Rodents suppress intake of saccharin when it is paired with a drug of abuse (Goudie, Dickins, & Thornton, 1978; Risinger & Boyce, 2002). By the authors' account, this phenomenon, referred to as reward comparison, is thought to be mediated by anticipation of the rewarding properties of the drug (P. S. Grigson, 1997; P. S. Grigson & C. S. Freet, 2000). Although a great deal has yet to be discovered regarding the neural basis of reward and addiction, it is known that overexpression of ΔFosB is associated with an increase in drug sensitization and incentive. Given this, the authors reasoned that overexpression of ΔFosB should also support greater drug-induced devaluation of a natural reward. To test this hypothesis, NSE-tTA × TetOp-ΔFosB mice (Chen et al., 1998) with normal or overexpressed ΔFosB in the striatum were given access to a saccharin cue and then injected with saline, 10 mg/kg cocaine, or 20 mg/kg cocaine. Contrary to the original prediction, overexpression of ΔFosB was associated with attenuated cocaine-induced suppression of saccharin intake. It is hypothesized that elevation of ΔFosB not only increases the reward value of drug, but the reward value of the saccharin cue as well.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience