Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) attenuates cocaine-seeking behavior in the self-administration model in rats

Rachel Maayan, Sharon Lotan, Ravid Doron, Maytal Shabat-Simon, Iris Gispan-Herman, Abraham Weizman, Gal Yadid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to determine the possible involvement of the neurosteroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in cocaine-seeking behavior in a self-administration model in rats. DHEA pretreatment (continued thereafter concomitantly with cocaine self-administration) attenuated cocaine-seeking behavior and elevated the levels of dopamine and serotonin in several brain regions relevant to cocaine addiction. Chronic cocaine self-administration induced elevation in brain DHEA, its sulfate ester, DHEAS, and pregnenolone. The increased brain DHEA following cocaine self-administration may serve as a compensatory protective mechanism geared to attenuate the craving for cocaine. Such anti-craving activity is further enhanced by DHEA treatment before and during cocaine self-administration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-339
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Cocaine
  • Cocaine seeking behavior
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
  • Neurosteroids
  • Self-administration


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