2020 journal article

Sex chromosome complement influences vulnerability to cocaine in mice


By: M. Martini, J. Irvin n, C. Lee n, W. Lynch* & E. Rissman

author keywords: Mice; Cocaine; Self-administration; Sex chromosomes; Locomotor activity; Sex differences; Addiction
Source: Web Of Science
Added: November 9, 2020

Women acquire cocaine habits faster and are more motivated to obtain drug than men. In general, female rodents acquire intravenous cocaine self-administration (SA) faster and show greater locomotor responses to cocaine than males. Sex differences are attributed to differences in circulating estradiol. We used the four core genotype (FCG) mouse to ask whether sex chromosome complement influences vulnerability to cocaine's reinforcing and/or locomotor-activating effects. The FCG cross produces ovary-bearing mice with XX or XY genotypes (XXF, XYF) and testes-bearing mice with XX or XY genotypes (XXM, XYM). A greater percentage of gonadal females acquired cocaine SA via infusions into jugular catheters as compared with XYM mice, but XXM mice were not significantly different than any other group. Discrimination of the active versus inactive nose poke holes and cocaine intake were in general greater in gonadal females than in gonadal males. Progressive ratio tests for motivation revealed an interaction between sex chromosomes and gonads: XYM mice were more motivated to self-administer cocaine taking more infusions than mice in any other group. Locomotor responses to cocaine exposure revealed effects of sex chromosomes. After acute exposure, activity was greater in XX than in XY mice and the reverse was true for behavioral sensitization. Mice with XY genotypes displayed more activity than XX mice when given cocaine after a 10-day drug-free period. Our data demonstrate that sex chromosome complement alone and/or interacting with gonadal status can modify cocaine's reinforcing and locomotor-activating effects. These data should inform current studies of sex differences in drug use.