Social and anxiety-like behaviors contribute to nicotine self-administration in adolescent outbred rats.
Published Web Locationhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6305389/
Both emotional and social traits interact with genetic factors to influence smoking behavior. We previously established a socially acquired nicotine intravenous self-administration model where social learning of a nicotine-associated odor cue reversed conditioned flavor aversion and promoted nicotine intake. In this study, we first phenotyped ~800 adolescent heterogeneous stock rats in open field, novel object interaction, social interaction, elevated plus maze, and marble burying behaviors. These rats were then phenotyped on socially acquired nicotine self-administration. We found 243 significant correlations between different behavioral tests. Principal component regression analysis found that ~10-20% of the variance in nicotine-related measures, such as intake during the first or the last three fixed-ratio sessions, the progressive ratio session, and reinstatement behavior, can be explained by variations in behavioral traits. Factors corresponding to social behavior and anxiety were among the strongest predictors of nicotine intake and reinstatement of nicotine-seeking behavior. We also found many sex differences in behavioral measures. These data indicated that the genetic diversity of this population, in combination with social behaviour and anxiety, are significant contributors to the divergent nicotine self-administration behavior and indicated a high probability of discovering sex-specific genetic mechanisms for nicotine intake in future genome-wide association studies.
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