Neurosci Lett.

2007 May 17; 418(2): 190–194.

Published online 2007 Mar 14. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2007.03.019

Brandon J. Aragona, Jacqueline M. Detwiler, and Zuoxin Wang


Recent studies have shown that the neural regulation of pair bonding in the monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is similar to that of drug seeking in more traditional laboratory rodents. Therefore, strong interactions between social behavior and drug reward can be expected. Here, we established the prairie vole as a model for drug studies by demonstrating robust amphetamine-induced conditioned place preferences in this species. For both males and females, the effects of amphetamine were dose-dependent, with females being more sensitive to drug treatment. This study represents the first evidence of drug reward in this species. Future studies will examine the effects of social behavior on drug reward and the underlying neurobiology of such interactions.