to the psychomotor-stimulating effect of cocaine and (b) place-dependent hyperlocomotion (PDH; i.e., conditioning) as defined by the response to saline injection in the test cage. In the second experiment, all injections were delivered in animals' home cage in order to induce place-independent sensitization (PIS) to cocaine and to avoid the development of PDH. In the third experiment, the effect of scopolamine (1.0 mg/kg) on the acquisition of cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) was investigated. Results: Data from the first experiment suggest that pretreatment with scopolamine had no specific effect on the induction and expression of cocaine-induced PIS. However, scopolamine blocked cocaine-induced PDH. Results from the second experiment confirmed that scopolamine had no effect on the induction of PIS to cocaine. Results from the third experiment showed that scopolamine completely blocked cocaine-induced CPP. Conclusions: The finding that scopolamine blocked the conditioned behaviors, PDH and CPP, that develop after exposure to cocaine supports the hypothesis that cocaine cue reactivity in the paradigms tested is associated with learning and memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-223
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • Conditioned place preference (CPP)
  • Learning and memory
  • Place-dependent hyperlocomotion (PDH)
  • Place-dependent sensitization (PDS)
  • Place-independent sensitization (PIS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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