This is in spite of the fact that all individuals will exhibit long-term changes in the brain after being exposed to a drug of abuse. What is found is that there is greater drug-, cue-, and stress-induced reinstatement for cocaine and morphine in females than in males. Acquisition is measured by the number of days it takes for the animal to reach a stable level of responding for the drug. In the situation where drug-taking behavior becomes habitual, dopamine release has been reported to be enhanced in the dorsolateral striatum and attenuated in the nucleus accumbens. Find articles by Jill B.
Females exhibit a higher breaking point on a PR than males. Estradiol treatment of ovariectomized female rats enhances stimulated dopamine release in the dorsolateral striatum, but not in the nucleus accumbens, resulting in a sex difference in the balance between these two dopaminergic projections. Similarly, in laboratory experiments, female rats acquire drug self-administration in an operant conditioning chamber more rapidly than male rats. In the situation where drug-taking behavior becomes habitual, dopamine release has been reported to be enhanced in the dorsolateral striatum and attenuated in the nucleus accumbens. Early in the testing, all animals choose pellets, but after 3 to 7 weeks, a certain proportion of rats choose cocaine over pellets, and more females than males choose cocaine Figure 1. Acquisition is measured by the number of days it takes for the animal to reach a stable level of responding for the drug. This is true for sex differences in addiction, even though there are also effects of experience and culture on vulnerability to addiction that can differentially affect males and females. During attempts to quit abstinence use of drugs such as cocaine and amphetamine, women exhibit withdrawal symptoms that are more unpleasant than those of men. This is true for alcohol, most illicit drugs, and gambling. During extinction, rats are placed in an operant chamber, but no drug is delivered even though the animal responds for the drug. Individual differences in genetics, personality traits, experiences during development, and whether one is male or female are all thought to contribute to how one responds to drugs or food or gambling and whether one develops compulsive behaviors associated with an addiction. After that, the investigator examines both whether the animal will reinitiate self-administration and what increases reinitiation behavior. Introduction The chromosomes and hormones in the developing fetus contribute to sex differences in the brain. The test for self-administration of drugs has inherent face validity for studying addiction. Ovariectomized female rats exhibit a smaller initial dopamine increase after cocaine treatment than castrated males. Under conditions in which responding for drug can be assessed for these attributes, addiction-like behavior can be studied in the rat. What is found is that there is greater drug-, cue-, and stress-induced reinstatement for cocaine and morphine in females than in males. The sex difference in the balance between these neural systems is proposed to underlie sex differences in addiction. More recent tests have been devised where animals exhibit symptoms more typically associated with addiction, such as responding for drug even when not being rewarded, responding for drug in the presence of adverse consequences, high motivation to take drug on a PR schedule, and loss of motivation for previously desired reinforcers. In rodents, short-term estradiol intake in female rats enhances acquisition and escalation of drug taking, motivation for drugs of abuse, and relapse-like behaviors. Using this behavioral test, female rats will also escalate drug taking more rapidly than males, and females will work harder than male rats to get a single injection. This animal model is useful for identifying factors that make an individual vulnerable to drug taking. Sex differences in addiction-like behavior Women who are vulnerable to addiction will tend to escalate use more rapidly to the point of addiction than men will. Find articles by Jill B. Abstract Women exhibit more rapid escalation from casual drug taking to addiction, exhibit a greater withdrawal response with abstinence, and tend to exhibit greater vulnerability than men in terms of treatment outcome. There is also a sex difference in the dopamine response in the nucleus accumbens. This is in spite of the fact that all individuals will exhibit long-term changes in the brain after being exposed to a drug of abuse.
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