Neonatal FGF2 alters cocaine self-administration in the adult rat

Turner, CA; Capriles, N; Flagel, SB; Perez, JA; Clinton, SM; Watson, SJ; Akil, H
Pharmacol Biochem Behav.. 2010; 92(1):100-4.


The neurobiological bases of increased vulnerability to substance abuse remain obscure. We report here that rats that were selectively bred for greater drug-seeking behavior exhibited higher levels of FGF2 gene expression. We then asked whether a single FGF2 administration (20 ng/g, s.c.) on postnatal day 2 (PND2) can have a lifelong impact on drug-taking behavior, spatial and appetitive learning and the dopaminergic system. Indeed, early life FGF2 enhanced the acquisition of cocaine self-administration in adulthood. However, early life FGF2 did not alter spatial or operant learning in adulthood. Furthermore, early life FGF2 did not alter gene expression in the dopaminergic system in adulthood. These results suggest that elevated levels of FGF2 may lead to increased drug-taking behavior without altering learning. Thus, FGF2 may be an antecedent of vulnerability for drug-taking behavior and may provide clues to novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of addiction.