Environmental and pharmacological factors in the development of noncontingent tolerance to cocaine in pigeons.
Previous research with rats and monkeys has shown that tolerance to behavioral effects of cocaine developed if the drug was administered before behavioral test sessions but not if it was administered after sessions, a finding known as contingent tolerance. In contrast, a recent experiment using pigeons found that they showed tolerance resulting from postsession drug administration (noncontingent tolerance). The 4 experiments reported in this article were conducted to examine that result more fully. Experiment 1 found that immediate presession administration of cocaine to pigeons reliably led to tolerance to effects on food-reinforced operant key pecking and that immediate postsession administration of cocaine also led to tolerance in half the subjects, those whose key pecking was not suppressed by postsession dosing. Experiment 2 showed that eating in the home cage under the effects of postsession cocaine was not necessary for tolerance to develop to effects of postsession cocaine and that the majority of subjects developed tolerance from postsession cocaine administration. Experiment 3 found that mere drug exposure in the home cage without exposure to an experimental session did not reliably produce tolerance during the behavioral session. Experiment 4 showed that tolerance from postsession cocaine administration could be observed even when daily dosing was discontinued during dose–response curve assessment. Therefore, the combined results showed that pigeons often developed tolerance to effects of cocaine during the behavioral session when cocaine was administered postsession and that this tolerance was not the result of feeding under effects of the drug. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)