Neonatal cocaine exposure, activity, and responsivity to cocaine in a rodent model

Susan Barron, Daren H. Kaiser, Lynne S. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This study examined the effects of neonatal cocaine exposure on running wheel activity and subsequent responsivity to cocaine using a rodent model. Subjects were artificially reared from postnatal (PND) days 4-10 via an intragastric cannula. The four treatment groups included two cocaine doses (20 mg/kg/day and 40 mg/kg/day), an artificially reared control and a normally reared suckled control. Subjects were tested at either PND 21 through PND 24 (Experiment 1) or PND 60 through PND 70 (Experiment 2) for 2 consecutive days. Testing consisted of a 30-min habituation period followed by injection of either saline (Day 1) or cocaine (Day 2) and an additional 60-min test session. Neonatal treatment had little effect on baseline activity or activity following saline injection at either age. All subjects showed an activation with cocaine injections, however, the activation was more pronounced in juveniles. Again, neonatal treatment did not interact with response to cocaine. These findings suggest that neonatal cocaine exposure does not alter activity or long-term responsivity to 20 mg/kg cocaine as measured in the running wheel apparatus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-409
Number of pages9
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported, in part, by NIDA DA06049 to SB. We thank Kristy Spalmacin and Steven Harrod for their technical assistance and Purina Protein Technologies for their kind donation of Purina Protein and Becton Dickinson for their assistance with PE-10 tubing.


  • Cocaine challenge
  • Neonatal cocaine exposure
  • Third trimester cocaine effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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