Prenatal Cocaine Effects on Sexual Motivation

Grants and Contracts Details


The broad, long-term objective of the current application is to develop a novel approach to studying the effects of prenatal drugs of abuse on later drug reward and sexual motivation. The novel approach involves utilizing an avian animal model that is precocial, fast-maturing, allows for control of dose, timing of drug exposure, and avoidance of potentially confounding maternal and/or littermate factors associated with the use of rodents. The specific aims of the current application are to 1) validate the embryonic model by investigating embryotoxic effects of prenatal cocaine, 2) investigate prenatal effects of cocaine on cocaineinduced locomotor activity and cocaine place preference in adult male and female quail, and 3) test prenatal cocaine effects on sexual motivation in sexually mature males. The potential influence of gestational cocaine exposure in altering rewarding properties of psychostimulants is a considerable health concern since there may be an increased liability for addiction to these drugs as a result of prenatal exposure. In addition, gestational cocaine may affect other motivational systems, such as the sexual behavior system. Increased liability for cocaine addiction may also be linked to risky sexual behavior such as a higher frequency of sexual activity, sex with multiple partners, and unprotected sex. These behaviors have been linked to to the transmission of HIV and hepatitis C. The findings that result from this research may contribute information about how prenatal cocaine exposure alters responding to drugs in adulthood and how it may enhance sexual motivation. The methodology includes injecting viable eggs with cocaine during various embryonic stages and then assessing hatchability and motility (movement inside the egg); behavioral tests on the activating effects and rewarding properties of cocaine adult birds; and tests of sexual motivation using a social proximity test.
Effective start/end date7/1/073/31/10


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: $383,682.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.