A genetic animal model of differential sensitivity to methamphetamine reinforcement

Shkelzen Shabani, Lauren K. Dobbs, Matthew M. Ford, Gregory P. Mark, Deborah A. Finn, Tamara J. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Sensitivity to reinforcement from methamphetamine (MA) likely influences risk for MA addiction, and genetic differences are one source of individual variation. Generation of two sets of selectively bred mouse lines for high and low MA drinking has shown that genetic factors influence MA intake, and pronounced differences in sensitivity to rewarding and aversive effects of MA play a significant role. Further validation of these lines as a unique genetic model relevant to MA addiction was obtained using operant methods to study MA reinforcement. High and low MA drinking line mice were used to test the hypotheses that: 1) oral and intracerebroventricular (ICV) MA serve as behavioral reinforcers, and 2) MA exhibits greater reinforcing efficacy in high than low MA drinking mice. Operant responses resulted in access to an MA or non-MA drinking tube or intracranial delivery of MA. Behavioral activation consequent to orally consumed MA was determined. MA available for consumption maintained higher levels of reinforced instrumental responding in high than low MA drinking line mice, and MA intake in the oral operant procedure was greater in high than low MA drinking line mice. Behavioral activation was associated with amount of MA consumed during operant sessions. High line mice delivered more MA via ICV infusion than did low line mice across a range of doses. Thus, genetic risk factors play a critical role in the reinforcing efficacy of MA and the oral self-administration procedure is suitable for delineating genetic contributions to MA reinforcement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2169-2177
Number of pages9
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Addiction
  • Appetitive
  • Aversive
  • Methamphetamine
  • Oral self-administration
  • Reinforcement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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