Post-conditioning propranolol disrupts cocaine sensitization

Rick E. Bernardi, K. Matthew Lattal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Antagonists of β-adrenergic receptors (β-ARs) have previously been demonstrated to impair long-term memory in a variety of animal behavioral paradigms. Surprisingly little is known about the ability of β-ARs to modulate initial memory formation in drug conditioning paradigms. The current study examined whether the post-training administration of the β-AR antagonist, propranolol, would disrupt single-trial cocaine-induced sensitization. Rats received 10 mg/kg propranolol immediately following a 30-min cocaine or vehicle exposure in a conditioning context and were later tested for their locomotor response to a cocaine challenge. Rats that received propranolol following cocaine conditioning showed an impairment of locomotor sensitization during testing. However, this effect was only seen in animals with an initial sensitivity to the locomotor effects of cocaine. Rats that failed to show a locomotor response to cocaine during conditioning were not affected by propranolol. We discuss the implications of these findings as they relate to drug conditioning and memory consolidation studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-519
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Cocaine
  • Consolidation
  • Memory
  • Propranolol
  • Sensitization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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