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Adolescent initiation of drug use has been linked to problematic drug taking later in life and may represent an important variable that changes the balance of the rewarding and/or aversive effects of abused drugs which may contribute to abuse vulnerability. The current study examined the effects of adolescent THC exposure on THC-induced place preference (rewarding effects) and taste avoidance (aversive effects) conditioning in adulthood. Forty-six male Sprague-Dawley adolescent rats received eight injections of an intermediate dose of THC (3.2mg/kg) or vehicle. After these injections, animals were allowed to mature and then trained in a combined CTA/CPP procedure in adulthood (PND ~90). Animals were given four trials of conditioning with intervening water-recovery days, a final CPP test and then a one-bottle taste avoidance test. THC induced dose-dependent taste avoidance but did not produce place conditioning. None of these effects was impacted by adolescent THC exposure. Adolescent exposure to THC had no effect on THC taste and place conditioning in adulthood. The failure to see an effect of adolescent exposure was addressed in the context of other research that has assessed exposure of drugs of abuse during adolescence on drug reactivity in adulthood. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Alison G P Wakeford, Shaun M Flax, Rebecca L Pomfrey, Anthony L Riley. Adolescent delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exposure fails to affect THC-induced place and taste conditioning in adult male rats. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior. 2016 Jan;140:75-81

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PMID: 26577749

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