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Prenatal cocaine exposure affects social behavior in Sprague-Dawley rats

Prenatal cocaine exposure affects social behavior in Sprague-Dawley rats

Neurotoxicology & Teratology 17(5): 569-576

Children prenatally exposed to cocaine are reported to exhibit inappropriate social behavior, including aggression. We have recently observed a similar phenomenon in rats prenatally exposed to cocaine. Pregnant females were injected twice daily with 15 mg/kg cocaine hydrochloride or saline on gestation days 1-20. Offspring were tested for social behavior towards two unfamiliar, untreated rats of the same age and sex. Cocaine-treated mates (90 PND) took longer to reciprocate contact and cocaine-treated females (60 PND) spent more time rough grooming unfamiliar females. Male cocaine offspring (180 PND) tested for aggression exhibited an increased frequency and duration and decreased latency to chase an intruder. ACTH was lower in cocaine-treated males (150-180 PND) following plus-maze exposure or exposure to an unfamiliar male. Our data indicate that prenatal cocaine treatment in rats increases fear or aggression responses, dependent on sex and stimulus situation.

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Accession: 009233155

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8552003

DOI: 10.1016/0892-0362(95)00017-l

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