The attribution of incentive salience to an appetitive conditioned cue is not affected by knockout of the serotonin transporter in rats
SourceBehavioural Brain Research, 259, (2014), pp. 268-273
Article / Letter to editor
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Behavioural Brain Research
SubjectRadboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 7: Neurodevelopmental disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
Understanding the neurobiological basis underlying individual differences in conditioned stimulus (CS) sensitivity is pertinent, given that excessive conditioned responses to CSs is a key feature of anxiety-related disorders and drug addiction. We have previously shown that behaviour of serotonin transporter knockout (5-HTT(-/-)) rats-mimicking the common 5-HTT promoter polymorphism in humans-is strongly driven by Pavlovian CSs. To investigate whether the knockout rats attribute greater incentive salience to CSs, we tested the 5-HTT(-/-) rats and their wild-type counterparts in the sucrose-reinforced sign-versus goal-tracking task. We also assessed whether motivational properties of the unconditioned stimulus (sucrose pellet) are involved in the individual differences under investigation, by testing the animals in a sucrose-reinforced progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. We found no genotype differences in sign-versus goal-tracking behavior, despite that progressive ratio responding was increased in 5-HTT(-/-) rats. In conclusion, the high CS sensitivity in 5-HTT(-/-) rats cannot be explained by enhanced incentive salience attribution to the CS as measured by the sign- versus goal-tracking paradigm. Rather, 5-HTT(-/-) rats may be more sensitive to the motivational properties of the unconditioned stimulus.
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