Long-term changes in amphetamine-induced reinforcement and aversion in rats following exposure to 56Fe particle
Exposing rats to heavy particles produces alterations in the functioning of dopaminergic neurons and in the behaviors that depend upon the integrity of the dopaminergic system. Two of these dopamine-dependent behaviors include amphetamine-induced reinforcement, measure using the conditioned place preference procedure, and amphetamine-induced reinforcement, measured using the conditioned place preference procedure, and amphetamine-induced aversion, measured using the conditioned taste aversion. Previous research has shown that exposing rats to 1.0 Gy of 1GeV/n 56Fe particles produced a disruption of an amphetamine-induced taste aversion 3 days following exposure, but produced an apparent enhancement of the aversion 112 days following exposure. The present experiments were designed to provide a further evaluation of these results by examining taste aversion learning 154 days following exposure to 1.0Gy 56Fe particles and to establish the convergent validity of the taste aversion results by looking at the effects of exposure on the establishment of an amphetamine-induced conditioned place preference 3, 7, and 16 weeks following irradiation. The taste aversion results failed to confirm the apparent enhancement of the amphetamine-induced CTA observed in the prior experiment. However, exposure to 56Fe particles prevented the acquisition of amphetamine-induced place preference at all three-time intervals. The results are interpreted as indicating that exposure to heavy particles can produce long-term changes in behavioral functioning.