Influence of the Novelty-Seeking Endophenotype on the Rewarding Effects of Psychostimulant Drugs in Animal Models

Author(s): M. Carmen Arenas, María A. Aguilar, Sandra Montagud-Romero, Ana Mateos-García, Concepción I. Navarro-Francés, José Miñarro, Marta Rodríguez-Arias

Journal Name: Current Neuropharmacology

Volume 14 , Issue 1 , 2016

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Graphical Abstract:


Novelty seeking (NS), defined as a tendency to pursue novel and intense emotional sensations and experiences, is one of the most relevant individual factors predicting drug use among humans. High novelty seeking (HNS) individuals present an increased risk of drug use compared to low novelty seekers. The NS endophenotype may explain some of the differences observed among individuals exposed to drugs of abuse in adolescence. However, there is little research about the particular response of adolescents to drugs of abuse in function of this endophenotype, and the data that do exist are inconclusive. The present work reviews the literature regarding the influence of NS on psychostimulant reward, with particular focus on adolescent subjects. First, the different animal models of NS and the importance of this endophenotype in adolescence are discussed. Later, studies that have used the most common animal models of reward (self-administration, conditioned place preference paradigms) to evaluate how the NS trait influences the rewarding effects of psychostimulants are reviewed. Finally, possible explanations for the enhanced risk of developing substance dependence among HNS individuals are discussed. In conclusion, the studies referred to in this review show that the HNS trait is associated with: (1) increased initial sensitivity to the rewarding effects of psychostimulants, (2) a higher level of drug craving when the subject is exposed to the environmental cues associated with the drug, and (3) enhanced long-term vulnerability to relapse to drug consumption after prolonged abstinence.

Keywords: Animal models, conditioned place preference, novelty seeking, psychostimulants, rewarding effects, self-administration.

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Article Details

Year: 2016
Published on: 21 September, 2015
Page: [87 - 100]
Pages: 14
DOI: 10.2174/1570159X13666150921112841

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