Effects of repeated administration of corticotropin-releasing factor on schedule-controlled behavior in rats

Stephen T. Ahlers*, Mary K. Salander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


To examine the effects of repeated administration of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) on behavior, rats were administered ICV injections of either CRF or saline on alternate days for 10 days prior to performing on a multiple fixed-interval (FI) 60 s/fixed-ratio (FR) 20 schedule for food reinforcement. A daily session consisted of 10 components of each schedule that alternated, starting with the FI component. CRF doses were individually determined for each rat and were either 1.0, 3.0, or 10 μg CRF based upon the dose that occasioned more than a 50% reduction in the rate of responding. Acute administraion of CRF decreased the rate of responding in both components well below control rates; this decrease in responding was associated with a 20 or 50% decrease in the number of earned reinforcements in the FI and FR components, respectively. With repeated administration, CRF-induced suppression of responding was attenuated, although CRF continued to decrease response rate. Despite the continued reduction in response rate, subsequent CRF injections did not result in a loss of reinforcements in the FI component, whereas rats continued to lose 20% of the reinforcers in the FR component. After an 18-day hiatus in which no CRF was administered, the baseline rate of responding on the multiple schedule increased, in particular in the FI component. When CRF was readministered, response rates were slightly suppressed relative to a reestablished saline control but significantly higher than CRF-induced suppression on the last day of the chronic regimen. These date demonstrate that with repeated administration tolerance develops to CRF-induced suppression of responding in rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-380
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptation
  • Chronic
  • Corticotropin-releasing factor
  • Schedule-controlled behavior
  • Stress
  • Tolerance


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