[en] Excitatory or inhibitory conditioning processes have been proposed to account for the context-dependent establishment of amphetamine psychomotor sensitization in rodents. The purpose of this study was to test the predictions of these theories in mice. We first assessed the consequence of the extinction of post-sensitization conditioned activity (CR) on the ulterior expression of sensitization. We also assessed the relations between several measures of sensitization and conditioned hyperactivity revealed on a saline challenge using simple and multiple regression analyses. Context-dependent sensitization was induced via 7 amphetamine injections in the test context given alternately with 7 saline injections in another context in paired mice, unpaired mice receiving the converse pretreatment. Context-dependent sensitization (drug challenge) and the CR (saline challenge) were revealed subsequently. After CR extinction (over 7 every-other-day repetition of the saline challenge), mice were tested again for context-dependent sensitization. Against the excitatory conditioning model, CR extinction spared context-dependent sensitization in paired mice, and regression analyses revealed no significant correlations between the size of the CR and several measures of sensitization. In apparent agreement with the inhibitory conditioning model, unpaired mice expressed higher levels of sensitization in the test context after extinction than before. However, regression analyses did not indicate that activity on the saline challenge was related to measures of sensitization in unpaired mice. Therefore, the present results support neither the excitatory nor the inhibitory conditioning models of context-dependent sensitization, but remain compatible with theories proposing that other inhibitory mechanisms modulate sensitization.
Centre de Neurosciences Cognitives et Comportementales
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS