Publications by authors named "Ahmed Aldhafiri"

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Delta-9-THC exposure during zebra finch sensorimotor vocal learning increases cocaine reinforcement in adulthood.

Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2019 10 23;185:172764. Epub 2019 Aug 23.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27834, United States of America. Electronic address:

Zebra finches are songbirds that learn vocal patterns during a sensitive period of development that approximates adolescence. Exposure of these animals to a cannabinoid agonist during their period of sensorimotor vocal learning alters song patterns produced in adulthood. Thus, songbirds have unique value in studying developmental effects of drug exposure on a naturally learned behavior. A missing feature of this animal model has been a method to study drug reinforcement of behavior. To address this gap we have adapted place conditioning methods, used previously to determine that singing behavior is rewarding, to study cocaine reinforcement of behavior. We have found that cocaine dose-dependently reinforces both place conditioning and aversion at potencies consistent with those observed in mammalian species. Use of this place conditioning method has allowed us to determine that, when administered during periods of sensorimotor vocal learning, delta-9-THC, but not nicotine persistently increases sensitivity to cocaine through adulthood. Establishment of this method significantly expands the songbird drug exposure model, and holds promise for better appreciation of mechanisms important to sensorimotor learning that is dependent upon successful progress through sensitive periods of CNS development.
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October 2019