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Effects of acute social stress on the conditioned place preference induced by MDMA in adolescent and adult mice

García-Pardo, Maria P.; Rodríguez-Arias, Marta; Maldonado, Concepcion; Manzanedo, Carmen; Miñarro, Jose; Aguilar, Maria A.

doi: 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000065
Research Reports

Exposure to social defeat stress increases the rewarding effects of psychostimulants in animal models, but its effect on 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA) reward has received little attention. In the present study, we evaluated the influence of social defeat on the rewarding effects of MDMA in adolescent [postnatal day (PND) 29–40] and adult (PND 50–61) male mice using the conditioned place preference paradigm. Experimental mice were exposed to social defeat in an agonistic encounter before each session of conditioning with 1.25 or 10 mg/kg of MDMA. The effects of social defeat on corticosterone levels and the motor or the anxiogenic effects of MDMA were also evaluated. Mice exposed to social defeat during adulthood did not show conditioned place preference after conditioning with either dose of MDMA. Conversely, social defeat did not affect the anxiogenic and motor effects of MDMA. Adult mice exposed to social defeat showed higher levels of corticosterone than their controls and adolescent mice. Social stress did not induce behavioural effects in adolescent mice. Our results show that stress induced by social defeat decreases the sensitivity of adult mice to the rewarding effects of MDMA.

Unit of Research Psychobiology of Drug Dependence, Department of Psychobiology, School of Psychology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Correspondence to Maria A. Aguilar, PhD, Department of Psychobiology, School of Psychology, University of Valencia, Avda. Blasco Ibáñez, 21, 46010 Valencia, Spain E-mail:

Received February 18, 2014

Accepted June 9, 2014

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins