The objective of the present study was to determine if the acute behavioral effects of cocaine acutely administered intraperitoneally (ip) at doses of 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg on white male CF1 mice, 90 days of age, would be influenced by leptin acutely administered ip (at doses of 5, 10 and 20 µg/kg) or by endogenous leptin production enhanced by a high-fat diet. The acute behavioral effects of cocaine were evaluated in open-field, elevated plus-maze and forced swimming tests. Results were compared between a group of 80 mice consuming a balanced diet and a high-fat diet, and a group of 80 mice fed a commercially available rodent chow formula (Ralston Purina) but receiving recombinant leptin (rLeptin) or saline ip. Both the high-fat-fed and rLeptin-treated mice showed decreased locomotion in the open-field test, spent more time in the open arms of the elevated plus-maze and showed less immobility time in the forced swimming test (F(1,68) = 7.834, P = 0.007). There was an interaction between diets and cocaine/saline treatments in locomotion (F(3,34) = 3.751, P = 0.020) and exploration (F(3,34) = 3.581, P = 0.024). These results suggest that anxiolytic effects and increased general activity were induced by leptin in cocaine-treated mice and that low leptin levels are associated with behavioral depression. Chronic changes in diet composition producing high leptin levels or rLeptin treatment may result in an altered response to cocaine in ethologic tests that measure degrees of anxiety and depression, which could be attributed to an antagonistic effect of leptin
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