Binge eating (BE) and drug seeking share similar behavioral features, including loss of control over consumption and compulsive seeking of the craved substance. Previous studies in animal models have demonstrated a complex interaction between ‘state’ BE, produced by intermittent access to a palatable diet, and ‘trait’ BE, a phenotypical proneness towards overeating. In the present study, we examined the relationship between state and trait BE and cocaine seeking. We used Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty rats, a genetic model for obesity that demonstrates BE-like behavior, and Long Evans Tokushima Otsuka controls. They received a schedule of limited access to a palatable diet (3 days/week or 5 days/week access to Ensure for a month). Next, they underwent cocaine self-administration training (1 mg/kg, 1 hour/day for 10 days) followed by extinction sessions (7 days). We found that the degree of BE-like behavior and the state and trait BE combination predicted cocaine craving patterns. Lower levels of dopamine D2 receptors in the prefrontal cortex were correlated with increased drug craving. Moreover, restricted access to an attractive diet was found to be a risk factor for heightened cocaine craving, particularly in trait binge eaters, as rats on the 3 days/week access schedule persistently failed to cease cocaine seeking throughout extinction. Hence, we postulate a joint role of state and trait BE as risk factors for heightened cocaine craving.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 Society for the Study of Addiction
- Binge eating
- dopamine receptors
- drug addiction
- prefrontal cortex