Social influences on morphine sensitization in adolescent females.
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We recently observed that social interactions influence morphine responsiveness in adolescent males. Given sex-related differences in both social interactions and responses to morphine, the present study examines social influences on morphine sensitization in adolescent female mice. Four experimental groups were examined: (1) morphine-treated mice (twice daily, 10-40 mg/kg, s.c.) housed physically and visually separated from saline-treated mice ('morphine only'), (2) morphine-treated mice housed together with saline-treated mice ('morphine cage-mates (of saline)'), (3) saline-treated mice housed together with morphine-treated mice ('saline cage-mates (of morphine)'), and (4) saline-treated mice housed physically and visually separated from morphine-treated mice ('saline only'). Following the treatment period, mice were tested individually for their locomotor response to 20 mg/kg morphine (s.c.). There were no significant differences in morphine-induced hyper-locomotion between saline only and saline cage-mates (of morphine) female adolescent mice. Notably, morphine only mice exhibited significantly greater morphine sensitization as compared to morphine cage-mates (of saline). Thus, this study demonstrates social influences on morphine sensitization in adolescent females. Drug use during early adolescence is a key predictor of later drug abuse and dependence during adulthood. Thus, understanding the specific vulnerabilities to drug use in this age group may represent a first step in helping develop more effective treatment programs.
author list (cited authors)
Hofford, R. S., Roberts, K. W., Wellman, P. J., & Eitan, S.
complete list of authors
Hofford, Rebecca S||Roberts, Kris W||Wellman, Paul J||Eitan, Shoshana