Time and sex-dependent effects of an adenosine A2A/A1 receptor antagonist on motivation to self-administer cocaine in rats

Susan E. Doyle, Florence J. Breslin, Jayson M. Rieger, Anthony Beauglehole, Wendy J. Lynch

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19 Scopus citations


Adenosine is an important neuromodulator, known to interact with both dopaminergic and glutamatergic systems to influence psychostimulant action. In the present study, we examined the effects of ATL444, a novel adenosine receptor antagonist, on motivation for cocaine in male and female rats. Adult male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to self-administer cocaine (1.5 mg/kg/infusion) on a fixed-ratio 1 schedule with a daily maximum of 20 infusions. Following 5 consecutive sessions during which all 20 available infusions were obtained, motivation for cocaine (0.5 mg/kg/infusion) was assessed under a progressive ratio (PR) schedule, and once responding stabilized, the effect of treatment with ATL444 (0, 15, and 30 mg/kg, i.p.) was examined. As a control, we also assessed its effects on PR responding for sucrose. Binding studies revealed that ATL 444 was 3-fold, 25-fold, and 400-fold more selective for the A2A receptor as compared to A1, A2B, and A3 receptors, respectively. ATL444 produced a significant increase in motivation for cocaine on the day of treatment in females with a trend for an increase in males. In addition, over the two PR sessions following ATL444 treatment a significant decrease in responding was observed in males but not females. Responding for sucrose was unaffected by ATL444 treatment. Our results reveal that adenosine receptor blockade may mediate both acute increases in the reinforcing effects of cocaine, and longer term inhibitory effects on cocaine reinforcement that differ according to sex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-263
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenosine receptors
  • Cocaine
  • Self-administration
  • Sex difference


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