[en] 1. The conditioning aspects of contextual sensitization were examined in the case of apomorphine-induced wall-climbing in mice, measuring onset latencies of the pharmacological response and controlling differential habituation to the test context during drug treatment. 2. Sensitization was generated in male out-bred mice which received intermittent i.p. injections of 0.4 mg/kg apomorphine over 9 daily sessions. On day 10, they were tested for contextual sensitization (all mice under apomorphine). On day 14, after 3 sessions of reinstatement, mice were tested for conditioned climbing (all mice under saline). 3. It was found that simultaneous exposure to both apomorphine and the test context facilitated the expression of a full-blown contextual sensitization (some non-contextual sensitization emerging too); importantly, sensitization was accompanied by a progressive shortening of the latencies to climb (before injections); conditioned climbing appeared only in mice pairing the drug with the test context, that response being absent in mice treated outside the context or never exposed to the context. 4. It is likely that contextual sensitization to apomorphine-induced climbing relies on Pavlovian conditioning processes rather than on habituation-related processes.
Centre de Neurosciences Cognitives et Comportementales