Intravenous cocaine self-administration in the C57BL/6J mouse

Nicholas J. Grahame, Tamara J. Phillips, Sue Burkhart-Kasch, Christopher L. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Freely behaving C57BL/6J mice with intrajugular catheters were trained to nose-poke for cocaine (0.75 mg/kg per 5-μ1 infusion) under a fixed-ratio-10 schedule of reinforcement. Mice were given a choice between two nose-poke holes on opposite sides of the apparatus. Nose-pokes by experimental (O) subjects (operant group) were reinforced on only one side and reinforcer delivery coincided with the onset of a 10-s time-out light stimulus. Drug delivery to control subjects (yoked group) was determined by the behavior of O mice. Nose-poke rate increased in O subjects, whereas yoked subjects did not acquire the nose-poking response. Moreover, nose-poking was selective for the cocaine-paired side in O subjects. When saline infusions were substituted for cocaine (i.e., extinction), nose-poking in O subjects decreased, whereas yoked controls were unaffected. O subjects developed a preference for the drug-associated side of the apparatus during extinction. Overall, these data offer strong evidence of cocaine-directed behavior in the C57BL/6 inbred mouse strain. More generally, these findings support the feasibility of using intravenous self-administration to assess reinforcement in genetically well-defined populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-834
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1995


  • C57BL/6J mice
  • Cocaine
  • Intravenous self-administration
  • Locomotor activity
  • Place preference
  • Reinforcement
  • Yoked control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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