Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Neuroscience Institute

First Advisor

Kyle Frantz

Second Advisor

Aaron Roseberry

Third Advisor

Thomas Tompkins


Perturbations to the gut microbiome may boost the use of addictive substances such as cocaine. In animals, antibiotic-induced gut microbiome depletion heightens cocaine-seeking, although adolescent rats appear less sensitive than adults to these perturbations. The purpose of this study was to use adolescent vs. adult male Wistar rats to test two hypotheses: 1) probiotics will reduce cocaine-seeking that has been heightened by antibiotic treatment; and 2) probiotics administered throughout behavioral testing will reduce cocaine-taking and/or -seeking. Rats were catheterized and self-administered cocaine (0.36mg/kg i.v.), then tested for extinction and reinstatement of cocaine-seeking after abstinence. Some rats received antibiotics during self-administration followed by probiotics during abstinence, while others received probiotics throughout testing. Probiotics during abstinence attenuated antibiotic-heightened cocaine-seeking in adults but did not decrease adolescent responses. Prophylactic probiotics did not attenuate cocaine behaviors significantly. Probiotics may be useful in addiction treatment, but these results do not support their use in prevention.


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